Santa got me the most amazing gift this year! One cold morning in December, I found a large box underneath the Christmas tree. I didn’t question how Santa was able to get it through the chimney, and opened up the box right away. It turned out to be the U32U1, a 31.5 inch 4K-monitor from AOC. I’ve been using it for my photography work for a while now, so I thought it was time to do a review. Let’s find out why I like this monitor so much.
Unboxing and Set-up
Unboxing and set-up barely requires assembly because the tripod-like stand is already attached to the screen. This saves a lot of set-up time. The AOC U32U1 is easily adjustable: you can turn, twist or pivot it and adjust the height very swiftly. Screen settings can be adjusted from the back also, by using a joystick-like button. Other contents of the box: HDMI cable, DisplayPort cable, USB-C Cable and power adapter.
Design of the AOC U32U1
As opposed to some other monitors you may find, this one is designed by people who know their stuff, Studio F.A. Porsche to be precise. The monitor won the Reddit award for its sleek design. The screen has no edges and protrudes out of the frame, it looks very modern and elegant. The AOC U32U1 fits really well into a clean desk set, which ‘messy me’ obviously doesn’t have, haha. I just cleaned my desk for the pictures. The bezels are thin and the same goes for the panel, so it not only looks great, but it doesn’t take up a huge amount of space on your desk either. The tripod-style stand allows for some storage underneath.
Why I love using this monitor
The screen has flicker-free technology so it’s not exhausting to the eyes at all, not even during long sessions of work. I must say that I’m very happy using this monitor for my photography editing. Although I must admit I’m not only using the AOC U32U1 for photography. A monitor of this size comes in extremely handy for working remotely from home for my daily job a well! The 31.5-inch screen is huge, you can have 4 tabs open at once without any problems.
Some more features
Best thing is, there’s only 1 cable coming out of the back of the monitor. All you need is one USB-C cable to connect your laptop (a MacBook Pro in my case) to the AOC U32U1. In my case, the extra USB-connections at the back of the screen offer plenty of opportunity to connect my external hard-drives and USB-sticks. Your laptop will be charged through the USB-C cable. So you don’t need to plug in your adapter and there’s no need for silly dongles to connect to the MacBook or whichever laptop you are using/ This is a huge plus in my opinion! Of course you can still use HDMI connection as well if you wish to do so. Another feature are the in-built speakers, although I found the sound quality suboptimal.
IPS panels, or in-plane switching panels, like the AOC U32U1 have superior image quality, good contrast ratio and wide viewing angles of up to 178°. Monitors with IPS are well suited for photography and videography editing which requires accurate and consistent color reproduction.
Let’s talk about the colours
Any display should cover 100% sRGB as a bare minimum, which this monitor from AOC does. It also has decent AdobeRGB coverage (AdobeRGB is geared towards photographers), although this could be a tad bit improved in my opinion. There are some color leaks on the side so it’s not incredibly useful for editing a lot of blacks and greys in a dark room environment. This can be easily overcome however. I always keep the image I’m editing central on the screen so it cannot be affected by these possible light leaks. The vibrant color and contrast is high enough to deliver high-quality images.
I found the AOC U32U1 the ideal monitor for my editing work. Editing images on this monitor gave me a lot of satisfaction. The minimalistic Porsche design, various cables included in the box, and decent colours justify its price tag.