I stopped using a desktop computer a few years ago and went all-in with laptops and tablets. Still, there are times when a large desktop with a plentiful screen is better suited to productivity. Thanks to my 2016 MacBook Pro and the AOC Q2781PQ 27″ Quad HD Ultra Slim Frameless IPS Monitor I have just that. I’m a happy geek.
The AOC Q2781PQ is simply gorgeous. It is large. It is frameless. It has a cool base. Most importantly, however, it is packed with features that make using it a pleasure. That’s even the case during long cupping sessions thanks to its display technology. Amazingly, this huge display is under $350 at Amazon.
AOC describes the display this way:
AOC’s Q2781PQ is an ultra slim 27-inch display, with an IPS panel that allows for consistent image quality and color accuracy at extreme viewing angles. This display has Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution with Mega Dynamic Contrast Ratio. Don’t worry about connectivity, as the Q2781PQ boasts an array of connections you need for all your entertainment needs.
Packed into this beauty is a 27” display with 2560 x 1440 Quad HD Resolution. That’s not 4K but it certainly is more than good enough for the computing I am doing. It looks great and is exceptionally sharp. It is designed with a 4-Sided Frameless Design that only has a narrow border around the edge. That means it looks good and, when using it, you see what is on the screen rather than a huge, distracting bezel. It is striking to think back just a few years when I was excited to get a 19” CRT monitor. We’ve come a long way baby!! The IPS Panel offers exceptionally wide-viewing angles and a level of color uniformity that is all but lost on this writer who suffers from a high degree of color deficiency. (That’s color-blind for people who see color but not well.) It offers a flicker-free technology that is said to reduce eye fatigue. And while I don’t really notice the flicker-free aspect of this I do notice that I am feeling a lot less eye strain with the monitor compared to the one it replaced. Finally, it offers enough, but not too much, by way of connectivity via the VGA, dual HDMI, and Display Port built into the rear of the monitor.
In keeping with the sleek design of the AOC Q2781PQ, the controls are a series of buttons hidden on the underside of the bottom frame. There are small, subtle icons on the front of the lower bezel but they are hard to see. That made getting the monitor set up a bit of a challenge. The good news here is that, once you have set it up the way you want it, the only button you have to worry about is the power button.
The monitor has a sharp black, and silver design and the base is an unusual design that looks great. It ships with the 27” monitor, power adapter, a power cord, an HDMI cable, a DP cable and a Quick Start Guide.
Let’s dig into what AOC has to say about the display’s key features and then talk about my setup and experience using it.
4-Sided Frameless Design: Break away from the shackles of bezels with AOC’s frameless monitors. The Q2781PQ has only 2mm of casing around a stunning IPS screen, creating not only an elegant feel but allowing multi-monitor setups to look outstanding with a near seamless transition. Beauty, form, and function. Isn’t it time you broke free from your bezels?
The frameless design looks great and has a strikingly modern aesthetic that I appreciate. Bezels aren’t the worst thing in the world but having them reduced significantly does create a better appearance and cuts down on distraction when you look up at the screen.
IPS for Wide Viewing Angles: In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel gives 178/178 degree viewing angle while maintaining consistent image quality and colors from all viewing positions. IPS panel has true 8-bit color depth that results in incredible color accuracy. The screen itself has a matte anti-glare coating that won’t leave fingerprints or smudges. IPS is perfect for graphic designing, video editing, photo retouching, amongst others. You can also view your spreadsheets or weekend movies from virtually any angle without compromising color uniformity.
I’m amazed at how sharp the screen remains when you look at it from an angle. That noted… I don’t care about this much since I tend to work alone and am always positioned directly in front of the screen. Still, for those who work collaboratively, I can see how this would be a great feature.
Flicker-Free for Reduced Eye Fatigue: The normal LED-backlit monitors adjust brightness using PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). This causes flicker although human eyes can’t see it easily, it still causes discomfort over long periods of time. Flicker-free technology is using DC (Direct Current) backlight system to provide more comfortable and healthy viewing.
As noted previously, the screen is big and sharp and, I suspect thanks to the flicker-free technology AOC baked into it, I find myself feeling much less eyestrain after long sessions sitting in front of it.
Array of Connectivity: AOC’s Q2781PQ comes with an array of connectivity, with VGA, Display Port, and 2 HDMI ports. An HDMI connection gives you that high-quality video and audio, perfect for watching videos or viewing highly-detailed images. Display Port gives you the same high-quality definition and the capability to output to multiple displays for compatible notebooks and desktops.
