Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

AOC Q3279VWF review: The bargain 1440p monitor now superseded by the Q3279VWFD8

Christopher Minasians
5 Oct 2018
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
200
inc VAT

With an MVA panel, a 75Hz refresh rate at 1440p and a 31.5in display for only £200, this monitor is incredibly good value for money

Pros 
Value for money
Incredible contrast ratio
Excellent build quality
Cons 
Restricted stand adjustments and no VESA support
Limited max brightness
Advertisement

Update: The Q3279VWF is barely a year old, but the popular monitor is already being phased out for a newer monitor, the Q3279VWFD8. Its successor is virtually identical on the outside – it shares the same design, size and even the vast majority of specs are identical. It differs in only one way: instead of having a VA panel, it uses an IPS panel, instead.

The difference? It has far less inverse ghosting and has a much more colour-accurate display. This makes it a better pick for most users, especially as its priced at £200, too. The only catch is the contrast ratio – due to the new monitor having an IPS panel, it can't achieve the ridiculous VA-levels. So, if you love the deepest blacks and the whitest whites, VA technology is the way to go.

Read on for my original review of the AOC Q3279VWF below – I've updated the review to reflect the new monitor, too.

AOC Q3279VWF & Q3279VWFD8 review: Everything you need to know

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 doesn't cost much, 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 and it stretches that across a huge 31.5in MVA panel.

If that wasn’t enough, the panel runs natively at 75Hz and comes with AMD FreeSync, which provides tear-free gaming for those with compatible AMD graphics cards. It’s got everything you need, in other words.

READ NEXT: Best gaming monitors

AOC Q3279VWF & Q3279VWFD8 review: Price and competition

The AOC Q3279VWF (and its successor, the Q3279VWFD8) cost around £200; this makes it the best value MVA/IPS 1440p monitor of any size I’ve come across, let alone one this big. Its closest competitor is the Acer EB321HQUA, which is £290 and has the same core specs. If you want a smaller, 27in display instead, there’s the BenQ GW2765HT at £285 and the ViewSonic VX2778-SMHD at £350.

If we switch the MVA panel for a less colour accurate TN panel, the prices come down a little but still not as low as the Q3279VWF. Here, you have the AOC Q2778VQE at £209 and the Asus PB277Q at £280.

READ NEXT: Best monitors of 2017 - the best monitors you can currently buy

AOC Q3279VWF & Q3279VWFD8 review: 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. The AOC’s glossy low-profile bezels and brushed silver aluminium stand look pretty slick, though.

AOC has made some compromises to come at that budget, 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, so at least there’s that.

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 OSD, 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.

The AOC Q3279VWF features AMD FreeSync technology in the 48-75Hz range over HDMI and DisplayPort, which results in tear-free gaming with compatible AMD graphics cards. If you have a Nvidia graphics card, you’ll have to settle with V-Sync, but that’ll add unwanted input lag.

READ NEXT: Acer XF270HUA review

AOC Q3279VWF & Q3279VWFD8 review: Image quality and gaming performance

The Q3279VWF has a 31.5in MVA panel with a matte coating, while the newer and Q3279VWFD8 has a matte-coated IPS panel, instead. They run natively at 2,560 x 1,440 with refresh rate of 75Hz and, thankfully, they don't suffer from any frame-skipping.

When I first switched the Q3279VWF on, the whole screen had a blue tint, while the newer Q3279VWFD8 is near-perfect out-the-box. Setting the Q3279VWF to sRGB mode and things improved. In this mode, the blue colour adjustment dropped 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 the i1 DisplayPro calibrator, the Q3279VWF 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 could be a problem if your room is bright, but it’s plenty enough for a late night gaming session. By comparison, the newer Q3279VWFD8 covers 91.2%, locks to around 250cd/m² in sRGB mode and goes up to 279cd/m² in other modes.

Colour accuracy on the Q3279VWF 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. The Q3279VWFD8, on the other hand, is close to flawless – it achieves an average Delta E of 1.29 and can be used for serious photo editing.

The Q3279VWF's MVA panel has an astonishing contrast ratio of 4,276:1, and this leads to incredibly vibrant onscreen images, although I suspect AOC dynamically adjusts the contrast. Due to technology limitations, the IPS panel of the Q3279VWFD8 is only able to achieve 1,260:1 – it's still impressive, but less vibrant than its MVA sibling.

At 90% brightness (the max brightness achievable in sRGB mode), the Q3279VWF also achieves the lowest black luminance I’ve seen in a consumer-grade monitor. 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. That's something the newer, IPS, Q3279VWFD8 can't achieve either; though at 0.185cd/m² it's still impressive.

As for gaming, its 75Hz refresh rate is a step above the 60Hz panels you see in most monitors at this sort of price. Coupled with an AMD FreeSync-compatible graphics card this monitor delivers buttery smooth, tear-free gaming.

What’s more, input lag on the Q3279VWF is surprisingly low and response time is incredibly fast, especially with Overdrive set to Medium. There’s a slight amount of overshoot (purple haze), but it’s not hugely unpleasant. This makes the AOC ideal for multiplayer games, including semi-competitive shooters, such as Call of Duty: WWII.

Here, the Q3279VWF is somewhat limited to more casual games, as when Overdrive is set to High it creates a lot of unwanted inverse ghosting – the Q3279VWFD8 one-ups its older sibling by offering a near-perfect experience. With OVerdrive set to high, the IPS panel achieves incredible response times and very little visual impairment. It's definitely the one to pick for competitive games.

READ NEXT: AOC AGON AG271QX review: Great for gaming, but also everything else

AOC Q3279VWF & Q3279VWFD8 review: Verdict

At £200, the AOC Q3279VWF and the Q3279VWFD8 are simply spectacular value for money. It’s perfect for watching movies on, ideal for gamers and excellent for office and creative work alike. If you’re looking for a competent all-purpose monitor and you’re on a budget, the Q3279VWF and the Q3279VWFD8 are both fantastic choices, though, I'd pick the latter for its more impressive colour accuracy and gaming performance.

With a 1440p 75Hz display on a huge 31.5in panel, both AOC monitors tick all the right boxes and rightfully win an Expert Reviews Best Buy award.