A slim and stylish dis­play with mul­ti­ple in­puts

Mac Format - - APPLE CHOICE - Re­viewed by Keith Martin

£299 FROM AOC, aoc-eu­ fea­tures Dis­playPort, HDMI and VGA in­puts A good-look­ing dis­play that’s faintly retro and pleas­ingly fu­tur­is­tic at the same time

AOC’s lat­est 27-inch mon­i­tor is a good-look­ing dis­play with a na­tive res­o­lu­tion of 2560x1440 pix­els.

First im­pres­sions are of an un­fussy, qui­etly stylish dis­play; slim, metal-framed, and with a strong stand that’s a sin­gle leg of alu­minium bent into a half-closed rec­tan­gle. It looks faintly retro and pleas­ingly fu­tur­is­tic at the same time. There are down­sides to this vogu­ish ap­pear­ance; it has a tilt range of no more than 14 de­grees, and – like many dis­plays to­day – there’s no height ad­just­ment op­tion, so if you want it to be higher you'll need to get a stand (but not a VESA mount – there’s no fit­ting on the back for one of those).

Most of this mon­i­tor is a sim­ple slim rec­tan­gle, with a slightly chunkier sec­tion on the back where the cir­cuitry and ports live. This is where you’ll find a Dis­playPort, two HDMI sock­ets, and a VGA socket for any em­bar­rass­ingly old tech. It can auto-switch to an ac­tive port or let you pick your pref­er­ence, mak­ing this a good choice if you want to use it with, say, a Mac, a PC and a PlayS­ta­tion.

Frame­lessly chic?

AOC de­scribes this as a ‘four-sided frame­less’ dis­play, pos­si­bly aim­ing to tap into the gamer pas­sion for treat­ing dis­plays like tile-friendly pan­els to be butted up to­gether. In truth it has more of a mi­cro-bezel; a cou­ple of mil­lime­tres of alu­minium wrapped around per­haps 5mm of black sur­round, but the re­al­ity is more in­ter­est­ing than this tech­ni­cal de­scrip­tion makes it sound. The prod­uct does an ex­cel­lent good job of be­ing phys­i­cally un­ob­tru­sive in your workspace, let­ting the ac­tive dis­play area it­self do the talk­ing.

The back­lit LED panel han­dles colour pretty well, although if you want a high-end proof­ing dis­play this isn’t quite it. Our Dat­a­color Spy­der col­orime­ter clocked it at over 100% sRGB, but 79% of Adobe RGB; that's very good, but it’s im­per­fect for use in pro-level de­sign proof­ing.

It’s no 4K screen, but the 2560x1440 pixel res­o­lu­tion looks sharp. The 16:9 ra­tio is just a lit­tle more widescreen than a Mac­Book dis­play’s 16:10 shape; at this size it’s a sen­si­ble width-height ra­tio, and the res­o­lu­tion doesn’t de­mand more GPU horse­power than, say, a mod­est Mac­Book can man­age.

But­ton bash­ing

Next to a tiny power light there’s an all-butin­vis­i­ble row of icons that run along the bot­tom of the slim black bezel. For­tu­nately this doesn’t use touch-sen­si­tive trig­gers – we've had plenty of prob­lems with those be­fore. In­stead, there are phys­i­cal but­tons to press, hid­den along the bot­tom and lined up with those sub­tle icons. They pro­duce a sat­is­fy­ingly au­di­ble ‘click’ when used, but the place­ment of the power but­ton is an­noy­ing; it’s easy to ac­ci­den­tally turn it off when mak­ing on-screen dis­play ad­just­ments.

At £299, this dis­play’s priced pretty well for its class, its styling is far bet­ter than most, and it has mul­ti­ple in­puts. On the down­side, it has re­spectable but not in­dus­try-lead­ing colour re­pro­duc­tion, and some­what lim­ited phys­i­cal ad­just­ment op­tions; there's not much else to dis­like. We would hap­pily use it as a day-to-day mon­i­tor, but crit­i­cal proof­ing work would be bet­ter done else­where.

It’s not ac­tu­ally frame­less, but the slim bezel and an­gled sup­port give it a sense of min­i­mal­ist style.

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