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

AOC Q2963PM Monitor Review: 2560x1080 Is A New Way To Play
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2560x1080 is an unusual resolution for a computer monitor. Does it change the way we work? We spent some time with AOC's new Q2963PM to find out. With some unique features on-board, we're more than curious to see what makes this radical new display tick.

Last year, LG introduced the world’s-first 21:9 aspect computer monitor, the 29-inch 29EA93P. Boasting an ultra-wide form factor, it gave users the chance to watch cinemascope movies without letterboxing (those black bars above and below the movie), and introduced a whole new look to gaming.

LG’s ultra-wide IPS panel is the basis for AOC’s all-new Q2963PM. This panel utilizes AH-IPS technology and renders 2560x1080 pixels on its 29-inch diagonal screen. AH-IPS, (Advanced High-Performance IPS) has quickly become the most common variant of IPS seen today. With a combination of excellent color accuracy, high light output, and high pixel density, it’s ideal for a majority of computing and viewing tasks. Of course, it has excellent off-axis viewing like every other flavor of IPS. The white LED backlight illuminates the screen from the both the top and bottom edges.

Even though it displays 2560 pixels across, it’s not a QHD-resolution screen, since you only get 1080 pixels of height. Basically it’s an FHD panel with extra width. Its shape matches the 21:9 size of the cinemascope screen you’d see at your local movie theater. As with LG's model, the main advantage is that you can watch films without letterboxing. And most movie fans know that the 16:9 aspect ratio of today’s HDTVs and monitors is a compromise. While some features are shot this way, most are filmed in the wider 21:9 framing.

The biggest question for computer users is: does a product like this also work for productivity and gaming? While it’s obviously great for movie-watching, a desktop enthusiast needs far more versatility. To this end, the Q2963PM offers a number of convenience features like multi-source viewing and chainable DisplayPort connectors. Even though vertical resolution is 1080p, pixel density is a respectable 97 ppi (or nearly as high as the 108 ppi offered by a 27-inch QHD monitor. In fact, the only thing you’re giving up versus a QHD display is screen height. No matter how you want to think of it, the AOC Q2963PM definitely presents a new way to work!

Selling for a street price of $450, AOC is currently the value king when it comes to this type of product. LG’s 29EA93-P checks in around $600, while the NEC EA294WMi is nearly $800!

Brand
AOC
Model
Q2963PM
Street Price
$450
Panel Type
AH-IPS
Backlight
W-LED
Screen Size
29"
Max Resolution
2560x1080
Aspect Ratio
21:9
Response Time (GTG)
5 ms
Brightness (cd/m2)
300
Speakers
Yes
VGA
1
DVI
1
DisplayPort
1 in, 1 out
HDMI
1 w/MHL
Headphone
1
USB
-
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Dimensions w/base
W x H x D
28.1 x 15.3 x 8.4 in
714 x 388 x 214 mm
Panel Thickness
.87 in / 22 mm
WarrantyThree years
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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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