AOC Q2778VQE Monitor Review
Now we’ve seen a quite a few Monitors from AOC in the past ranging, from the the small but fast 24″ G-Sync enabled AOC G2460PG and the GPU killing 4K screen of the AOC U2868PQU, to one of our personal favourites the Ultra Wide AOC U3477PQU and its ultra immersive 3440 x 1440 resolution IPS screen. What these screens have in common is not only a fantastic in-Game experience, be it through special sync technology, higher and more detailed resolutions or humongous screens, but also a higher retail prices and the need for higher graphical horsepower. What we have here today may not be quite as advanced at its smaller G-Sync enabled sibling, offer as much eye candy and detail as the 4K, or even look quite as stunning as the Ultra Wide IPS. But we have a WQHD screen with a resolution of 2560 × 1440, running at a maximum 60Hz with a 1m/s Response Time. Sounds good right? Here’s the kicker, this particular screen uses a TN panel which will to help give us the fast response times many Gamers demand, but often at the cost of sacrificing viewing angles and the same colour reproduction we’ve seen on IPS screens and some other alternatives. Because of this, it also means this particular Monitor is also one of the most affordable 2560 x 1440 screens on the market with an SRRP of just £299.99!
Ladies and Gentleman I introduce to you the AOC Q2778VQE and now it’s time for us to have a much closer look (and for me to do some Gaming 😉 ).
It seems I’ve been a little spoiled of late with large products arriving in flashy boxes that seem determined to grab your attention. The AOC Q2778VQE however goes back to basics and arrived at pcG in the ever familiar packaging of an AOC Monitor. A brown cardboard box with a bright blue and magenta wave across the centre, just to break it up a little. Within the wave we have four images of the Monitor in different poses along with the model name, in the top left the AOC name, the lower right then gives us the company web address and several pictograms giving us the Monitors key features.
The sides of the box share a similar story and give us the very same details, but this time with a black background.
The box certainly does a job, but it would be nice if AOC had given us more detail on the screen hiding within, maybe even backed up with some glossy imagery showing off the AOC Q2778VQE to give us a better idea of what we are getting. I guess a box is just a box…
Popping open the box reveals the AOC Q2778VQE to be suitably well packaged within and safely protected within a soft foam bag and sandwiched between two hard polystyrene blocks. All of the Monitor accessories have also been individually bagged for their protection.
courtesy of AOC
|Monitor Size||27 Inch|
|Visible Screen Size||596.74 x 335.66|
|Brightness||350 cd/m² (type)|
|Dynamic Contrast Ratio||80M:1|
|Response Time||1 ms|
|Analogue Input: D-Sub||Y|
|Digital Input: DVI / HDMI||Y / Y|
|Display Port Input||Y|
|Power Source||100 – 240V 50 / 60 Hz|
|Plug & Play||Y|
|OSD Languages||AOC 2K11 OSD/ English, French , Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Polish ,Czech, Russian, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simple Chinese, Japanese|
|Regulations||Energystar 6 , TCO 6 , EPEAT Silver , TUV-Bauart , CE , EAC , ISO Certified Production , Rohs compliant , Reach compliant , Energy Class C|
|Other Features||i-Menu, e-Saver, Screen+|
The front of the AOC Q2778VQE features a TN panel measuring 596.74 x 335.66mm, giving us a 27″ screen size. The bezel itself is made from a glossy piano black plastic and a little chunkier than we’ve seen in other recent models, but certainly nothing that will detract from our viewing pleasure. Centrally placed and towards the bottom of the screen we have the AOC logo with a rather nice silver/chrome finish, then in the top right corner we have the model name. Overall the AOC Q2778VQE offers quite nice and clean aesthetics, but nothing really out of the ordinary. What is rather nice about the monitor’s aesthetics is its base. Which features a flat glossy black surface with a highly polished mirror-like finish and a faux matte aluminium outer trim which raises towards the back end. The stand itself certainly looks good and with its weight and anti-slip rubber pads will keep the Monitor firmly in place, but it is prone to a fair amount of wobble.
From the rear we find the AOC Q2778VQE features a slightly textured matte black look. Again this is made from quality plastic and as we’ve seen before on previous models, features the AOC brand name moulded into it, but this time with a contrasting glossy black finish. As we can see from the centre of the panel, the AOC Q2778VQE also features a typical VESA mount. The AOC Q2778VQE also features the same faux aluminium coloured plastic across the back of its stand arm as seen on the base trim. Whilst this again looks good and gives the monitor a slight lift in the looks department, once in situ we are unlikely to ever see this.
