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Physical Layout, Packaging, And Accessories

AOC Q2963PM Monitor Review: 2560x1080 Is A New Way To Play
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Packaging & Accessories

AOC's Q2963PM comes packaged in a stout, double-corrugated carton with full surround foam to protect the contents. Bundled cables include HDMI (w/MHL), VGA, and dual-link DVI. The user manual and drivers are on a CD.

After removing the parts from the box, the base snaps on to a fixed upright piece that contains some of the inputs and a 100 mm VESA mount hidden beneath a snap-on cover. The design is typical of AOC with a slick, minimalist look.

Physical Layout

Placing this monitor on a desk for the first time seems a little strange. It’s wider than the 27-inchers that most of use use, but only about 75 percent as high. We wondered how most vertically-oriented productivity apps would translate, and quickly found that it was OK for spreadsheets, but not as good for word processing or graphics editing. With roughly the same vertical space as a 24-inch monitor and greater pixel density than an FHD screen, this new desktop will take some getting used to.

The panel appears borderless when the screen is turned off, but you can see that there is a black border around the image when it's on. The border measures 13 mm on top, 20 mm on the sides, and 18 mm on the bottom. Control buttons are stealthily hidden around the right side. They not only navigate the OSD, but also serve as hotkeys to frequently-used functions like speaker volume, aspect ratio, and source selection. From the top down, their functions are Power/Exit, Menu/Up, Volume/Down, Aspect, and Source/Auto/Enter. The little graphic that pops up helps you decipher each button's purpose. It takes a bit of getting used to, but becomes intuitive after a short time.

The base is made from the same dark-gray plastic as the chassis, and it absorbs reflections quite well. The light-rejecting material extends to the screen itself, which has an excellent anti-glare layer that prevents all reflections without degrading image quality in the slightest. Adjustments are limited to tilt only, so there are no rotation, swivel, or height functions. The stand sets the monitor at a convenient height for the average desktop. We had to tilt the screen upward a little, but since it’s not a particularly tall display, this worked just fine. The screen height is nearly the same as that of a 16:9 24-inch monitor, while the width is obviously much greater.

The inputs are distributed between the side and bottom of the monitor’s arm.

On the side are the DVI, DisplayPort input, and VGA ports. Above the VGA connector is one of the three-watt speakers; there is another vent like this on the opposite side of the upright. While AOC does a great job hiding them, their side-firing configuration muddies the sound somewhat. If you have open space behind your monitor, like most desks do, they sound fair. You won't get much bass response, but they have reasonable clarity and depth of detail. If desktop audio is important to you, external speakers are still the best choice.

Facing downwards are HDMI (w/MHL), DisplayPort output, analog audio, headphone, and the power connector. The power supply is a small outboard brick. To access the VESA fittings, you remove the base and the dust cover. Then you fold the upright flush against the panel. Even though it’s fairly thin at 22 mm, the upright adds another 29 mm to the total depth.

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  • 1 Hide
    Simos Kozanidis , August 25, 2013 11:23 PM
    Does it tilt?
    Having 2 in chain of those, tilted on the side, would be very nice for productivity apps, like coding, etc.
  • 2 Hide
    eddieroolz , August 26, 2013 12:21 AM
    Good to see 21:9 monitors come down in price. I don't ever watch movies so the width is no use for me, though what I'd like to see in the future is a vertical VESA mount to stack 2 of these monitors in the vertical orientation. That would result in a 2560x2160 resolution that would be great for productivity purposes.
  • -2 Hide
    cobra5000 , August 26, 2013 12:22 AM
    If only it was 21:10.
  • -1 Hide
    giovanni86 , August 26, 2013 12:33 AM
    I'm actually in the market for the LG 21:9 primarily for gaming. Though i was disappointed that the veritcal length is smaller then others. Its still a very nice display. Looking forward to buying it and playing BF4 on it :) 
  • -3 Hide
    christop , August 26, 2013 4:45 AM
    I would like to try gaming with 3.
  • 2 Hide
    ubercake , August 26, 2013 5:43 AM
    Seems like a good choice for an RTS/MMORPGer. The input lag of the IPS panel is still going to keep me away from using something like this for shooters.
  • 0 Hide
    vertexx , August 26, 2013 6:15 AM
    With the multiple sources, does it force a 50-50 split or is that adjustable?

    I currently run two PCs for my daily work and could probably use something like this. Two 1080p monitors side by side is too much back and forth, so this may be a good solution. But I'd want to be able to adjust the split between the sources if needed.

    Thanks!
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , August 26, 2013 6:43 AM
    I know no one wants to hear this and I will be instantly down voted but this resolution seems ideal for Windows 8 Metro/Modern interface.

    Everything in Windows 8 Metro/Modern is designed for horizontal screen orientation vs. vertical.

