IT Pro Verdict
Huge display area for the price
Wide viewing angle
Bright, even picture
Mediocre colour accuracy
No height adjustment
The AOC Q34E2A is astoundingly cheap for a 24in monitor - which makes it all the more impressive that it's actually a 34in monitor. To reiterate, this ultra-wide display is sensational value in terms of square inches per buck.
On the other hand, although it's big, the screen isn’t particularly sharp. Its resolution of 2,560 x 1,080 translates to 81 pixels per inch. This is the same density as a 27in monitor with a Full HD resolution, and using this panel is almost like having two such monitors bolted together.
The flat, elongated shape also takes some getting used to. Switching back and forth between windows on the left and right edges is reminiscent of watching a rally at Wimbledon and to an onlooker, it will seem like you’re shaking your head an awful lot.
Still, if you are, it won’t be about this panel’s quality. Viewing angles are excellent, and brightness is impressively uniform, so it’s easy to see what’s on-screen and a pleasure to gaze at. Even though its colour temperature is 300K off the 6500K target in sRGB mode, all-white backgrounds look suitably clean and neutral.
We have no complaints about colour coverage either. In its default mode, the panel is tuned to the vivid DCI-P3 colour space with 90% coverage out of a 92% volume. This can look a bit excessively saturated: switching to the sRGB mode (via the admittedly clunky OSD) gave equally creditable coverage of 92% out of a 94% volume.
What you can’t expect is perfect colour accuracy: we measured an average Delta E of 2.55 in sRGB mode and a maximum of 9.47. Also note that using sRGB prevents you from enjoying the full brightness that this panel is capable of: we measured 222cd/m2 in our colour tests, which jumped to 349cd/m2 when we took manual control.
In order to offer this type of panel for such a low price, some costs have clearly been cut. There’s no height adjustment, no swivel, no USB hub and certainly no USB Type-C connector: two of the three inputs are HDMI 1.4, the other DisplayPort 1.2, so in terms of standards, it’s somewhat behind the times.
Unusually, there’s no DisplayPort cable in the box either: AOC supplies an HDMI cable, a power lead and that’s it. You do get a pair of speakers, but they sound worse than their 3W power rating would suggest: the sound is hollow with no bass, but bearable at low volumes.
With its unusual shape and limited colour accuracy, the AOC Q34E2A won’t suit everyone. If you’re in the market for an ultra-wide screen, however, what you get here for the money is pretty incredible.
AOC Q34E2A specifications
|Screen resolution||2,560 x 1,080|
|Screen refresh rate||60Hz|
|Video inputs||DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 1.4|
|Audio inputs/outputs||Headphone socket|
|Speakers||2 x 3W|
|Dimensions (WDH)||817 x 254 x 475mm (including stand)|
Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro, the UK's biggest selling IT monthly magazine. He specialises in reviews of laptops, desktop PCs and monitors, and is also author of a book called The Computers That Made Britain.
You can contact Tim directly at email@example.com.