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

Physical Layout, Packaging, And Accessories

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.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • Simos Kozanidis
    Does it tilt?
    Having 2 in chain of those, tilted on the side, would be very nice for productivity apps, like coding, etc.
  • eddieroolz
    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.
  • cobra5000
    If only it was 21:10.
  • giovanni86
    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 :)
  • christop
    I would like to try gaming with 3.
  • ubercake
    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.
  • vertexx
    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.

  • cknobman
    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!
  • major-error
    11424113 said:
    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:
    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...
  • nekromobo
    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.