I opted to use an HDMI cable to connect the display to my computer. It is the only connection I can see needing, but I like the fact that AOC realizes that different people connect to their laptop in various ways. The inclusion of a VGA port was initially surprising to me, but I do recognize that this legacy technology is still fairly ubiquitous.
Quad High Definition on Widescreen: With AOC’s Q2781PQ, you can enjoy Quad HD at an astounding 2560 x 1440 resolution. With Quad HD, you get four times the resolution of 720p HD; essentially you can fit four 720p HD videos on the screen at the same time. A Quad HD on a 27-inch widescreen allows you to view greater detail with more spacing, in crisp and vivid visuals. Whether editing photos, videos, or watching movies, Q2781PQ gives you clarity with quality on a widescreen.
Since Raina works from home most of the time, her office is upstairs across the hall form our bedroom. She uses a Dell laptop she was provided by her employer and has a dock that connects it to a dual-screen setup. She swears by the dual-screen approach and would not do anything else. I, on the other hand, never really got used to the dual screen approach. That’s why I appreciate having a display as large and sharp as this one. It gives me more than enough screen-estate and, thanks to its Quad HD; everything looks sharp. Sure, a 4K display would be even better, but I don’t feel like this display is a compromise.
- Viewable Screen Size: 27″ Panel Type IPS Panel
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Brightness: 350 cd/m2 (typ)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Contrast Ratio (dcr): 50,000,000:1 (dynamic)
- Response Time: 5ms (OD)
- Max Resolution: 2560 x 1440 @60Hz
- Color Depth: 16.7M colors
- Adjustability: Tilt: -2°±1.5° ~ 16°±1.5°
- Inputs: VGA, Display Port, and 2 HDMI ports
- Audio: Earphone-out
- Weight: 11.53lbs
- Monitor Size (WxHxD): 24.21 x 17.8 x 7.76
My setup is working quite well for me. I have the monitor on top of an Ergotron sit/stand desktop so it resides a few inches higher than it would be I simply placing it directly on the desk. I have an HDMI cable plugged into the back of the monitor for carrying both videos and, were I needing to, audio. (I don’t run audio through it since I have the AudioEngine HD3 desktop speakers I reviewed next to it and I feed audio to them via Bluetooth.)
The HDMI cable runs from the monitor to a Hyper-Drive Thunderbolt 3 USB-C Hub for MacBook Pro that is plugged into the dual USB-C ports on my 13” 2016 MacBook Pro without TouchBar. (Judie backed this product on Kickstarter and was not using it. Thanks for sending it to me, Judie!) The MacBook’s power supply is also plugged into the Hyper-Drive Hub since the MacBook will not work in clamshell mode unless it is connected to a power source. An Apple keyboard is plugged into the Hub as well, and an Apple Magic Trackpad is connected to the laptop via Bluetooth.
When the MacBook is in clamshell mode, it is tucked safely away in a Just Mobile laptop base that holds it in an upright position. The key to all of this is, of course, the AOC Q2781PQ 27″ Quad HD Ultra Slim Frameless IPS Monitor. I realize that is a lot of “stuff, adjustment .” but it all comes together to effectively give me a desktop computer without compromise.
I am quite pleased with this monitor. I like the looks, I like the quality of the display and I like the ease of setting it up. If I had to find any fault with this product it would be two things that are rather minor. First, placing the controls on the bottom of the display keeps the clean lines but makes adjusting it a bit more difficult than it has to be. Still, as I noted previously, after I initially set it up I have not found myself needing to fuss with the adjustment controls very often.
Second, the base of the display has an unusual and visibly appealing hook-shape. And while it allows the display angle to be adjusted for the best and most comfortable viewing experience, it lacks adjustment. For me, this is not a problem, especially since I keep the display on an Ergotron sit/stand base that I reviewed some time ago but I can see it being a criticism other right have.m
At just $349 on Amazon, the AOC Q2781PQ 27″ Quad HD Ultra Slim Frameless IPS Monitor deserves a serious look. Check it out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Large, bright, clear screen; Just enough connectivity options available; Thin bezel that lets the screen stand out in all its glory; Looks great!; Technology baked into it makes for a superb user-experience when sitting on the computer for hours at a time
What Needs Improvement: Controls are difficult to find and manipulate; No height adjustment