AOC Q29630 29" UltraWide IPS LED Monitor Review


The majority of AOC's monitors are 24 inches or smaller, though the company does offer four 27-inch models, and of course the 29-inch panel reviewed here. It's both the biggest (in terms of diagonal screen size) and only UltraWide screen display in AOC's lineup.

We imagined AOC's 29-inch ultra-wide display would be this gargantuan thing that would dominate the desktop with a footprint bigger than King Kong. After all, the 30-inch panels we've reviewed have all been rather large and overbearing, and the box AOC shipped its monitor in is big enough to comfortably accommodate a hobo family of four. To our surprise, the Q2963PM isn't a massive panel by any stretch; it measures 28.1 inches (W) by 15.3 inches (H) by 8.4 inches (D) inches and weighs 15.2 pounds. When we plopped it in front of our Dell U3011 30-inch monitor, it was only slightly wider and a little more than half as tall -- the U3011 measures 27.34 inches (W) by 18.95 inches (H) by 8.32 inches (D) and weighs 33.67 pounds. Keep in mind those dimensions are for the panel only and don't factor in the stand. In addition to weighing twice as much, Dell's U3011 sits much higher than AOC's display.

The panel itself is an In Plane Switching (IPS) type that should offer superior viewing angles and deeper, richer, and more accurate colors than what even a high-end TFT panel can offer. Going with an IPS panel was a wise choice by AOC. Even though it drives up the price a bit, having a wider viewing angle is even more important since the sides of the display extend so far past the middle. An IPS panel allows you to view all parts of the screen from a single position without sacrificing color uniformity or introducing other unwanted artifacts.

It's also important to note that this monitor is primarily aimed at productivity gurus. There's not a ton of content designed specifically for a 2560x1080 resolution, and where that really comes in handy is when lining up multiple windows side-by-side.

One of the weak points that quickly became evident is the stand. It's sturdy and well-built, but it doesn't support much in the way of ergonomics. The only amenity it offers is tilt from -5 degrees to +20 degrees; there's no height, pivot rotation, or swivel adjustments to be made. We're also disappointed that the Q2963PM doesn't rotate into portrait mode. An ultra-wide screen display like this one would be a power surfer's dream if only it supported portrait rotation.

While we're picking on the stand, we should point out that it doesn't include any cable management features. Many monitors have cutouts or other fancy ways of routing cables to help reduce clutter. You won't find any of that here.

If you want, you can skip the base altogether and attach the Q2963PM directly to your wall. The VESA cover with AOC's logo pops right off with a long fingernail or flathead screwdriver.

Video output ports are found on the right side of the stand. These include:
  • VGA: 2560x1080@60Hz
  • DVI: 2560x1080@60Hz (with Dual-Link DVI cable)
  • HDMI 1.4: 2660 x 1080@60Hz
Where's the DisplayPort, you ask? Keep reading...

Sitting on the underside of the stand are a pair of DisplayPorts. With the front of the panel facing you, the left DisplayPort serves as an input and the right is an output, which allows you to daisychain multiple monitors. The supported resolution is 2560x1080.

Also on the underbelly are audio in/outputs and the power connector. Noticeably missing from the panel is a built-in-USB hub, somewhat of a glaring omission on a monitor designed for professionals.

Remember when we said this is a monitor for the working stiff? Here you can see why. In addition to the panel's built in picture-by-picture (PBP) and picture-in-picture (PIP) modes for viewing images from two sources at once, there's also a screen splitter function to make the most out of the available real estate. There are several scenarios where this might come in handy, whether it's editing photos or typing up a research paper for a college class.

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