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AOC U2790PQU review: A budget monitor with high-end features

Tim Danton
12 Jan 2022
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
331
inc VAT

When you’re buying a 27in 4K monitor for under £350, it’s hard to complain about flaws

Pros 
Sturdy yet flexible stand
Decent enough panel
Competitively priced
Cons 
Sluggish interface
Weak contrast ratio
Unimpressive speakers
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If you’re looking for a 4K 27in IPS screen, and have a budget of around £300, it’s pretty easy to recommend this AOC. For a start, it packs in a number of valuable features that similarly priced competitors choose to jettison. Where others have chosen a fixed stand, this AOC includes a surprisingly flexible offering: the three key benefits are 130mm of height adjustment, 90° of swivel and portrait mode.

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It also feels fairly solid, with enough heft to stay (mostly) still when you prod at the joystick on its rear. As soon as the OSD interface springs into life, though, it’s clear that you aren’t dealing with a premium model. For a start, “spring” is too sprightly a word – “heaves” is better. This low-quality impression is further enhanced by the lightweight action of the joystick, which is all too easy to push in the wrong direction.

Nevertheless, you’ll be rewarded with a better image than the default if you head into the Color Setup menu and choose sRGB from the Colour Temperature options. This locks the brightness to 297cd/m² from its peak of 465cd/m², but that sacrifice is worth making because it generates accurate colours: it covers 95.6% of the sRGB gamut (with 97.3% volume) while returning an excellent 0.45 average Delta E. What you won’t get is punch, because a 869:1 contrast ratio is this panel’s biggest weakness.

It also has a limited range in terms of colour reproduction. While tweaking colours via the User setting meant it could cover around 77% of the DCI-P3 gamut, this will never be a monitor that will unleash the power of photos or films. For the record, there are speakers, but they fall into the “only for video calls” category.

Still, we don’t want to be too hard on the AOC U2790PQU. It was built to a budget yet both looks and feels classier than the price would suggest. For day-to-day duties, its panel is fine, and nor should we forget that AOC packs 3,840 x 2,160 pixels into its 27in frame.

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