AOC d2757Ph 3D monitor review: A monitor made in heaven?

Make an impression with 3D depth on a vast screen space with the AOC d2757Ph 3D monitor.

There’s little doubt that if you want to make photos or images stand out then presenting them on a large screen or a 3D screen is an effective way of doing it. The prospect of combining the two, of putting 3D onto a 27” IPS panel, at an affordable price, then seems like a monitor made in heaven. The AOC d2757Ph offers a standard 2D IPS display for your general needs but has two dedicated 3D modes and a 2D-3D conversion mode for turning your regular display into 3D. The former are for connecting with 3D Blu-ray/games consoles, the latter for transforming anything on your screen – movies, images, CGI, illustrations, games, into a front-back kind of 3D. With genuine 3D, the content will appear to come out of the screen, with 2D-3D conversion, the effect is more muted and appears to go back into the screen. The AOC d2757Ph uses FPR passive 3D, rather than powered, active 3D that uses shutter switching.

The d2757Ph gets off to a good start with the aesthetics, a brushed metal panel houses touch-sensitive controls, including ones for scrolling through the 3D options. It’s been said before about the AOC 3D panels that there should be a dedicated 3D button. Well, this does have one button, or touch-area, but it requires multiple presses and a different button to confirm, so not quite there yet. The outside is said to be borderless, which isn’t quite true. The display finishes about 1cm from the edge if the screen and then there’s a 2mm bevel around that, in what feels like fairly cheap plastic. The display sits back from and above the brushed metal panel, while around the back there’s a lovely glossy, but dust-attracting, housing. It all sits on a very limited stand, which does at least look the part but has a restricted vertical movement. The monitor can also be propped up without the stand, like some kind of over-sized photo frame.

There’s a brick-like power supply that’s separate, so the lead runs up to the back and plugs in face on. All the interfaces plug-in like this, which isn’t the tidiest way of doing business, but it is the easiest, and once done, who is going to be looking around the back anyway.

The interfaces are rather a disappointment. There’s two HDMI and one Analogue D-Sub, however the quality of the display from that is so poor you may as well forget it even exists. There’s also a headphone socket and an audio-in jack, as the monitor has some built in speakers, which are as underwhelming as you’d expect.

The front of the panel is described as borderless, which isn’t quite true as it has a 2mm plastic bevel.

So to the quality then and the IPS technology means excellent viewing angles from all around. There are no colour shifts or variations at all. The brightness rating of 250cdm2 also means there’s plenty of use in a wide range of environments from darkened rooms at home, to brightly-lit office spaces. With 27” you get a lot of screen real-estate, but the resolution doesn’t keep up with that, only offering a standard HD of 1920x1080. It does make for slightly pixelated areas because you tend to sit a lot closer to a monitor than you would a TV display. The contrast ratio runs at 20,000,000:1 using dynamic contrast ratio, which certainly makes for plenty of impact. On actual tests the standard 1000:1 contrast ratio was good enough when combined with the IPS display to give bright and vivid colours. There’s clear definition right through the highlights, though less so on shadow areas when display images. Here it’s more like 95% of shadow detail. If there is a concern it’s all related to the build-quality because there’s definite light leak from the left and bottom-left side of the panel. This isn’t dramatic, but is clearly visible on tests and also tends to make solid colours look slightly lighter on the left side of the screen than the top right. There’s also slight shadowing in the corners when looking at a pure white display. On the plus side, the refresh rate of 5ms is easily fast enough to make sure that movies and action games are all represented without any blurring or tracing.

The monitor comes supplied with one pair of passive 3D glasses and one pair of clip-ons for people wearing spectacles. That’s not really a lot so expect to have to invest in a few extra pairs. The 2D-3D conversion is what the buying decision for this monitor stands or falls on. Viewing CG, photos or illustrations in a kind of 3D really increases the impact they have. Well, the effect is good, and fairly consistent, but you do have to be sat straight on to the monitor. Any sideways movement that wouldn’t affect the 2D display, or an active 3D display, makes the passive 3D one show ghosting. Perhaps the idea of having just one pair of 3D glasses is so that everyone has to take it in turns to stand in front. The 3D effect transmits backwards, into the screen, and works better on still images because you have the opportunity to study the depth-effect more. It is effective though and you really can tell the difference. 


The big question here is whether you want the 3D effect. If you do, then this is a compelling way of creating more depth to images and making more of an impact. The huge 27” screen space is generally excellent, aside from the build-quality issue mentioned. The price is also very affordable, making this a real alternative to a standard 2D only display.

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