AOC m2870Vq 28 inch LED MVA Monitor Review
Here is an odd one right here at pcG, the AOC m2870Vq 28 inch LED MVA Monitor (4038986184373). An LED backlit monitor that features a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080, a response time of 5ms and an runs at 60Hz. Sounds pretty plain really does it? Well not really, as the M2870VQ also features a 28 inch MVA (Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment) panel. This should mean in terms of screen performance, this MVA should sit somewhere between that of a TN and an IPS panel. Oh and did I mention it has a 28 inch screen? 😉
It’s been a while since I last took a look at a new monitor here at pcG, the last few pcG Terry has been fortunate enough to look at. The screens I have looked at before have mainly been manufactured by AOC as well, so I’ve got pretty high hopes for this one. 🙂
Being part of the AOC ‘Value‘ range, the m2870Vq arrived in a fairly plain cardboard box. Whilst predominately brown, AOC have afforded a splash of colour by introducing a wave of pink and blue across the front. If I’m honest it isn’t anything particularly exciting, but it will help it stand out more prominently from the rest of the sea of brown boxes on the shelves. On the front (also the same as the back) is also the AOC logo, model name, AOC web address and some angled prints of the screen packaged inside. To the lower right you can also see the m2870Vq key features as follows:
- Vertical Alignment
- Ultra Slim
- DCR 20,000,000:1
- Hair-Line Texture
- Low Power
- Screen +
Wedged between two styrofoam blocks, we find the AOC m2870Vq (also within an anti-static bag), with the stand arm attached, the stand base, software disk and various different cables. All of which are in separate protective bags. There is no user guide or warranty information as these are all on the enclosed disk.
The contents of the box are shown above and listed below:
- AOC m2870Vq – Panel
- AOC m2870Vq – Stand
- Power Lead (UK)
- HDMI Cable
- VGA Cable
- Audio Cable
- Drivers and Documentation CD
courtesy of AOC
So now it’s out of the box and out of the bag (so to speak), lets take a closer look at the m2870Vq. The first things worthy of note, are despite it being a 28″ screen, the m2870Vq is incredibly light with a weight of only 4.8kg (possibly the lightest screen we’ve had here at pcG!), but despite its weight and AOCs ‘Value’ tag, it’s very solidly built with high quality plastic. The panel itself is also of the glossy variety (my least favourite 🙁 ).
Putting the screen together is also incredibly easy. It’s simply a case of slotting the base into the stem and then into the screen itself, they literally just clip in to place.
Looking more closely at the front of the AOC m2870Vq shows the screen to follow a very simple styling (I guess this is where the ‘Value’ tag comes into play). The top and side bezels are 20mm in depth, whilst the lower bezel is 30mm. From a distance the bezel looks very plain and matte black, on a closer inspection in features the advertised ‘Hair Line Texture), which whilst nothing spectacular, does look more impressive than no texture at all. In the dead centre of the lower bezel is the AOC brand logo and just under the far right side the monitor control panel.
Over on the back is as you’d imagine pretty sparse. It features a textured fabric effect with the AOC logo embossed to the left of the middle. Dead in the centre of the AOC m2870Vq is the familiar VESA mount.
Looking at the m2870Vq shows why AOC have labelled the monitor as one of their ‘Value’ line. On the left is nothing but the AUX power socket, whilst over on the right we have a DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D, VGA and audio sockets. Not a massive selection granted, but should be more than enough to meet your needs.
The discretely placed (bottom right) control panel consists of auto (input select), +, -, menu, and power button to the far right . Nothing particularly outstanding, but they’ll do the job and it’s always nice to have the control panel hidden from view.
Here’s another area where the ‘Value’ tag comes into play. The AOC m2870Vq does not feature height or swivel control, so the only way you’ll get that portrait view as via the VESA mount or a third party arm. To be fair given the monitors 28 inch screen it is less necessary to have the height control anyway, there is a lot of screen estate anyway. What the AOC m2870Vq does feature though is a -5/+25 tilt control.
So the AOC m2870Vq pretty much covers all the basics. It has a nice and simple design that would fit on any desk, the industry standard resolution of 1920×1080, a 60Hz screen that also offers a 5ms response time. Nothing particularly outstanding there…..
I am intrigued to see how the MVA panel fares in comparison to the TN, IPS and S-PLS we have tested before though. The AOC m2870Vq also has the added bonus of a massive 28 inch screen (bigger’s always better!) and with an SRRP of £169.99 places itself in the same pricing bracket as a similar spec 27 inch screen.
Best get my Game on! 😉
The AOC m2870Vq was tested using our Test Rig with a fresh installation of Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (service pack 1) installed together with all the latest relevant drivers and software. No additional screen calibration software was used, instead I relied on the default settings available of the monitor and my very own eyes to make any adjustments I felt necessary.
During the review I used the following software to help me with the evaluation of the monitor.
So now the m2870Vq is fully assembled and hooked up to the Test Rig by way of the DisplayPort, it’s time to give this MVA panel a quick once over. The panel itself is of the high gloss variety and despite my dislike of this type of screen coating, it is in fact remarkably good with only the smallest of glare from any bright light. Perhaps more surprisingly and given its ‘Value’ tag, with a plain black background the m2870Vq shows absolutely no backlight bleed of any kind! Then similarly on plain white background reveals no oddities of any kind.
