What’s the best monitor for photo editing? Read our AOC Q3279VWF Review.
I want to upgrade my partner’s PC monitor for Christmas. She’s into photography and currently has a BenQ G2420HD. What would you suggest?
Your priority will be a screen that covers the full sRGB colour gamut, give or take a few per cent, with a low Delta E, indicating high accuracy.
AOC’s Q3279VWFD8 has a higher 2560×1440 resolution at a huge 31.5in. Although it doesn’t quite cover sRGB, a very low Delta E of 1.29 means accuracy is perfect except at the edges of its range. The 27in ViewSonic VX2776-SMHD has standard 1920×1080 resolution but excellent colour. It also looks pretty, as does the Philips 246E7QDSW, which is no bigger than the G2420HD but covers sRGB with perfect accuracy.
A good spec for an all-round PC monitor is a 27in screen with 2560×1440 pixels, and you’d expect it to cost anywhere from 200 to 300 quid. The AOC Q3279VWF is right at the bottom of that price bracket, but instead of 27in it’s 31.5in. How big a difference is that?
Well, it gives you more than a third extra space. The resolution is the same, so you’ll see the same Windows desktop, just bigger. Compared with cheaper Full HD screens, however, there are over 75 per cent more dots. In short, it not only shows you a lot of detail, but also doesn’t rely on you having the eyesight of a watchmaker to appreciate it.
We’d be happy using this for photo or video editing
At this point you’d expect us to admit they’ve compromised on quality. But nope. The screen supports a good refresh rate of 75Hz for flicker-free viewing, and has AMD FreeSync to ensure games run super-smoothly on the company’s recent graphics cards. The LCD panel uses a technology called MVA (multi-domain vertical alignment), which, like IPS, offers wider viewing angles than TN, as used in cheaper models and those designed for ultra-fast gaming response. It’s considered slightly inferior to IPS, partly because response times tend to be even slower – but we found gaming was fine, with surprisingly low input lag too.
A benefit of MVA is that contrast can be higher, and indeed it is on this monitor. The 4,276:1 ratio is the kind you might see in an advert and take with a pinch of salt, but it’s the actual reading we got
AOC Q3279VWF SPECIFICATIONS
- 31.5in MVA LCD
- 2560×1440-pixel resolution
- HDMI 1.4 port
- DVI port
- VGA port
- 660x469x180mm (HxWxD)
- Three-year warranty
from the Q3279VWF. That’s partly thanks to some contrast trickery, but black pixels really are very close to completely black. Brightness isn’t so great, but a matt finish avoids distracting reflections, and you should be OK as long as your room isn’t too bright.
Out of the box, the blue level was excessive, but switching to the sRGB mode fixed that, albeit reducing brightness further. It covered only 90.2 per cent of the sRGB color range, but accuracy was good within that. All things considered, we’d be happy using this screen for photo or video editing.
The stand is basic, with some tilt adjustment but no choice of height. Still, the silver pedestal and plain black case look quite acceptable on a desk. There are no speakers or USB hub, but you get a full set of HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort and VGA inputs, and a headphone jack.
AOC Q3279VWF VERDICT
It's not perfect, but this is a lot of monitor for your money and does justice to a full range of everyday PC tasks - as long as you have room for it
- Value for money
- Incredible contrast ratio
- Excellent build quality
- Restricted stand adjustments and no VESA support
- Blue tint across screen
- Limited max brightness
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AOC Q3279VWF ALTERNATIVE
This 27in 2560×1440 60Hz TN screen is very good, with better color accuracy, but input lag is too high for comfort in games