We’re already flooded with 4K display options, but there’s something to be said for 1440p. For displays smaller than about 40″ to 50″, it’s debatable whether or not the human eye can really perceive the difference between the two resolutions, making 1440p a desirable value buy for many desktop users. One of those 1440p displays is a new model from AOC, and while the 27″ monitor lacks a lot of special features gamers might be looking for, it stands out as a well-designed and well-priced all-around choice.
This 27″ monitor has a 2560 x 1440 resolution panel with specs that mark it as a budget option. We’re looking at a 60 Hz refresh rate, 5 ms response time, 97% of the sRGB color gamut, an 800:1 contrast ratio, and a max 350 nits of brightness. Without Nvidia G-sync or AMD FreeSync to help prevent tearing, you can tell this isn’t meant to be a high performance gaming monitor. That said, it can do just fine depending on what game you’re playing — it’s suitable for slower games like Civilization VI or even something like Skyrim, but you might start noticing problems if you try to play a shooter like Overwatch. That said, AOC springing for a flicker-free IPS panel definitely helps the monitor’s cause, especially at this price. Colors are nice and bright, and in general the display delivers a clear picture.
If you’re not a gamer, this monitor becomes a lot more compelling. For starters, the monitor is just nice to look at — the silver finish on our review model looks great from the side and we’re digging the minimal stand, although the wraparound design does require a fair amount of desk space. The thin bezels make the screen look bigger than it is and make this monitor a great choice for anyone who needs a multi-monitor 1440p setup, especially considering the relatively low $350 price tag.
There are some knocks. There’s no swivel or height adjustment, and the display can only be tilted upwards very slightly. The other bummer, especially because the stand requires so much space, is the lack of VESA mount compatibility — it’s stand or bust for this monitor. No speakers, either, which could come as a disappointment for someone hoping for a cheap monitor that doesn’t require peripherals.
On the back, the AOC monitor is well equipped to be paired with any computer. There are two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, and one VGA port, so anyone using a legacy computer at work will be covered. For home users, it’s easy to keep both a desktop and a video game console plugged in, and it’s easy to change inputs using the physical buttons on the underside of the monitor.