First Impressions, Design, and Specifications

For most people seeking accurate color reproduction and wide viewing angles, IPS has been the screen technology of choice for years now. The main issues against IPS have typically been response time for gamers, a higher black level than VA technologies, and more prominently cost. More and more vendors have been introducing e-IPS displays, which is a more transparent version of IPS that allows for the use of lower powered backlights, lowering the cost to consumers. The tradeoff is that this does have a negative effect on contrast shifts in the panel when viewed at an angle, though color shifts still are not present.

The other change is that many of these e-IPS panels have actually been 6-bit panels with Advanced Frame Rate Control. Much like a TN panel, it can’t produce a full 8-bits of dynamic range for each color and instead for shades that it cannot produce it will cycle between two different shades that would result in the desired shade. For some people this effect isn’t visible and they will gladly take the benefits of IPS for this side effect, but for graphics professionals the lack of true color resolution makes it a side effect they can’t live with.

There was a bit of chatter this past fall when AOC introduced the i2353 display, which is an LED backlit IPS panel with an MSRP under $200. Had the prices of IPS panels and components finally fallen to the point where they would be able to start forcing companies to transition to them away from TN for their affordable monitor lines? To find out if the AOC monitor was still able to offer a good level of performance at this price point we requested a review sample, which they quickly provided.

Once the AOC was unpacked from its box and upright on its integrated stand, I have to say I thought it looked pretty good. They’ve used the LED backlighting to create a very nice, thin display with a plastic trim that looks like brushed aluminum. The integrated stand contains a Dsub input, dual HDMI inputs, and a headphone output. At first I couldn’t even see the buttons for power and the OSD, which are barely labeled on top of the base, but I eventually located them. The feeling of the buttons is not really one of high quality, as you seem to need to press in on the entire base to trigger them, but they were responsive overall.

The downside to this setup is the lack of flexibility in ergonomic adjustments, as well as mounting options. The integrated base offers only a tilt control for the display, and that itself is very tight and hard to adjust. This integrated base also means that there are no VESA mounting holes on the display itself. There are your standard 100mm VEGA holes on the bottom of the base, and as you can fold it to lay perfectly flat with the monitor, this would allow you to still mount it to the wall; however, it would still make an aftermarket stand with height and other adjustments an impossibility.

A welcome touch is that both the bezel and screen are a matte finish so I had no real issues with glare from the lights in my room. The very edge of the bezel does reflect a bit of light, but overall it was much better than many other monitors. On the whole, I really liked the design of the AOC as it looked very nice on my desk, and the level of adjustment was in line with other models in the price range. From a purely superficial perspective, the AOC looks like a good choice for a mainstream LCD.

AOC i2353Ph
Video Inputs 1x Dsub, 2X HDMI
Panel Type eIPS, 6-bit + AFRC
Pixel Pitch 0.265mm
Colors 16.7 million
Brightness 250 nits
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Time 5ms GTG
Viewable Size 23"
Resolution 1920x1080
Viewing Angle 178 H/178 V
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) 45 Watts Maximum
Power Consumption (standby) 0.1 Watt
Screen Treatment Matte
Height-Adjustable No
Tilt Yes (-4 to 14 degrees)
Pivot No
Swivel No
VESA Wall Mounting Yes
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 21.6" x 15.3" x 7.3"
Weight 5.5 lbs.
Additional Features Headphone Jack, 2 x 2W speakers
Limited Warranty 3 Years
Accessories VGA cable, PSU and power cable, CD with drivers and software
Price Online for $190 (as of 1/24/2012)

Viewing angles were also good on the AOC as you can see in the gallery below. At the very edges you start to lose some contrast, but colors remain very good and no one is likely to work at the angles where those shifts start to appear anyway.

OSD and Initial Readings
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  • sviola - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 - link

    Ok. Thanks for the info. So I'll still keep my Dell WFP2007.

    I really want someone to release a 120Hz IPS with 1920x1200 resolution.
    Reply
  • JFish222 - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    When I read these monitor reviews I often see a great deal of info on color calibration, contrast etc. but would it be possible to add a new metric to the reviews?

    I am specifically interested in text clarity and eye strain.
    How would a given monitor compare for reading/heavy text usage?

