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Get an AOC 29-inch ultrawide monitor for $399.99

Normally $499.99, this 21:9 IPS panel gives you plenty of space for windows, games, and movies -- provided your graphics card can handle the load.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
That's 29 inches of widescreen goodness.
That's 29 inches of widescreen goodness. AOC

Two monitors are better than one -- unless you have one monitor that's nearly the width of two. That's better still.

And that's the AOC Q2963PM in a nutshell. It's a 29-inch ultrawide display with a 21:9 aspect ratio. Normally it sells for $499.99, but for a limited time, TigerDirect has the AOC Q2963PM for $399.99 shipped. (It's also available at Newegg for the same price.)

This panoramic monitor employs in-plane switching (IPS) to provide a wide viewing angle, fast response times, and excellent color reproduction. It features DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and VGA inputs and both picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture capabilities. In theory, that would allow you to view, say, a Blu-ray movie on one side of the screen and a browser window on the other.

The screen runs at 2,560x1,080 pixels, which might be a problem for some graphics cards. You'll definitely want to check with your system manufacturer (and/or video-card maker) to make sure it can handle such an unusual resolution. Thankfully, AOC does provide a driver that should at least enable support for that resolution.

If you do want to use the monitor with a Blu-ray player, game console, or even an Android-powered device (an integrated MHL port makes it possible), you'll be glad to know it has built-in 3-watt speakers -- weak for movie or game audio, but better than nothing.

CNET hasn't reviewed the Q2963PM, but most of the user reviews at Amazon (where it's also $399.99), Best Buy (again, $399.99, but with sales tax added), and Newegg are of the four-star variety. Save for the occasional unit with some dead pixels, users seem to really love this thing -- especially for games.

Although $399.99 is still on the steep side for a monitor, keep in mind this is a 29-incher, one that usually sells for $100 more. If you want a lot of extra display area without the hassles of a second display, this is definitely worth a look.