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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  • cheinonen - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    Not sure why that chart imported incorrectly, but it has been fixed. Thanks!
  • baba264 - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    I've recently changed to an IPS panel as well (HP ZR2440w) and the difference in gaming image quality has been impressive, especially in Batman Arkham City.
  • jabber - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    As I wanted to see how the new low cost IPS panels fared. I have to say I really like it. Looks as good as if not better than my Samsung PVA panel and as a work monitor its really good.

    Calibration was pretty much spot on out of the box. All I had to do was turn down the brightness a bit.

    Definitely a nicer alternative at the cheaper end over TN.
  • Pino - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    Who is the panel supplier?

    Does this AOC monitor use the same LG e-IPS panel found on the Dell and LG 23" e-IPS monitors?

    Just bought myself a LG IPS236V:
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    Panel manufacturer is LG:

  • Sabresiberian - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    Bleh the link just goes to the search page. If you put in "AOC" it will list the models with the screen manufacturer and type TFT has available.

  • bobny1 - Friday, March 23, 2012 - link

    Aoc is a long time supplier of lcd displays. I remember when they started selling their name brand monitors at staples. I just went out and bought one today to replace my dell 2005 lcd, which could not play blueray movies out of my new dell xps8300, due to hdcp compliance. My first impresion is WOW. This panel is amazing!. bright, crisp, accurate colors, easy on the eyes, no lagg, no back light bleeding that i can see, deep enough blacks, superb viewing angles, I can't tell about games because that's not my primary use but what else can you get for under $200 bucks. I compare it to the LG e-ips in the store hooked up to the same xps8300 and the AOC is a lot better in my opinion.I have it hooked up hdmi to hdmi and the adjustments are limited but all i had to do was lower the contrast a bit and stretch the screen to fit the screen in the catlyst control center. I love it!
  • SInC26 - Sunday, April 22, 2012 - link

    This AOC monitor uses the LG's e-IPS LM230WF3-SJC1.
    AOC does manufacture some of their own panels, but not for this monitor.
  • Mikuni - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    I don't like this trend lately with 23" 1080p LCDs, it's a long way backwards from 1920x1200; the vertical size difference is a lot for most desktop use.
  • kmmatney - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    I agree. I have both a 24" 1920 x 1200 and a 23" NEC eIPS 1080P monitor next to each other The 24" inch monitor is better for everything. Maybe movies are slightly better at 1080P, but it's really only a small improvement. Everything else is better with more vertical screen space. While 1080p isn't terrible, its still a step backwards. There are still a few 1920 x 120 displays out there, and I will stick with those for now.

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