AOC U2868PQU; An In-Depth Review

Displays running at 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution have typically been very expensive in the last couple of years. 2014 however, has introduced a number of more affordable options where Ultra-HD or 4K, become more available to the masses, as more and more manufacturers release their own versions with less than $750 USD. The AOC joins this growing market with their AOC U2868PQU, a reasonably priced 28-inch Ultra HD monitor. It’s made up of TN-based (Twisted Nematic) panel, which allows the screen to display highly detail 4K images with solid grayscale performance. But really makes this device tick? What sets it apart from its competition against Acer, Dell, Lenovo, Philips and Samsung? Check out this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide.

(image from Amazon)

Who is it for?

If you’re looking for a professional quality monitor for image editing and display, with exceptional color accuracy and can support CAD/CAM or other graphic design tasks, then the AOC U2868PQU is the one for you. It’s also a great treat for gamers and movie lovers, as this AOC monitor is fully capable of running big titles, with its impressive 1ms (gray-to-gray) screen response time.



(image from Amazon)

The AOC U2868PQU is an expansive display working at Ultra High Definition. It is fully equipped to display 4K Ultra HD quality, and has great stunning details in its 3840 x 2160 resolution, which is equivalent to four Full HD displays. Combine that with 10-bit Deep Color, this monitor can ensure more realistic hues with a lot smoother gradients without any lags or stutter.


Good Color Accuracy and Competitive Grayscale Performance for Vivid Colors and Stunning Visuals

The AOC U2868PQU is able to display colors more accurately. As a matter of fact, it has almost identical chromaticity result as more expensive high-end models such a Lenovo ThinkVision Pro2840m and Philips Brilliance 4K Ultra HD Display 288P6LJEB. Chromaticity test shows colors red and blue are relatively close to their ideal CIE coordinates, while green is a little slightly off the point. And like other mention displays, and most displays in the market today, the skewed green doesn’t really affect the saturation and tinting of the display.

In terms of grayscale performance, this AOC display performs well, as it is able to display each and every shade of gray. The DisplayMate 64-Step Gray-Scale test shows dark and light grays are on point, which is quite rare for a TN-based panel that it is. Though it is not on par with high-end IPS (In-Plane Switching) monitors like NEC PA322UHD, still provides good highlight details and shadow performance.


Great 4K Imaging Quality, Details Remain Sharp and Colors Are Rich and Well-Balanced

(image from Amazon)

AOC U2868PQU’s Ultra-High Definition quality makes 4K images look sharper and colors richer and more well-balanced. The level of details in images and in scenes in Ultra HD movies is absolutely stunning. While Ultra HD resolution is better suited for huge TV screen, there are visible differences between things displayed in Ultra HD monitor. However, it is important to remember that there is a halfway solution between Ultra HD and Full HD screens, which is 2560 x 1440 resolution, which is the sweet spot between the two.

For desktop use however, the 28-inch screen can be more than enough, even in opening and using multiple software and windows. Multitasking is a lot easier in 28-inch displays. Users looking for more screen space can opt for dual monitor or even triple monitor setup.

While Mac and Ubuntu Linux can now handle high-resolution displays quite well. Windows, even Windows 8.1 with improved scaling, struggles in handling higher resolution in third-party applications. This means you Google Chrome and others, may not look quite right in an Ultra HD monitor.  This is something you need to take into account before purchasing Ultra HD displays.


Screen + Software for Easier Viewing

(image from Amazon)

This monitor comes bundled with Screen + Software application, which splits the PC worksurface into four (4) self-contained panes for easier and convenient split screen function for viewing. This application also supports multiple monitors.


Decent Viewing Angle

Viewing angle is quite decent, but this may be the weakest link in this monitor’s functions. There seems to be a noticeable color shifting at about 55° from the middle of the screen to the sides. There’s also a considerable loss of luminance at 50° from the bottom. However, we can expect this from TN-based panels running at UHD quality though.  


Excellent 1ms Pixel Response for Hardcore Gaming and Watching Action-Packed Movies

(image from Amazon)

One of the best things about AOC U2868PQU is its excellent pixel response performance. This AOC display runs at 1-ms (gray-to-gray) pixel response, which is in line with the fastest pixel response in the market today. This allows users to enjoy big title games such as Aliens vs. Predators and Crysis 3 with ghost-free action. Of course, you may have to get a powerful graphics card, such as Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti to run your games at 3840 x 2160 resolution and use the DisplayPort input for its 60Hz Refresh Rate to run your games smoothly; otherwise, you may have to deal with choppy gameplay, as HDMI input is only limited to 30Hz in its UHD mode.


Power Consumption

The AOC U2868PQU is an expansive display with excellent performance, which is why it’s understandable if it consumes a lot of power in its operation. This display consumes 57 watts at Standard mode, which is identical with Philips 288P6LJEB and a little higher than its competition, namely the Acer B286HK (which runs at 43 watts at Standard mode) and the Asus PB287Q (40 watts Standard mode). And unfortunately, it doesn’t come with Power-Saving modes.


