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AOC Q2781PQ IPS/QHD Monitor Review

OSD Setup & Calibration

AOC sticks with its tried-and-true OSD layout for the Q2781PQ. You can move it around the screen if you wish, but we like its default position at the bottom-center. Options are divided into six sub-menus, and like the styling, they are minimal. You get everything you need and nothing you don’t.

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The Luminance menu features six picture modes — AOC calls them Eco modes — that are task-specific. Standard is the default and offers decent accuracy, although whites are a tad blue and gamma runs a little dark. Other options here include three gamma presets, dynamic contrast, and an overdrive with Weak, Medium, Strong, and Off settings. Strong creates some visible ghosting, so we left it on Medium for a good level of blur reduction.

The Image Setup menu is only active for analog signals from the VGA port. It offers clock, phase, position, and sharpness sliders.

In Color Setup there are three color temp presets plus an sRGB mode. It locks out gamma, contrast, and brightness adjustments and fixes output at 270 nits. It offers a little more accuracy than the default Standard mode, but the best performance is found in User, where you can adjust RGB sliders and select a better gamma curve. More on that below. Here also are DCB modes, which attempt to improve specific colors like skin, grass, and sky. Use them for personal preference only. They won’t bring the Q2781PQ any closer to Rec.709/sRGB standards.

Picture Boost is a feature unique to AOC. It creates a window on the screen where you can adjust brightness and contrast independently of the rest of the image to focus on a particular zone. The frame can be sized and moved to any position.

OSD Setup has the usual language, position, timeout, and position controls. We like the default setting, although removing transparency makes the menu easier to see. You'll also find a break reminder, which lets you know when you’ve been working for more than an hour.

The final menu, Extra, has an input selector, off timer (up to 24 hours), wide or 4:3 aspect options, DDC/CI, and a factory reset. You can also view input signal information.

Calibration

We measured both the default Standard mode and the sRGB color temp and determined that both had room for improvement. Since you can’t adjust the latter, we returned to Standard and selected the User color temp option. The RGB sliders start at center-range, which means we could dial in grayscale with no reduction in contrast. The controls are very precise. We also felt Gamma 1 was too dark in tone, so we changed the preset to Gamma 2. Tests showed it tracked 2.2 almost perfectly and improved color saturation and luminance to near-professional levels of accuracy. There is a lot of potential here, and if you don’t calibrate, we suggest trying the settings below.

AOC Q2781PQ Calibration Settings
Picture ModeStandard
Brightness 200cd/m252
Brightness 120cd/m212
Brightness 100cd/m23
Contrast50
Gamma2
Color Temp UserRed 50, Green 46, Blue 45

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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.