Similarly to many of the AOC panels we’ve reviewed in the past, out of the box and with default settings the m2870Vq offers good picture quality whilst in Windows, but is ever so slightly toned down and a little lifeless. This of course is easily remedied by switching DCR (dynamic contrast ratio) on.
Once this is done and whilst taking an even closer look, shows the AOC m2870Vq and its MVA panel to have an incredible colour depth and blacks are exactly how they should be, black! Another surprise is the viewing angle. You can clearly see what’s on the screen from any angle with no image distortion and none of the hazing colours you’d associate with a TN panel.
Something that many people (including myself) often worry about is ‘how big is too big?’ when considering a new monitor. To many people a 28 inch screen with a 1920×1080 resolution would certainly fit in that category. The predominant factor in this is your proximity to the screen whilst it is in use. At almost any resolution, the screen pixels get larger and tend to look more blocky the closer you get (in fact if you ever hook your rig up to a 32+ inch TV you’ll even see a grid when close enough). The AOC m2870Vq does suffer from this, but only noticeably from approximately 30cm from the screen, the reality is you’ll never use a screen from this distance even if you suffer from really poor long sightedness.
So with still imagery (or as near to as Windows allows), the AOC m2870Vq impresses, but given its pretty average specifications, how will it fare whilst Gaming?
Well there’s a surprise, even though AOC label the m2870Vq as part of their ‘value line up’, the monitor doesn’t play like something you wouldn’t use for Gaming. I noticed no Ghosting and no form of Input Lag of any kind and that was even with Vsync on. This screen is certainly not bad at all! The MVA panel offers incredible vibrancy to screen colour that you’d normally reserve for an IPS or S-PLS monitor and make Game visuals give that extra impact in order help immerse you (although untried, this is unlikely to be the case for Minesweeper 😉 ).
Another area that also need to be covered of course is the control panel and its OSD. Whilst it’s certainly capable of doing the task in hand, I found it a damn site easier using the AOC i-Menu (included in box), this is essentially an OS based control panel for the screen. Many other brands feature similar and if your all ‘thumbs and no fingers’ like me, you’ll be sure to appreciate it. Other software includes e-Saver (essentially a screen timer to help save electricity) and AOC Screen+. This is actually a really handy piece of software that allows you to divide your screen into different working areas (this means you can have flick four open windows in to each corner of the screen without having to resize them manually 🙂 ), this is however still in beta and doesn’t work very well with a multi-screen set-up.
Many monitors these days feature speakers and the AOC m2870Vq certainly doesn’t buck the trend. There are 2x2w built in speakers and they do the job the have been tasked with, but if you have any other audio device available you’ll be sure to use that instead.
All in all I’m actually very impressed and quite surprised by the AOC m2870Vq 28 inch LED MVA Monitor, the packaging whilst not as eye catching as some, will certainly stand out amongst a sea of other brown boxes, whilst it is suitably well protected within.
It offers a very simple styling and enough input connectors (1xHDMI, 1xDisplayPort, 1xDVI-D & 1xVGA) for almost anyone. There are the typically basic inbuilt stereo speakers (2x2w), whilst the panel offers a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 at 60Hz with a pretty average 5ms response time……
Yet that’s where the boring averageness ends! The MVA (Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment) panel visually knocks spots off any TN panel I’ve seen and would surely give most IPS and S-PLS screens a good run for their money, everything is incredibly sharp and vibrant, even the blacks are truly black (you’ll notice on many screens black actually looks like a very dark grey). I found that that the AOC m2870Vq was clear in all but the harshest of light , the gloss screen was vividly visible which given my dislike of this screen type came as a huge surprise. It is also the very first and only flat panel monitor I have ever used without even the tiniest of backlight bleed!
Combined with the AOC software (included in box), i-Menu, e-Saver and Screen+ help to make the m2870Vq a highly productive monitor that is remarkably simple to use and great to work with.
This of course is all very well and true, but what about the obviously more important area of Gaming? You’ll be pleased to hear that given the AOC m2870Vq with its MVA panel stands firm. Despite its average specs, it plays very well. Throughout every benchmark run and Game played, the panel displayed no visible Ghosting and I noticed nothing by the way of Input Lag. The screen also seems to add some vibrancy and depth of colour in Game, whilst the 28 inch panel helps to immerse you into your chosen Gaming world all the more.
In fact my only gripes with the AOC m2870Vq are the lack of height adjust (yes I know it’s a 28 inch screen and I’d most likely not use it, but I’m a tinkerer) and speakers. I know they are built in and do produce some audio, but does anyone really use monitor speakers anymore?
The AOC m2870Vq has an SRRP of £169.99, which is pretty much in line with most 27 inch screens of a similar spec and even some of the higher spec 24 inch screens, which to me is very good. If your in the market for a large monitor that you can work, watch movies and more importantly Game on and don’t need a high resolution IPS or an ultra fast high Hz TN panel, it’s a great all rounder. I’d certainly give the AOC m2870Vq a go.
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Many thanks to AOC for providing this sample for review