Brightness And Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
We reviewed several 28-inch Ultra HD monitors when the format was first introduced but there have been fewer samples to test of late. Including gaming screens, there is also the challenge since there are only a handful of products available. All the comparison displays employ FreeSync except the Monoprice UHD Matte. We have the excellent ViewSonic XG2700-4K, Acer's XR341CK and XB280HK. Also in the curved ultra-wide category is LG's 34UC98.
There aren't too many instances where you'd need more than 300cd/m2 brightness but the U2879VF comes close to that mark and results in a fourth-place finish. The most light comes from the XG2700-4K but even 333.4894cd/m2 is below many other monitors.
We consider .3091cd/m2 to be on the high side but the other two 28-inch TN screens fare worse. If you're looking for deep blacks, none of these monitors can really fill the bill.
The same ViewSonic and Acer screens take top honors for contrast with numbers over 1100:1. We haven't seen a 28-inch UHD monitor yet that really competes strongly in this metric. Still, 881.9:1 is a reasonably wide dynamic range. For gamers seeking the best possible image depth however, we recommend checking out a VA panel.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
36.0443cd/m2 is a bit dim to be useful but 50cd/m2 can be had by setting brightness to 7.
A low minimum white level doesn't necessarily result in a stellar black threshold. And .0419cd/m2 won't set any records.
The minimum contrast level, while not earth-shattering, is at least properly consistent. Any backlight setting will render the highest possible image depth. While we'd like to see better contrast performance from a gaming monitor, the U2879VF is in-step with its competition.
After Calibration To 200cd/m2
The uniformity compensation has almost no effect on peak white level, which is a good thing. While we don't see a lot of value in this feature, we're glad that AOC has kept the alteration to a minimum so as to have the least possible impact on contrast.
The main difference seems to be in calibrated black level, which rises a bit when uni-comp is turned on. As you'll see on page seven however, there isn't much need for compensation with our particular sample, which measured extremely well without help.
A 16-percent drop in calibrated contrast is pretty minimal and the smallest we've ever recorded for any monitor's uniformity compensation feature. Assuming that AOC has adjusted each individual sample, this means that you won't pay a penalty for using it. Of course if a panel has good uniformity already, it's better to avoid the feature. We're also happy to see no real change in contrast after calibration.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
ANSI contrast stays very consistent with or without uni-comp. While this is not an expensive panel part, it certainly doesn't cut corners on quality control. Even though there are gaming monitors with higher contrast, the U2879VF is showing us some of the best performance we've seen in the 28-inch TN/UHD category.