The AOC U32P2 nails what is increasingly becoming the sweet spot for productivity-orientated business monitors (opens in new tab), namely full 4K resolution with a 32-inch form factor. Within that very broad class of panel there’s an awful lot of variation, so many features to choose from and a wide range of prices.
The AOC U32P2 aims at the more affordable end of the spectrum. It achieves that primarily by using a VA rather than IPS screen technology, the latter being the norm for more expensive, high-precision panels. However, VA retains certain advantages over IPS, most notably far superior contrast.
That said, this is very much a conventional SDR monitor. No claims of HDR thrills are made. The other notable omission compared to more expensive alternatives is USB Type-C connectivity. That’s certainly a limitation when it comes to hooking up laptop (opens in new tab) computers with minimal cabling and fuss. But it does keep the price and check and for desktop PC (opens in new tab) users may not be much of a loss.
Design and features
- Sober-suited but well built
- Full range of stand adjustment
- Productivity-oriented 4K panel specs
- No USB-C connectivity
Style wise, the AOC U32P2 is all business. However, with fairly slim bezels on three sides of its 32-inch VA panel, it cuts a reasonably contemporary dash. The stand also offers a full range of adjustment, including height, tilt, swivel and rotate into portrait mode.
It’s all built around a 32-inch VA panel with the full 3,840 by 2,160 pixel 4K native resolution. The main benefit of VA is high static contrast. The AOC U32P2 clocks in at an impressive 3,000 to one. That’s far in excess of even the very latest “IPS Black” as seen in the new Dell Ultrasharp U3223QE (opens in new tab), which tops out at 2,000 to one.
Panel size: 32-inch
Panel type: VA
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Pixel response: 4ms
Color coverage: 88% Adobe RGB
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Vesa: 100mm x 100mm
Inputs: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 x2
By other measures, the AOC U32P2’s specifications are fairly routine. Brightness is rated at 350 nits, response clocks in at 4ms and the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz. Here’s no fancy 120Hz refresh, no full-array local dimming or other gaming frills. Just a nice, big 4K monitor (opens in new tab) for getting stuff done, albeit that stuff isn’t intended to be professional content creation workflows.
AOC rates the panel at 88 percent coverage of the Adobe RGB gamut, which is reasonable but not the stuff of serious content creation. That’s reflected in the OSD menu, which only includes a preset for sRGB rather than Adobe RGB, DCI-P3 or other more demanding color spaces.
As for connectivity, a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.2 interface and a four-port USB-A hub are included. The latter locates two of the USB-A ports so you can hook the AOC U32P2 up to most devices and achieve the full 4K at 60Hz. What you can’t do, of course, is attach a laptop via a single cable and charge the device, drive the display and connect peripherals in that compelling USB Type-C way. Unfortunately, USB-C isn’t in the mix.
- Excellent contrast
- Reasonable pixel response
- No true HDR support
In terms of image quality, the AOC U32P2 serves up very much the kind of experience you’d expect from a VA monitor with these specifications. The 4K resolution on a 32-inch panel makes for very pleasing pixel density, loads of detail and nice, crisp fonts. It also allows for oodles of desktop real estate, depending on your preference for scaling settings. For most users, the 100 percent setting in Windows will make for text and fonts that are uncomfortably small.
The main highlight is contrast, which is just so much better than even the very best IPS monitors with conventional monolithic backlights. In some ways, the AOC U32P2’s image quality is better even than IPS panels with full array local dimming. There’s none of that slightly distracting IPS glow and there’s a depth and richness to the image that IPS can’t quite match.
As for overall brightness and punch, it’s fairly lively for an SDR panel with a modest 350 nit rating. It’s bright enough to operate well in environments with lots of natural light. On the downside, the slightly over-saturated color accuracy can’t match IPS and the pixel response is adequate rather than excellent. Speaking of which, AOC provides three levels of response-accelerating overdrive in the OSD menu. The fastest setting introduces some visible overshoot, but medium is a good compromise.
Tweaking the response speed also reveals an OSD menu with some residual “gamer” features and settings that are of more obvious utility on AOC’s gaming monitors. There’s a Game Settings submenu with various toggles including low input lag, adaptive sync, a frame rate counter and other options. In fact, the broader OSD menu is very much the same as AOC’s gaming monitors (opens in new tab). In an ideal world, this panel would probably have a bit less of that and a bit more by way of things like productivity-relevant color space presets.
Sober suited almost to a fault, the AOC U32P2 delivers on its remit as a serious productivity tool (opens in new tab) at a competitive price. The VA panel is subjectively pleasing thanks to excellent contrast and the inherent benefits of the full 4K resolution.
At this competitive price point, of course, you can’t have everything. There’s no HDR support and the color balance has a little of that characteristic VA excess saturation. But then this isn’t a display aimed at professional content creation workflows, nor is it priced at anything like that lofty a level.
The omission of USB-C connectivity with power delivery is arguably more of an issue. But, again, 32-inch 4K displays with USB-C simply cost more. It’s not perfect, then, the AOC U32P2. But at this price point it’s makes plenty of sense as a fantastic productivity tool.
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