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Physical Layout, Packaging, And Accessories

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

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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