When I reviewed the AOC e2243FW a while back I dubbed it the thinnest monitor to hit PC Labs. Now, the new AOC i2353Ph ($189 street) earns that distinction. With its splinter-thin cabinet and metallic trim, this 23-inch monitor oozes style. Moreover, its IPS panel delivers great colors and wide viewing angles, and it’s equipped with two HDMI ports. You don’t get many extras with this monitor however, and while it does have speakers, they’re not very loud.
Design and Features
The i2353Ph’s cabinet is only 0.36-inch thick. That’s thinner than its sibling, the AOC e2243FW (0.50-inch) and the HP x2401 (1.02 inches). Somehow, the engineers at AOC managed to squeeze a 23-inch IPS panel into the glossy black cabinet, but little else. The video ports, OSD buttons, and speakers are all built into the base.
The screen has a resolution of 1,920-by-1,080, which means it can display video and other content in true (1080p) high definition. The panel is framed by thin brushed aluminum bezels and uses a non-reflective matte anti-glare coating. It is attached to a ¾ round base, which matches the metallic bezel finish, by a 2.5-inch mounting arm with a shiny chrome finish. The arm lets you tilt the cabinet forward (4 degrees) and backward (20 degrees) but has no height, pivot, or swivel adjustments. The base can be folded back so that it is flush with the cabinet if you decide to mount the i2353Ph on a wall.
The base is the i2353Ph’s control center. The back holds two HDMI ports and a VGA port, as well as an audio input and the power jack. Having two HDMI ports makes it easy to stay connected to digital sources such as Blu-ray players and gaming consoles. If your graphics card only offers DVI as a digital source you can always pick up a DVI-to-HDMI cable for around ten bucks. There aren’t any USB ports on this monitor nor is there a webcam. Speakers are built in to the base but they don’t get very loud and lack bass response.
The top of the base holds five touch-sensitive buttons, including the power switch, that are hard to see because the gray labeling is all but invisible against the metallic finish. Three of them are hot keys for input select, volume control, and ClearVision, which uses scaling to sharpen standard definition images. Luminance settings include contrast, brightness, gamma, DCR (dynamic contrast ratio), and Eco mode, which contains picture presets, not power saving features. There are six presets including standard, text, internet, game, movie, and sports. In the Color Setup menu you can choose one of four color temperature presets or create your own by tweaking red, green, and blue saturation levels. As with the AOC i2757Fh and other previous AOC models, the i2353Ph offers a Dynamic Color Boost setting to bring out red, green, or blue color tones, and Bright Frame, which lets you highlight a portion of the screen and change luminance values to that area without changing the rest of the image.
As in the case with all AOC monitors, the i2353Ph comes with a three-year warranty. VGA, audio, and power cables are included in the box along with a resource CD but you’ll have to supply your own HDMI cables.
The i2353Ph uses a low-cost IPS panel, which was evident while running the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test. There was compression at both ends of the grayscale, but the flaws were minor and not uncommon with e-IPS monitors. That said, grayscale performance was significantly better than what you get with most TN (twisted nematic) monitors, such as the HP Passport 1912nm. Color quality was impressive; reds, greens and blues were well saturated and rich in tone, and blacks appeared solid and dark.
Text appeared crisp and easy to read, even when minimized to 5.3 points, the smallest Arial font on the Scaled Fonts test. The panel’s 5-millisecond pixel response handled fast motion without any sign of blurring or ghosting, too. Midnight Run: Los Angeles played smoothly and showed no perceptible lag with the i2353Ph connected to my PS3 console.
The i2353Ph required 31 watts of power during testing, which is a tad high for an IPS panel of this size. The LG D2343P used 22 watts, and the Acer T232HL used 26 watts in standard mode and only 18 watts in Eco mode.
If you’re yearning for a super-thin monitor you’d be hard pressed to find one thinner than the AOC i2353Ph. Its metal accents and unique base make it one of the slickest looking 23-inch monitors around, and its IPS panel delivers solid color and viewing angle performance. A height adjustable stand, a USB hub, or a webcam would sweeten the pot, but for $189 it’s still a pretty good deal. If finances are more important than aesthetics, the Asus VS229H-P is a better deal and remains our Editors’ Choice for budget monitors.
Compare the AOC i2353Ph with several other monitors side by side.
More monitors reviews:
|Native Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Supported Video Formats||1080p|
|PC Interfaces||Analog VGA, HDMI|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc