The AOC U32U1 aims to be both an elegant centerpiece for your desk and a high-quality 4K monitor with impressive image quality. The monitor is co-created with Porsche Designs who dabbles in producing high-quality products that embody’ the brand’s exclusive lifestyle culture. Let’s check out if the AOC U32U1’s performance is as beautiful as its aesthetics.
AOC U32U1 Specifications
- Screen Size: 32 Inches
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160 4K
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: 5 ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1300:1
- Brightness: 600cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: Yes (2 x 2 Watts)
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- Stand: Pivot– Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes (100 x 100)
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.4 x 1, HDMI 2.0 x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 1, USB-C 65W x 1, USB 3.1 x 2, 3.5mm Audio Jack x 2
- Dimensions: (W x H x D): 28.27” x 16.31” x 10.93”
- Weight: 17.64 lbs
Design and Features
The AOC U32U1 doesn’t look like a typical office monitor due to the unique touch of Porsche Design. The very slim cabinet has a matte black finish, but it’s accented with a silver metal stand that looks elegant yet functional. The display isn’t bezel-free, but the borders are thin enough to become unnoticeable when it is in use.
It isn’t the biggest monitor, but the AOC U32U1 does need a bit of space on most desks, especially for users with other screens or peripherals in the mix. The device needs almost 11 inches of depth, but its tri-prong stand doesn’t eat up a whole chunk of your desk’s precious area. It doesn’t weigh a lot at 17.64 pounds, and we’re impressed because it’s not all made of plastic.
Build quality is great for the AOC U32U1 which exudes a premium and luxurious appeal. The device doesn’t have defects or signs of weaknesses on any of its parts, but the plastic panel at the rear has a bit of flex due to the gap between the cabinet and rear panel. The stand doesn’t wobble and it can hold the monitor’s weight even if it’s very thin.
The designers added an OSD joystick on the AOC U32U1 which doesn’t disrupt its clean lines and avante-garde appearance. The gadget is placed neatly at the bottom corner so it’s easy to reach even if you can’t directly see it. It is very tactile and responsive, so it should be quick and painless to get access to a specific sub-menu or activate a function.
The unique stand on the AOC U32U1 is its most attractive asset thanks to its thin tubular frame that goes into a metal shield that makes it look like the cabinet is hanging. You can tilt, swivel, pivot, and adjust the height of the monitor, so a comfortable view angle is readily doable by default. You can swap it out with a VESA mount, but it defeats the aesthetic value of the monitor and it is only necessary if you need to save space.
Connectivity for the AOC U32U1 is fantastic since there are a lot of options to choose from which enables it to function as an all-in-one display. The layout at the rear includes DisplayPort 1.4, a slot each for HDMI 1.4 and 2.0, and a USB-C slot that offers up to 65 watts of charging power and DP Alt Mode. You also get four USB 3.1 slots for peripherals and two 3.5mm jacks for audio passthrough.
The AOC U32U1’s connectivity makes it a solid choice for USB-C laptop docking as well since the connector can charge and receive data at the same time. 65 watts isn’t a lot by today’s standards, but it can handle plenty of models out there that don’t have obscenely powerful processors or GPUs. This is always a nice touch for display products, but we found that it brings up the price to certain points where users might want to skip it altogether.
The AOC U32U1 also has a pair of 2-watt speakers that are useful for daily tasks or for those who study or work from home. They don’t have the necessary power for entertainment purposes, but something less complicated like background music or conference calls is fine. We think this is the weakest link in the product’s features since something that’s labeled with the name Porsche should have everything upgraded.
Display and Performance
The AOC U32U1 features a 32-inch IPS panel with a 3840 x 2160 4K resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a 5ms response time. The backlight is rated at 600 cd/m2 while the contrast ratio hits up to 1300:1 just like LG’s Nano IPS panels. This model is capable of DisplayHDR 600 performance which boosts image quality up to a certain degree, but it’s not entirely comparable to a true HDR model like the Asus PA32UCX due to the backlight limitations.
4K is better when it’s on a 32-inch screen since the extra sharpness becomes more appreciable and it doesn’t miniaturize text too much. Details from images and videos are better pronounced and it’s quite usable for productivity due to the extra space and great visibility. Games will be a different story even if this isn’t a high-refresh model since not many models can produce a stable 60 frames of 4K graphics.
The AOC U32U1 boasts impressive color quality since it can produce 140% of the sRGB gamut and around 97% in DCI-P3. Default accuracy could be better since the deltaE average sits at 2.34, but that’s acceptable for most uses. Lots of shades look like they can pop out of the screen, but trained users will know that there are some inconsistencies due to the oversaturation.
Calibrating the monitor will reduce the dE massively to around 0.76 which is fantastic for a mixed-use display. You can also use the pre-calibrated sRGB mode for editing work since its dE average is also superb at 0.71 with more balanced color temperature. Most users won’t need to go with either of the two, but it’s nice to have for the times where color fidelity matters more.
The AOC U32U1’s backlight only managed 298 cd/m2 in SDR with a decent contrast of around 1190:1. HDR is a different story since it can pulse to as much as 640 cd/m2, but the maximum contrast was only at 1980:1. That’s still a great score for an IPS panel, but monitors like the Asus CG32UQ did better in this regard.
We also didn’t see any major backlight bleeding or clouding issues on the AOC U32U1 in full-color images. The black uniformity, however, isn’t perfect and there is some loss of contrast on some of the side quadrants in dark scenes. But do take note that this aspect varies between every unit produced due to tolerances, so there are better or worse ones out there.
Pixel responsiveness isn’t the best on the AOC U32U1, but that’s understandable since it was not designed for gaming. The 60Hz limit also plays a factor here, especially in fast-paced or contrasting transitions where some smudges can be seen. You can set the monitor’s overdrive according to your needs, but maxing it out will induce overshoot which is even worse.
The AOC U32U1 isn’t compatible with FreeSync and G-Sync, so smooth and tear-free gaming isn’t guaranteed. Again, it wasn’t designed for gaming, but the Adaptive-Sync feature is almost readily available on every modern display out there. Input lag sits at 12ms at 60Hz so it’s reasonably fast enough to avoid making the user feel like there are delays between inputs and the screen.
Thoughts on the AOC U32U1
The AOC U32U1 is a beautifully designed monitor that offers high-end performance and features for the sophisticated consumer. It looks beautiful on a full-sized executive desk and it’s also functional enough for workstations and production setups. The screen is capable of gorgeous imagery with only a few minor kinks, but most can be ironed out easily.
However, there are some missing features on the AOC U32U1 which costs a pretty penny such as FreeSync and a more powerful pair of speakers. The focus is always on the display and how good it is, but complementary add-ons like these are essential for a very expensive monitor. It’s a good buy if you want something that looks good, but there are better options out there.
- Wide Gamut Coverage
- Attractive Design
- Plenty of Connectivity Options
- USB-C With Power Delivery
- Crisp and Clear Screen
- No FreeSync
- Limited Contrast for HDR 600
-About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.