    Besides that point this monitor seems like a great piece of hardware for the money. Nice review!
  • -1 Hide
    major-error , August 26, 2013 6:49 AM
    Quote:
    Good to see 21:9 monitors come down in price. I don't ever watch movies so the width is no use for me, though what I'd like to see in the future is a vertical VESA mount to stack 2 of these monitors in the vertical orientation. That would result in a 2560x2160 resolution that would be great for productivity purposes.

    What you're looking for comes from Ergotron: http://www.ergotron.com/ProductsDetails/tabid/65/PRDID/15/language/en-US/Default.aspx
    I have this stand holding up a pair of Dell U2412M displays. My only real concern when hanging displays on this stand is the panel weight, although I bet the bottom-mounted of a pair of 27" 16:9 displays would end up touching the desk...
  • -1 Hide
    nekromobo , August 26, 2013 6:55 AM
    You totally forgot to compare it to Dell U2913WM for little more there's 3years NBD warranty etc.. not to mention how does it compare picture-wise? Probably same panel used on both.
  • 5 Hide
    InvalidError , August 26, 2013 9:03 AM
    Quote:
    what I'd like to see in the future is a vertical VESA mount to stack 2 of these monitors in the vertical orientation. That would result in a 2560x2160 resolution that would be great for productivity purposes.

    1080 lines is too little for (advanced) productivity IMO.

    For things like programming and browsing, I would be much happier with 2560x1600 on a 24" screen in portrait mode + 1920x1200 on a 20-24" landscape secondary display than 2x 2560x1080 29" in landscape.
  • 0 Hide
    clonazepam , August 26, 2013 9:32 AM
    The only thing we're missing here is some youtube video goodness of someone "cam-ing" this thing in use. Like switching modes between single source and 2. How quickly does it switch between modes?

    As far as gaming goes, I'd never opt for this. As has been mentioned, the input lag may be irritating for some. Also, would you have to tweak a game's field of view setting, if it has one, to make the most of it?
  • 1 Hide
    Charles Cox , August 26, 2013 10:16 AM
    Any idea how this compares to the Dell UltraSharp U2913WM? I'm actually finding it quite difficult to find accurate comparisons between them, especially with regards to input lag.
  • 0 Hide
    dennisburke , August 26, 2013 10:48 AM
    This is a great aspect ratio for watching movies or gaming, but the vertical height is about 2 inches less than my current 27" 1080p monitor, which is a no go for productivity. To get the vertical height back up to my current 13.25 inches, the 21:9 monitor needs to be a minimum of 34 inches...I think that would be a sweet monitor.
  • 0 Hide
    blackdragonx1186 , August 26, 2013 11:14 AM
    I own and use Dell's variant of the 21:9 monitor. For gaming, it is amazing. Although, there are a lot of games that don't fully support the resolution, so in certain menus things can be chopped or cropped wrong. Skyrim doesn't work at this res, but Oblivion does, which is interesting. Great aspect for what most of us will use them for; games, and movies.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , August 26, 2013 11:24 AM
    Quote:
    This is a great aspect ratio for watching movies or gaming, but the vertical height is about 2 inches less than my current 27" 1080p monitor, which is a no go for productivity. To get the vertical height back up to my current 13.25 inches, the 21:9 monitor needs to be a minimum of 34 inches...I think that would be a sweet monitor.


    Quote:
    I own and use Dell's variant of the 21:9 monitor. For gaming, it is amazing. Although, there are a lot of games that don't fully support the resolution, so in certain menus things can be chopped or cropped wrong. Skyrim doesn't work at this res, but Oblivion does, which is interesting. Great aspect for what most of us will use them for; games, and movies.


    Skyrim menus were messed up for me across 3 screens too.
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , August 26, 2013 12:26 PM
    21:9? Ultra HD? Less than $500??? Count me in! :ouch: 
  • 0 Hide
    tpbutch , August 26, 2013 12:58 PM
    This review was so timely for me. I had been eyeing this thing on Amazon for the past week. Today, the price is down to $400. No-brainer for my needs.
  • 3 Hide
    none12345 , August 26, 2013 1:32 PM
    The 1080 is a bit too small, 1200 would be better(1440 seems too large but ive never used that screen height, so duno). Black bars on movies dont bug me, id rather have the extra space for everything else i do on a pc. Seems to make a lot more sense to turn off part of the screen because you dont need it, then not have it there at all when you do need it.

    What id really like tho is 200 dpi ~24"/~12" viewable area(27" viewable diagonal), with a slight curvature. ~4800x2400, ~120 hz. And the graphics card to drive it in next gen games at 120fps. Let me know when we have that.
  • 1 Hide
    bee144 , August 26, 2013 1:39 PM
    This really isn't any better for playing games than my 2560x1440 monitor is it?
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