AOC C4008VU8 UHD Monitor Review

Most users toil away with 22” and 24” displays, but many secretly wish for a jumbo screen. Some fill that desire with an inexpensive television. It’s not too hard to find a 40” or larger Ultra HD TV at the local wholesale club for less than $1000. But going this route can have a few downsides. First off, you won’t find a consumer TV with DisplayPort. And more importantly, most sets won’t accept signals above 60Hz, even if they refresh at a higher rate. Then there are video enhancements that sometimes can’t be turned off, robbing the image of clarity and depth. We still maintain that for the best quality, only a dedicated computer monitor will do.

Today we’re testing AOC’s 40” C4008VU8, a new model in the Creative line. Besides the obvious size, it offers a high-contrast MVA panel running at 3840x2160 pixels with 10-bit color. It’s gently curved and comes wrapped in a stylish white chassis with natural aluminum accents and excellent connectivity. At less than $800 at this writing, it just might make the top of the list for shoppers seeking a jumbo screen. Let’s take a look.

Specifications

The C4008VU8 has a lot going for it, but there are a few things we’d love to see added to a future version of the monitor. The MVA panel used here boasts over 4000:1 contrast but doesn’t support HDR. This is a bummer, because typical IPS and TN screens don’t have nearly enough dynamic range to do the new standard justice. If there ever was a display that could excel in this area, it’s this one. Second, there is no adaptive refresh. Granted, the max refresh rate is 60Hz like every other Ultra HD product out there, but FreeSync would be a major value add here.

Despite that, there are some unique and cool features. AOC touts an extended color gamut, and indeed our tests show that the C4008VU8 meets the DCI-P3 spec almost perfectly. This is the first monitor we’ve seen that renders that gamut natively. The standard is used on Ultra HD Blu-ray, so it should be a good display for that format. It’s also the first Ultra HD MVA panel we’ve had in the lab. We cannot overstate the extra contrast offered by this technology. Picture quality is an order of magnitude better than even the best IPS screens.

So even without things like HDR and FreeSync, the C4008VU8 looks very good on paper. Let’s see how it measures up.

Packaging, Physical Layout & Accessories

The box is appropriately large and protects the panel with a combination of rigid and spongy foam blocks. We expect buyers will have little to worry about when mail-ordering one. The upright is already attached, leaving you to bolt on the base. Both parts are made from cast aluminum which is necessary to support the 26lbs weight. This is a substantial piece of kit, and you’ll need to devote a lot of space to it; measure before committing.

The bundled cables are white to match the chassis and include VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.0, and analog audio. The power cord is not IEC-compatible but plugs directly into the panel’s backside. No brick is required. The only paper enclosed is a calibration data sheet that shows uniformity and color test results.

Product 360

You'd think an 1800R curvature would make the C4008VU8 look smaller, but it seems larger than a 40” flat screen. The base looks spindly but is quite solid in operation. It attaches with a substantial hinge and there is no wobble. Unfortunately, it only offers tilt; there is no swivel or height adjustment. That last omission is of concern because we think the panel sits too high above the desk for its size. You’ll need to elevate your chair or use a slightly lower desk to place the screen at a comfortable level.

The screen’s anti-glare layer is mid-way between glossy and matte. It rejects light well and fits tightly for high clarity. The bezel is metal and very narrow at only 13mm around the top and sides, and 20mm at the bottom. You won’t find any control keys in the usual places, but if you wrap your fingers around the back right, you’ll discover a joystick. This is the only control, but it elegantly toggles power and offers lightning-quick menu navigation. It’s one of the best systems we’ve seen in a while.

By moving internal components down low, the C4008VU8’s side profile is quite slim for a curved panel. 1800mm sounds like a tight radius, but when coupled with the monitor’s nearly 38” width, it’s a fairly gentle bend. It provides a slight wrap-around effect and never comes close to distorting the image.

The back appears to have a lot of ventilation but heat is only conducted out of the thin strip at the top of the bulge. The remaining grill work covers two 5W speakers which put out reasonable volume and have a bit more depth than most. The 100mm VESA mount is also paramount; it's a rarity in styled monitors like this.

The inputs all face rearwards and include two HDMI (one 1.4 & one 2.0), two DisplayPorts, a VGA port, and a USB 3.0 hub with one upstream and four downstream connectors. The yellow one remains powered when the monitor is in standby for charging purposes. You also get an analog audio input and a headphone jack.

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