The AOC U3477PQU was one of the best monitors of 2015 and 2016 and we finally got our hands on one this year. Does it still hold up in daily use and does it hold a candle to similarly priced monitors on the market now? Let’s take a look.
Let’s start by saying that the AOC U3477PQU is not a curved widescreen, so if that puts you off, you’re better off looking at their other products such as their AG352UCG. For those still with me, the U3477PQU can still deliver the required performance for most people looking for a productivity-first widescreen.
Let’s take a look at what you get with in the box and the connectivity options the monitor delivers.
Specs – U3477PQU
- Monitor Size – 34 Inch
- Screen Format – 21:9
- Brightness – 320 cd/m2 (type)
- Contrast Ratio – 1000:1
- Dynamic Contrast Ratio – 80M:1
- Viewing Angle – 178/178
- Response time – 5 ms
- Maximum Resolution – 3440 x1440@60Hz
- Connections – D-Sub, DVI, HDMI, Display Port
Looking at the unit from the front, the scale of the panel is evident. It’s surrounded by a relatively thin bezel for a panel this size, and a brushed metallic effect on the plastic to the edges. Around back, a plastic bulge houses the IO and power, and also helps to balance out the weight of this monster. Along the bottom are the physical buttons to be used to navigate the OSD and the opposite edge, up top, has nothing at all. The stand has the same brushed metal effect but does feel a little more cheap than the rest of the unit, although it holds up well to desk bumps and positioning of the screen. Finally, the top of the stand is a nice place to put your webcam, which was a nice little find. It might not be by design, but it worked!
Performance & Use – U3477PQU
The U3477PQU has some versatility to it despite its size, and that’s thanks to the stand which allows a huge 180mm of height adjustment with large tilt aspect too allowing -5 to +24 degrees. For most that won’t be utilised to its fullest but to have the level of manipulation on a device this size is excellent and still class leading with 2017 monitors.
There’s enough connectivity options here, but it certainly shows a bit of age in this department. A single set of DVI, HDMI, Display Port, and VGA ports sit aside the audio and microphone jacks. To the side of the unit behind the panel is the pass through for a USB 3.0 hub in the monitor itself which offers two USB 3 ports and two USB 2 ports, however they are far from easy to get to. There’s no easy way of reaching around to plug in your USB stock, or quickly plug in your headphones (although plugging these in from the bottom is easier). We’d like to have seen the USB ports pushed to the very edge of the backside so as to make it a little easier to access.
Whilst more connectivity options would be nice for multiple Display Port inputs for example, for the majority of users this is going to be access enough.
Out of the box, colour reproduction is quite decent with only brightness needing to be played with as it’s set way too high by default. Touching on the brightness however, it’s good to know that if you have a sunny window, the matte finish on the display coupled with the decent brightness means you’re going to still be able to get some work done.
Accessing the controls to fine tune the display and alter options such as Picture-in-Picture is accomplished by using the rather fiddly rounded buttons that sit on the bottom right hand edge of the panel. Each button feels identical and they have a mushy feel to them. The OSD is similarly fiddly with the resolution of the overlay incredibly poor in comparison to the WQHD display it sits atop. Unless you’re going to spend hours tweaking your monitor however you’re likely not to use these too often. Input selection, temperature presets, the aforementioned PIP, gamma, and more are accessible from the menu. Take our word for it; set it up once and then leave it.
Gaming on this unit is acceptable and whilst my machine struggles to play tripla AA titles at max settings, the quality of the response and the colour in game with those settings is great. Those with keener eyes and more access to higher end panels might well shrug a little at the performance of the U3477PQU, however it still holds its own. Productivity is where this unit takes most of the plaudits however. The ability to have three documents on the display at once thanks to the bundles Screen+ software (which doesn’t work for all applications which is a little annoying) is great. Likewise, watching 21:9 content on this device is a dream, where you can find it. Most people shoot in 16:9 or even 4:3 so there are limitations to fully immersive content. Pro tip; watch the Matrix trilogy on this at night – bloody brilliant!
The U3477PQU also has built-in speakers you can use, if you want, but just don’t. It’s nice they are included but you’ll want to use headphones or speakers alongsaide this to get the best out of your experience.
Conclusion – U3477PQU
I’ve enjoyed using the AOC U3477PQU immensely and much more than my last ultrawide outing with the AOC C3583FQ. There’s pretty much only one thing I liked and preferred about the latter over this U3477PQU, and that’s the curve. On a 75cm deep desk, it can feel like the unit is warped due to the fact your eyes can’t quite adjust to the width of the display without a bit of distortion creeping in. Moving back 15cm resolves that, but for me, it’s shown me that a curved ultrawide, with t he quality of the panel that the U3477PQU is where it’s at. However, due to the fact this has a VESA mount, you could (and I will) quite easily mount this on a wall above the desk and angle it accordingly.
This monitor can still hold its own against a lot of newer uiltrawides of a similar price and the fact it’s not changed much in terms of its price point over the last 18 months says everything. Those opting for this unit for casual gaming and productivity work as well as some digital photography work due to the ‘normal’ mode delivering 97% coverage of the sRGB gamut. Those with multiple use cases rather than specific ones will find this a beast to use and won’t be disappointed at all! An excellent monitor and it’s still going strong.