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    Reviewed: AOC 27B1H Monitor

    All this time working from quarantine has given me a brand-new appreciation for a large display. For years, I’ve been working on a 15-inch laptop, and it manages to get the job done. Lately though, with more time spent looking at screens than paper, and more opportunities for gaming, I’ve felt that the small display on my laptop just isn’t enough any more. Thankfully, AOC sent a monitor for us to review, in the form of the 27B1H.

    DESIGN: 4.5/5

    The first, and most striking thing about this monitor are the bezels. They’re really quite thin, and while the image itself doesn’t extend to the very edge of the panel, it’s still striking. Aside from that, it’s a nicely understated black body on a black stand. The inputs are all at rear, with controls available near the right corner of the bottom edge. As you might have gathered from the name, it’s 27 inches on the diagonal, offering what I feel is an ideal balance between screen size and overall bulk, and shouldn’t take up much more space than it’s worth. It’s also designed to be assembled without tools, so once you get it out of the box, it won’t be five minutes before you have it set up and running. One thing to note though is that it uses an external power brick and a DC barrel jack, so be prepared to make a little room for that as well.

    HARDWARE: 3.5/5

    Aside from the slim bezels on three sides and an astounding 14.3mm thickness on most of the back, this display has the features you’re probably looking for in a work laptop. There’s of course an HDMI input, as well as an analog input, and a 3.5mm output jack in lieu of built-in speakers.

    The panel itself is an IPS affair, which gives great viewing angles and renders colors more than well enough. Unless you’re running tests, or really absolutely concerned about contrast ratios, you shouldn’t have any problems with it. It runs at a resolution of 1920×1080, with a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. GtG response time is at a reasonable 7ms.

    USER EXPERIENCE: 4/5

    Before we go into the meat of the review, I’d like to go over my typical PC use. Being a journalist, it’s roughly 70 percent research and writing, 25 percent gaming, and about 5 percent random YouTube videos. As far as work is concerned, this is a display that works wonderfully. The large display allows me to actually have four browser windows open with enough space to actually have each one useful. Low blue mode can also be activated to help with eye strain, and late at night, and even though the resolution at a screen this size means you get only about 82 PPI, I honestly didn’t get bothered by it at all. Working with images for the magazine, light image editing, and working with precision on programs like Audacity weren’t a problem in the least, and was even quite pleasant thanks to the increased screen size. Based on the specs, color accuracy isn’t bad, and while it’s not the best, is also not a factor unless you’re dealing with extremely color-sensitive work, at which point, you’re probably not considering a model such as this anyway.

    Gaming, which is disproportionately important to me, was perfectly fine on the display as well. While it doesn’t have extra features like AMD Freesync compatibility or a super-high refresh rate, it handles fast-paced titles just fine. I’m still into Overwatch, and even when the action starts getting intense, at no point did I feel that the monitor was letting me down. There wasn’t any tearing or ghosting, and while 7ms response times aren’t the lowest out there, it’s more than capable of doing the business.

    I will also occasionally watch movies on my laptop, just because it’s sometimes the most convenient way to do so, and it’s here that sometimes you can start to notice the weaker contrast ratio this display can deliver. Blacks aren’t as dead as on some other displays, and while it’s not something I personally have an issue with, I know my share of people that are maddened by this, so it’s something to be aware of.

    Overall, while it might not win an award for being the best monitor in the entire universe, it’s still quite a capable device, and we haven’t even gotten to the best part about it.

    VALUE: 4.5/5

    As far as I’m concerned, price is a feature when it comes to devices. It represents the brand’s ability to balance function and cost to create a reasonable product. This is something the 27B1H excels in. It does everything more than adequately well, in order to deliver a price that’s great for what you get. A 27-inch monitor from a reputable manufacturer isn’t going to be cheap. Unless it’s this display. At just PHP 11,388, it’s actually quite good value, particularly if, like me, you’re mainly after the screen real estate.

    Specifications:

    • Screen size (inch) 27 inch
    • Resolution 1920×1080
    • Refresh rate 60Hz
    • Response time (GtG) 7 ms
    • Panel Type IPS
    • Brightness (typical) 250
    • Backlight WLED
    • sRGB Coverage (%) 100
    • Flicker-free
    • Aspect ratio 16:9
    • Viewing angle (CR10) 178/178 º

    What’s Hot:

    • Great value
    • Large screen size
    • Reliable brand

    What’s Not:

    • No extra features
    • 60Hz refresh rate max

    Bottomline:

    A great, no-frills monitor that won’t break the bank

    Reviewed by Ren Alcantara
    Also published in Gadgets Magazine July 2020

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