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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  • VoraciousGorak - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    My 6ms Dell 2407WFP has not only been perfectly adequate for games of any kind, I've never noticed it ghost. Ever. And I'm sensitive enough to monitor weirdness that SLI microstutter pisses me off.
  • james.jwb - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    I had one of these and I noticed some ghosting, but the main problem with them was input lag. You really want a screen with no more than 15ms input lag to be rid of issues. If you put a u2412m side by side with a 2407 and duplicate the desktop, you'd notice it simply by moving the mouse.

    The old S-PVA screens never really got input lag down to acceptable levels.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    I've still got a 2408WFP sitting around my place, and I can definitely agree that processing lag is too high. Even my wife -- a non-techie user -- noticed it when I recently switched her to that display from an IPS panel. She thought the problem was the mouse, so I switched mice and the problem was still there. If you only ever use an S-PVA display, you may not notice what you're missing, but once you have a better reference point it becomes immediately clear that there are delays on the S-PVA panels. That said, I've never had issues with the <20ms lag; it's only when you start getting above that where it becomes noticeable (for me).
  • JonnyDough - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    Agreed. Input lag is also a problem. Many gamers don't seem to notice these things, but I certainly do. Maybe we were just spoiled with CRT monitors from back in the day?
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    He did.

    The fact is, most people wouldn't be effected by this much lag, even in FPS gaming.

    That being said, if you don't pay attention to the lag from each component of your system it could all add up to something that does effect your performance, so getting a monitor with lower lag can be a plus. However, if you really want lower lag in gaming, I suggest a CRT. Of course if you demand larger than 21" you can't really do that, but then I suggest gaming lag isn't your main concern, if that's the case.

    (You also pretty much have to buy used, since they aren't made anymore. However, you can find CRT monitors with better quality than LCDs for less money.)

  • Zingam - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    TN monitors are crap! I have one low end IPS display and I love it. It is perfect even for games! Oh, yeah, and I connect it to a laptop with ordinary TN display and do you know what? I hate looking at the laptop because of its crappy TN display!

    TN sucks! That's it! Get over it, losers!
  • MadAd - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    Im waiting to replace my current IPS, but I wont take TN either.

    Why no display port too? Or 1200 lines? I want something to drop in the middle of my other 2 24" displays, so i can drive them in a big desktop, having one at 1080 is going to mess it all up.

    Seems ill be waiting a long time.
  • eezip - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    In the last row of the table on page 1, should the price check be 1/24/2012, instead of 2011?
  • cheinonen - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    Sorry, fixed!
  • demonbug - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    On the power use chart, do the Apple Cinema Display and Dell U3011 really use more power at min. brightness than at max, or did they just get their numbers reversed?

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