AOC markets the U3277PWQU as a professional monitor, and given its certified sRGB calibration and excellent results in our DCI-P3 color tests, we agree with that label. It’s unfortunate that there is no mention of extended color anywhere in that material. After spending time with the display, and taking copious measurements, we’ve concluded that this product may just be a hidden gem.
With Ultra HD becoming the new standard in consumer video displays, it’s only logical for computer monitors to follow suit. For years, the term professional meant an Adobe RGB gamut at minimum, with optional features like 10 or 12-bit color, uniformity compensation, and a factory-certified calibration. Nowadays, that data sheet is a must. Though AOC has only chosen to test the U3277PWQU’s sRGB image mode, we can definitively say that it provides equally high accuracy in the DCI-P3 color gamut and adds some calibration flexibility in the process.
That brings us to our chief complaint about this otherwise excellent display. In Standard mode, you can tweak the grayscale to your heart’s content and choose between three gamma presets. And output is fully adjustable over a wide range. But if you need sRGB/Rec.709, you must accept a fixed 245cd/m2 output level with a 2.4 power function gamma curve. While it meets those numbers properly, there is no adjustment capability. Some users may require a 2.2 gamma or a different white balance point. The only way to achieve that is in the DCI-P3 gamut.
Thanks to digital cinema and Ultra HD Blu-ray, larger color gamuts are slowly and steadily taking their place in the landscape. Progress in this area is glacially slow, but new display technologies and standards are accelerating the process. HD brought us Rec.709, which was a slight expansion of the Rec.601 gamut that existed for decades during the era of CRT monitors. While the eventual goal is Rec.2020 and its huge range of colors, DCI-P3 makes a significant visual difference in presentation when done properly.
We’re glad to see AOC making strides in this direction. The U3277PWQU easily earns the title “professional” and does so at a very attractive price. Three years ago, a 32” Ultra HD screen cost $3000. To get this level of performance for $500 today is extraordinary. For its color accuracy, high contrast, build quality, and superlative value, we’re giving it our Tom’s Hardware Editor Recommended Award.
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