Despite looking pretty, the AOC Q2778VQE base actually offers very few features. We have no height adjust, no pivot or portrait mode, not even a swivel. What it does give us is the ability to adjust its tilt angle from anywhere between -4/+21 degrees. Personally I’m a little disappointed by this, especially when the adjustable stands we’ve seen before on the likes of the AOC U2868PQU and AOC Q2770Pqu were so damn good. Although having a fully adjustable stand would understandably increase the cost of the AOC Q2778VQE.
INPUTS & OUTPUTS
As we can see from the above images, the AOC Q2778VQE has a fairly limited set on inputs and outputs. The Monitor features no USB pass through, but the basic set of DisplayPort, D-Sub, DVI-D and HDMI inputs should be plenty enough to suit the needs of most Gamers. One big oddity you may (or may not) have noticed, are the inclusion of the two Audio Jacks?! Why is this odd? Well the AOC Q2778VQE doesn’t actually feature any internal speakers of any kind. 😕
The AOC Q2778VQE control panel features small physical buttons that are very similar to the previous AOC Monitors we’ve looked at in the past. They certainly feel sturdy enough and are just the right size for your finger tip, but do require a firm amount of pressure to activate which tends to cause they Monitor to wobble a little. From left to right they allow for video input selection, menu back and forth, on-screen display and of course power. Whilst each of the button functions are nicely etched onto the Monitor bezel, when used in a typically dark Gaming scenario they are often miss-pressed, but surely something you’d become familiar with over time.
Overall the AOC Q2778VQE isn’t a bad looking Monitor. It may not be as feature packed as others on the market, lack the depth of inputs and a lack of functionality from its stand, but it does offer some clean aesthetics and a 2560 x 1440 resolution screen at a very good price point. Let’s see how it performs and get our Game on!
The AOC Q2778VQE was tested using our Test Rig with a fresh installation of Windows 7 Ultimate N 64bit (service pack 1) installed together with all the latest relevant drivers and software. No additional screen calibration software was used, all of the default modes were tested and then the screen was calibrated by hand and eye to the best of my ability.
To help in the evaluation of the Monitor we will also be using the XFX AMD Radeon R9 290X DD Black Edition.
During the review I used the following Benchmarks and Games to help in the evaluation of the monitor.
So the AOC Q2778VQE is plugged into the pcG Test Rig and both are powered on and I was hit by a surprise. Despite the Q2778VQE having ‘just’ a TN panel, the on screen picture is surprisingly vibrant and colourful! Having run through the usual screen checks, I can happily say the review sample had no dead or stuck pixels and backlight bleed was at its minimal with a slightly lighter area in the lower right corner. Certainly nothing to worry about and definitely something you are very unlikely to notice when in Game…
Normally you’d find that many Monitors need a little tweak in the calibrations department in order for it to suit your personal tastes, but as we’ve regularly seen from AOC, the factory calibration is often very good, without the need for any changes at all. The AOC Q2778VQE is certainly one of these and out of the box it looks good, in fact you needn’t even turn on the DCR (Dynamic Contrast Ratio) as the TN panel offers plenty of bright and punchy colour exactly as it is. Further visual checks show that not only does the AOC Q2778VQE feature a surprisingly vibrant TN panel, but the viewing angles aren’t half bad either. When viewed from either side on a horizontal axis, the screen seems to suffer colour distortion only from very acute angles, whilst the vertical axis are no where near as good, its still far better than practically every other TN based screen I’ve seen before (in fact the only TN screen I can really compare this to is the phenomenal ASUS ROG Swift, which may be faster and feature Nvidia G-Sync, but at £599.99 is also twice the price!).
Yet how does it perform when in Game? Well I can safely say it the AOC Q2778VQE does not disappoint. You could be running and gunning through the picturesque landscapes of Kyrat in Far Cry 4 or breaking the speed limits with the odd casual drive by (as you do) in the sprawling city of Los Santos in GTA V, yet everything looks stunning even with slightly dialled down settings so that our XFX R9 290X DD Black Edition could keep the 2560 x 1440 running at an average of around 60FPS. During the slightly slower pace of World of Warships and even War Thunder, not only does the picture look good and the GPU fly along, but the additional screen estate provided by the WQHD 2560 x 1440 TN panel, certainly gives you an advantage over your typical 1080p monitor. Throughout all Gaming tests the images provided by the 2560 x 1440 screen looked sharp and vibrant, with practically no ghosting whatsoever courtesy of its lowly 1ms Response Time, furthered by very little in the way of any detectable input lag.
