After all the benchmarks and hands-on tests are done, we find that the AOC U2879VF achieves all its design goals. While FreeSync may push it into the gaming category, it isn't a sharply focused product like the Acer XB280HK. The operating range is too small and input lag is too great.
AOC calls it a professional monitor and includes a factory-certified calibration with supporting data sheet to that effect. But we wouldn't place it high in that category either. In terms of accuracy it does extremely well in our tests provided one chooses the sRGB mode in the color temp menu. It can be calibrated manually but that won't unlock its full potential. The only drawback of that preset is its fixed output level. That didn't bother us too much though, being that it's only 28cd/m2 brighter than our preferred 200cd/m2.
Contrast is roughly equal to the other 28-inch TN Ultra HD displays we've tested. This makes sense since AOC is using the same Innolux panel seen in every other monitor of this format. This particular example seems to have slightly better viewing angles than the competition but otherwise, image quality is pretty much the same. The sRGB mode gives it a decent advantage in color accuracy though.
For general use with some requirement of color accuracy and casual gaming, the U2879VF is a solid choice. Like all AOC products, it represents excellent value. In fact, among all Ultra HD displays, it's one of the least-expensive. Considering that it has FreeSync, uniformity compensation and extra-accurate color, it's probably one of the best values going right now. And don't forget that HDMI 2.0 input—not many screens are shipping with that version at this writing.
About the only things we could wish for is a stand with more adjustments, a larger FreeSync range and better input lag. But these are minor flaws when you're paying less than $450 for an Ultra HD screen. It isn't stellar in any one area but it checks nearly every major box with credible performance. And it comes packaged in a chassis of good build quality.
For decent all-around performance, thoughtful design, excellent out-of-box color accuracy and the addition of FreeSync, we're giving the AOC U2879VF our Tom's Editor Approved Award.