We’ve seen gaming monitors from AOC in the past, and for sure they’ve been impressive. And, to tell you the truth, they do good numbers for us on YouTube. Everyone loves a gaming monitor. And because so many people want to watch content about gaming monitors, it’s very easy to forget that brands like AOC have a whole other branch of monitors they sell, like their brand new U27V4EA, which is a monitor that’s more geared towards your everyday office worker, or even as far as a content creator.
The AOC U27V4EA is basic to look at, though it’ll definitely fit into a modern office environment. The monitor is matte black and has very skinny bezels, so most of the real estate you’re looking at is screen. The bottom border is a little thicker and houses the UI on the bottom right. There are several buttons down there to circulate the menus which is a design I’ve never liked from AOC, but it’s capable. Branding is plain with a nice small AOC logo front and centre, and there’s no flashy RGB getting in the way either. It’s matte black, it’s basic, and it looks great on a desk.
The arm connecting the monitor to its base is slim, and there’s definitely a lack of cable management options, which unfortunately ruins a bit from the clean aesthetic. I mean, even some kind of cable loop just above the arm would have been great. I was so surprised it didn’t come with anything like that, that I went through the box several times in case I had missed it. The monitor also doesn’t offer much in ways of movement, and only tilt functionality is available. No swivel, or twist, just tilt. The rear of the monitor is again, plain matte black but it has got a great big AOC logo across the back. Not that you’ll see it. But it’s a spot that AOC could get away with putting something larger. Not that it’s distasteful it really isn’t. It’s nice. I like it.
As we’re talking about the rear of the screen, when it comes to ports, the monitor is missing something crucial. Sure, it has its two HDMI 2.0s and a single DisplayPort 1.2 and to be honest you’re not going to need more than that as it’s a 60Hz panel anyway but more on that in a moment. The ports that it’s really missing, are USB inputs. I would have loved to have seen a monitor like this has a couple of USBs on the back to connect hard drives or a mouse or keyboard to it. Hell, even a USB Type-C for your Macbook to use as an external display wouldn’t have gone amiss here. But nope, ports like that aren’t there and I think that’s a missed trick, especially for those in offices where desktops might not be easily accessed. There is a headphone out port though, 3.5mm style, so there is that. Power is delivered through a power brick and jack plug style, so you’ve got to find a home for that somewhere too.
Okay, so let’s talk screen, because it’s definitely a highlight here, especially for the price of this monitor. The size we have here is 27-inches, though there is a 32-inch variant if you wanted something a little bigger. It uses IPS technology which is great for colour reproduction wide viewing angles and a WLED backlight. You’ve also got adaptive sync tech which is good news for those of you wanting to pair this with a PS5 or Xbox Series X, or even a PC. It’s hitting 60fps, so you’re getting some nice smooth gaming, not quite as smooth as those PC hitting 144Hz images, but still, it’s definitely better than nothing. For this reason, though, it makes it a decent choice to pair with a current-gen console, like a PS5 or Series X. Sure, these consoles are capable of 120Hz gaming, but when you’re playing the types of 4K ‘beauty modes’ or ‘high-fidelity modes’ that these games offer, chances you’re going to be playing at 60fps or less anyway, so why not go for something like the AOC U27V4EA that still offers 4K gaming? It feels like a no brainer right? For PC gaming, however, due to the fact that modern cards are capable of higher refresh rates at larger resolutions, you’ll probably be best looking for a more capable gaming-specific monitor.
What was disappointing however was the gamuts the panel could stretch to. It’s normal to see these says sRGB hit 100% and actually AOC quote it higher at 112%, though it only covered 81% of the AdobeRGB gamut, 83% of the DCI-P3 gamut and 76% of NTSC which was a shocker. If you’re creating content for Internet use though, with the AOC U74V4EA you’re going to be fine. The max brightness of this monitor produced a contrast ratio of 880:1 which was its highest performer. At 75% brightness, we saw it drop to 850:1 and plummet thereafter. Take note, I was also using the Gamma 1 preset on the monitor too. I wanted to test the screen as much as possible with the default setup, not to sway results from my Datacolor SpyderX.
Colour uniformity wasn’t bad, though at 100% brightness there was a definite hotspot in the bottom right-hand side of the panel. Moving down brightness though didn’t sort it, and it actually made the right-hand side and top right-hand side worse when measuring with the SpyderX. Luminance uniformity though was a bit of a disappointment, with dark areas appearing in the top right-hand side from quadrant two, four and six. Was this something that affected my everyday use though? No, it wasn’t at all. I’m just presenting my findings, however unscientific they are.
As usual with AOC, their colour accuracy is pretty decent which I’m always happy to see, seeing as I make YouTube videos and create social media content for a living. Its average Delta-E came in at 0.96 which was impressive.
The OSD on the AOC U27V4EA as usual with AOC is a little problematic. I’ve never liked the way they lay out their menu systems, and it’s high time AOC made a change to the way you interface with the menu. At the bottom right there are four buttons that includes power, and you use this to navigate the menu. Some monitor brands have this down to a tee by using a joystick-style interface, but here, it feels a little dated. Inside the menu, you can find settings for your brightness, contrast as well as some gaming-specific options, like presets for certain games, or an overdrive setting which I kept on Weak. The UFO ghosting test to the eye produced some very little ghosting which means games will look nice and smooth, though the spaceship against darker colours fared worse. Playing story focussed games, like Resident Evil 8 which I’ve just finished, a fantastic game, by the way, was an absolute delight to play and looked super sharp and vivid with colour. Competitive PC gaming, however, your CSGOs, Valorants and that kind of thing, I wouldn’t bother. Again, your refresh rate is pretty low. And media consumption is also pretty great, for the things you’d usually watch at your PC, like YouTube, Netflix that kind of thing.
AOC never cease to impress me with their monitors, and whether the focus is on gaming or work-based applications or even content creation, they’re solid panels. They’re also very fairly priced in my opinion, and the V4 comes in at just over £300, though prices vary from place to place, like any other PC component right now. The V4 does a lot of great things, but nothing perfect. But if you’re someone who does a bit of work, or maybe some content creation, and a spot of gaming in the evenings, the AOC U27V4EA is a perfect companion and can hold its own against any type of work you throw at it. I don’t think you’re going to find a 4K monitor as capable as this one, at this price point, so snap one up when you can, if you’re on a budget for your setup.