Now for the bad points. The AOC Q2778VQE features a matte anti-glare screen coating, which does its job, but personally I found it to be a little over aggressive to the point of making the screen look over pixelated (in a similar way to having liquid on the screen) when viewed from close proximity (anyone who has seen or been bothered by the coating found on a multitude of Dell Monitors like the Dell U2711 will instantly know what I mean).
While Ultra Wide 3440 x 1440 and 4K 3860 x 2160 Monitors are becoming more and more popular, they both need some serious horsepower concealed under the bonnet of your Gaming PC, often demanding you to run multiple Graphics Cards in CrossFireX or SLI. Whilst the AOC Q2778VQE screen is just (!?) 2560 x 1440, it’s still worth bearing in mind that to run many of today’s most Graphically demanding Games at the highest of settings, you will still need a fair amount of Graphics horsepower.
With the monitor headlines dominated by 3840 x 2160 4K, 3440 x 1440 Ultra Wide, G-Sync and FreeSync, is it really worth us Gaming on a 2560 x 1440 screen or could it be merely seen as a stop gap? We take a look at the AOC Q2778VQE to find out!
The AOC Q2778VQE arrived at pcG concealed within a rather unassuming brown cardboard box with the familiar branding of its manufacturers AOC. Inside the box the Q2778VQE was found to be safely stowed within a typical soft foam bag and two polystyrene blocks for its protection. With all the packaging removed we found the AOC Q2778VQE to be well made with a solid construction and very easy to assemble. But it’s a little unassuming in the aesthetics department much like the box it arrived in! The 27″ screen itself not looking too dissimilar from many other monitors on the market today, with a fairly thick glossy piano black bezel and base lifted only by the chrome looking AOC badge and faux aluminium trim surrounding the base. Then the base itself despite looking quite nice, offers very little in the way of adjustability with only a tilt feature. In short the AOC Q2778VQE doesn’t look bad, it just doesn’t look anything particularly special either. Whilst it’s off, that is!
Once powered on the AOC Q2778VQE and its 2560 x 1440 TN panel looks surprisingly good! Is it because TN technology has improved considerably in recent years or perhaps as we’ve seen with some of the 4K monitors that the jump in resolution is of huge benefit to the ageing technology? More importantly who cares when it looks this good?! The AOC Q2778VQE needed no screen calibration to suit my personal requirements and the out of the box factory settings were perfectly adequate (giving me more time to Game!.. I mean erm… Test 😉 ). Whether or not you’re web browsing, watching a film or more importantly Gaming, the AOC Q2778VQE picture quality remains pin sharp and features a vibrancy and colour accuracy that we’d normally associate with the more expensive IPS panels, the viewing angles are certainly good enough to make you doubt the AOC Q2778VQE even has a TN panel. With a speedy 1ms Response Time making certain the Q2778VQE suffers from no discernible amount of Ghosting, whilst I also found there to be very little in the way of Input Lag (certainly not enough to be of notice). The AOC Q2778VQE really is lovely Monitor to Game on. There is of course one slight downside to the viewing of the latest 27″ from AOC, that being what I personally found to be a rather overly aggressive matte anti-glare coating, but if I’m entirely honest is only really noticeable when you’re working or Gaming too close to the monitor.
There’s no doubt in my mind that AOC have produced a damn good monitor in the shape of the AOC Q2778VQE. Sure it may not offer the plethora of features that many other Gaming Monitors do such as G-Sync or FreeSync, it may not even offer the same eye candy as 4K or the new 1440 Ultra Wide format, but it still looks very good and performs just as well. More importantly at approximately £280 it provides us Gamers a gateway into higher resolution Gaming without breaking the bank, just bare in mind to run the latest AAA titles at their highest settings you will still need a fare amount of graphical horsepower. If you haven’t ditched your HD 1080 screen yet, now is the time to do so!
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Many thanks to AOC for providing this sample for review