Looking for a good-quality 32in monitor on a budget? Here’s one for your shortlist.
Everyone loves a big, high-resolution monitor but they tend to be either pretty poor or pretty expensive. The AOC Q3279VWF turns that trend on its head: it’s a huge monitor that costs a mere $399 – less if you shop around – and it doesn’t come with too many compromises.
You’re certainly getting a lot of screen for your money. The Q3279VWF has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels that stretches across a huge 31.5in display.
If that’s not enough, it offers a 75Hz refresh rate at native resolution, and it’s an MVA (multidomain vertical alignment) panel – which, in terms of colour accuracy and image quality, is big step up from a budget TN (twisted nematic) screen, although not up there with the better IPS (in-pane switching) monitors.
Design, features and build quality
First, you’ll want to make sure the 31.5in (which measures 729.59 x 425.09 x 153.2mm) monitor fits on your desk, because this monitor is big. Really big. AOC has made some compromises to get it down to this price, though.
The stand is only capable of tilting by -2 degrees or +21.5 degrees with no height adjustment and there are no VESA mounts at the back of the monitor, so you’re stuck with the restrictive stand. Still, it doesn’t feel too wobbly, and the AOC’s glossy low-profile bezels and brushed silver aluminium stand look pretty slick.
Elsewhere, it’s pretty standard stuff. For connectivity, you get DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, DVI and VGA inputs, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack output, but there’s no USB hub or headphone stand.
The on-screen display, which is accessed through the buttons found on the bottom right-hand corner, gives you access to a host of different options. You can adjust the Overdrive level, colour settings, and brightness levels, among others.
It also comes with AMD FreeSync, which provides tear-free gaming for those with compatible AMD graphics cards.
Image quality and performance
The Q3279VWF’s 31.5in 75Hz panel has with matte coating and, thankfully, it doesn’t suffer from any frame-skipping.
When we first switched the monitor on, the whole screen had a blue tint. Set the monitor to sRGB mode and things improve. In this mode, the blue colour adjustment drops to 43, while the red and green stay at 50, an odd occurrence for a PC monitor as it’s usually the other way around. Nevertheless, this does have the effect of subduing the blue tint, which makes for a more colour accurate display.
Tested with our i1 DisplayPro calibrator, the AOC covers 90.2% of the sRGB colour space. In sRGB mode you’re also limited to a 202cd/m² max brightness, although in user mode this increases to 232cd/m². This is going to be an issue for bright office environments, and you could find yourself squinting to make out details. If you can keep your workspace dimly-lit though, it should be fine.
Colour accuracy isn’t amazing but it is perfectly respectable for such a low-cost screen. Its average Delta E of 1.93 means you can use it for photo editing, comfortable in the knowledge that the edits you make should look okay to everyone else.
MVA panels are renowned for their high contrast ratio, but we’ve yet to come across one as good as the Q3279VWF. We measured its contrast ratio at an astonishing 4,276:1, and this leads to incredibly vibrant onscreen images, although we suspect AOC dynamically adjusts the contrast.
At 90% brightness (the max brightness achievable in sRGB mode), the panel also achieves the lowest black luminance we’ve seen in a monitor of this bracket. At a measured 0.047cd/m² there’s barely a hint of grey, which is exactly what you want when watching movies with dark scenes.
With a huge 31.5in 1440p 75Hz MVA panel, the Q3279VWF ticks all the right boxes. If you can make do with TN panel, you can find a big-screen monitor for less, but not one as good as this AOC display.
There are some compromises as you’d expect at the price – the stand adjustments are restricted, there’s no VESA support and initial problem of the blue tint. In addition, the maximum brightness is poor, so it might not be suitable if you have a particularly bright office.
However, overall, it’s great for gaming, regular business use and even creative users on a budget. And at this price – we’ve seen it selling for $299 – it’s spectacular value for money. In fact, the AOC Q3279VWF is one of the best-value monitors we’ve come across, let alone one this big.
If you’re looking for a competent all-round big-screen monitor on a budget, it’s a fantastic choice.