    As a developer I spend an incredible amount of time in front of the screen. I'm not sure what metrics correlate to a "good" viewing experience but a test around such criteria would be fantastic for the office workers and monitor jockies among us.

    I have 7+ diff. monitor models at my office. And have found that some monitors are much easier on the eyes than others. We have a particular 22inch Dell IPS (about 5 years old now) that I would rate the best, but can't tell you what qualities provide such a comfortable viewing experience. There are other IPS monitors that do not match it, its pixel density is avg among our models, etc.

    Would something like this be possible?

    Thanks for another great review,
    - J
    Reply
  • mr2kat - Monday, February 06, 2012 - link

    I have two of these monitors which I use for C# and asp.net development along with web design. My gold standard are my Dell PVA 24 inch monitors (I now have six 2408 monitors in total) and I also have 2 Dell IPS monitors (U2410's). I reject TN monitors as unusable for every day programming and design work.

    I was concerned that text would appear fuzzy because these are e-IPS monitors, but in daily use I see no significant difference between this monitor and my U2410's.

    The LED back-light does provide higher contrast but after calibration I still prefer my U2410's. For programming I like to rotate my monitor display by 90 degrees, and I usually have 3 of these lined up side-by-side or two in the vertical and one in the horizontal attitude. Unfortunately the AOC monitor cannot be rotated and does not have height adjustment. However the monitors run incredibly cool and I am using them for web development.

    My criteria (for work usage) is:

    Viewing angle
    Banding and color accuracy
    Ergonomics (adjustment potential)
    Eye strain and headache issues from long term use (>18 hours per day)

    Relative to my Dell monitors, the AOC scores 9, 8, 3, 10 respectively. Against this, the best 120Hz TN monitor scores 2, 7, 9, 2. So I would say they are worth the price bump over TN for office and extended work usage.

    I really wish they came as 24 inch monitors but on the odd occasion I watch media content the AOC is close to ideal. I have no ghosting on my displays (I use only the 2 hdmi connectors of course).

    I still prefer my 2408's for day-to-day use, and until the AOC's arrived I considered the U2410 / Z24 to be the ideal compromise monitors. Despite ergonomic limitations the AOC is an excellent display and I will be buying more of them (I have 3 separate work stations in daily use). They set the minimum for acceptable workstation display IMUO.
    Reply
  • slypher1024 - Saturday, February 04, 2012 - link

    Any plans on reviewing the LG IPS236V or HP ZR2440w? Reply
  • svojoe - Saturday, March 03, 2012 - link

    As per this article, I decided to buy this monitor.

    But I've had some problems, I have my second one now and I cannot get any display to show up on HDMI, I have tried 2 different cables and 3 different computers (two intel HD3000 and one ATOM/ION netbook) and I get nothing. I get output on VGA but not HDMI. AOC engineer told me I had a dud to RMA it. I did and my replacement is here doing the exact same thing. I need this monitor for a time sensitive deadline project and not having the extra screen space is hurting me.

    No a single word on the net about problems with this monitor. But something us up for me to get two ;(
    Reply
  • svojoe - Saturday, March 03, 2012 - link

    After a day of tinkering I was able to figure it out. Its a windows 7/Intel HD driver issue. Default settings on Win7 Display modes would not allow it to be detected until i deleted all drivers for display and really messed around with the 'projector/external display settings'. Now it shows up.

    and it LOOKS AMAZING!
    Reply
  • Welliam - Saturday, March 24, 2012 - link

    Hi,
    I want to buy this monitor but some say it has blur in FPS which I play all the time. but I really like this monitor is it possible to adjust the vertical and horizontal refresh lines to prevent blur ?

    please advise from people have this monitor I dont have another IPS choice near my place.
    Reply
  • Pratyatosa - Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - link

    1. When plugged into a switched outlet, can it be made to power up without having to press a power-on button?

    2. Can the speakers be made to work with the digital audio from the HDMI cable?
    Reply
  • chamilafernando - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    Can someone confirm me this actually have an audio output please ?

    Tx
    Reply
  • taeyeonwong - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Hi! I've been looking for an external monitor for my MacBook Pro 13-inch Early 2011. Would this be a good monitor for my computer? I'm looking for a monitor that will display extremely crisp text, display accurate colours (vibrant colours) and doesn't lag when watching videos. I don't want ghosting or any bleeding either. Would this be a good monitor? Reply

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