VESA Mountable Design

(image from Amazon)

The back side of the cabinet has four VESA mounting holes, giving you the flexibility to hang the monitor on the wall using a wall mount or use various aftermarket ergonomic solutions such as LCD stand, LCD arm, desk mount, etc. Or even place the display alongside with another monitor or a laptop, and make a dual monitor or triple monitor setup.


Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Mounting Options

4K 28-inch displays need a reliable monitor stand to hold the widescreen securely on its place. Thankfully, AOC equipped this 4K monitor with a solid and highly adjustable stand. However, for users who are looking for optimum ergonomics, you can take the stand out and make use of its VESA mounting holes.

(image from Amazon)

Surely there are tons of aftermarket monitor stands and LCD arms out there that offers great adjustability. However, there are not a lot of options for dual monitor setup for monitors of its size. If you’re looking to put the two AOC U2868PQU side-by-side, or use it with alongside with a different monitor of around the same size, then you can opt for the Deluxe Dual Monitor Stand. The is a cheap, yet efficient dual monitor stand for 28-inch displays like this. It’s made up of high quality materials, and it’s robust enough to withstand the rigors of daily office use. Plus, it is fully adjustable, giving you a practical solution for dual monitor setup with your display. The small footprint of the V-shaped base keeps the two monitors stable. It’s a perfect choice for office settings.

(image from Amazon)

If you are looking to adjust monitors independently, then your best bet is the Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm. It is by far, the best dual monitor arm solution out there. It's is made up of high grade solid polished aluminum construction and comes equipped with the brand's very own Constant Force (CF) technology, which ensures stable and secured support for the two mounted monitors, yet still allow easy, smooth and convenient adjustment for optimum ergonomics.


Design and Features

(image from Amazon)

The AOC U2868PQU works at 3849 x 2160 resolution, which screen is housed in a matte-black cabinet that is 2 inches thick and 17 lbs. heavy. The top and side bezels measures 0.75 inches thin, while the bottom measures 1.25 inches thick. This is because the bottom bezel holds a Power Switch, with four touch-sensitive buttons that are clearly labeled.


Buttons and Controls


The touch-sensitive buttons provide quick and easy navigation to the monitor’s on-screen menu and adjustment settings. This AOC monitor offers basic picture setting adjustments, such as Brightness, Contrast, Dynamic Contrast, and Gamma. It also has five (5) Color Temperature settings (Warm, Cool, Normal, sRGB, and User Defined). And six (6) Picture Preset modes, including Standard, Text, Game, Movie, Internet and Sports, as well as 6-Axis Saturation and 6-Axis Hue adjustments. And like in other AOC monitors such as AOC G2460PQU, this display also has a Dynamic Color Boost (DCB) setting, which improves blue and green colors, as well as improved skin tons. However, you might want to leave this option disabled, as the setting for this is already set nicely, and enabling it will only oversaturate colors.


Secured and Highly Adjustable Stand

The large monitor is supported by solid stand that consist a round base and a sliding hinge, which allows versatile adjustment options. This lets users adjust the monitor’s positioning; it has 5 inches height adjustment, tilts up to 26°, pivot 90° to switch between landscape to portrait and vice-versa. The bottom of the base includes a Lazy-Susan-style mechanism, which allows the display to swivel up to 300°.


Generous Set of Connectivity Options

(image from Amazon)

AOC is known for being generous on its connectivity options. And the AOC U2868PQU is no different. The rear side of the cabinet of this display houses the generous side of video connections, which includes an HDMI port, a DVI port, a VGA port and a DisplayPort. The HDMI ports can double as MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) which allows users to connect their compatible mobile devices to the monitor and transfer data and charge their device simultaneously. There’s also an audio input and headphone jack, as well a USB hub, which includes one upstream USB 3.0 port, two (2) regular USB 2.0 ports and two (2) USB 2.o ports.


Tech Specs

Package includes the HDMI, DVI, VGA and DisplayPort cables, as well as USB cables. It also contains a User Manual and resource CD.


Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced 28-inch monitor in a Ultra-High Definition, then you have more than a couple of good choices out there, and you can put AOC U2868PQU in your top list. This AOC monitor the first viable Ultra HD monitor in the market under $700 USD, and it is packed with features and tons and professionally designed to work in excellent performance with great workstation functions. It comes with a wide array of I/O ports and USB ports, while its fully adjustable stand can provide great ergonomic convenience for any workstation.

In terms of 4K performance, the AOC U2868PQU is simply outstanding. It delivers bold and rich colors, with good gray-scale performance.

If there’s anything this display can improve, it would be its narrow viewing angles and skewed greens. These issues however, are common among TN-based UHD monitors, which make not really a big of a flaw.

For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!

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