Much to my surprise when I started digging about company info before writing this review, I found out that AOC as a company was way older than I expected with roots in the old Admiral company established in 1934 in Chicago. In 1947 the brand was established in US as a TV manufacturer and was one of the first company ever to produce color TV sets, by 1951 producing around 5 million units. In 1967 the name became Admiral Overseas Corporation and became what it is today, a manufacturer of budget TV, monitors and all in one PCs.
AOC 2436V is once of the cheapest if not the cheapest 24″ full HD (1920×1080) LCD monitor on the market today. I recently bought it for around $125 and for this price, the value is hard to beat. While you can’t expect an amazing quality for such a cheap monitor, we’ll review it today and try to answer many usability questions as well.
The monitor arrived shipped promptly by Staples in a rather plain box which is fairly small compared to what you would expect for a monitor this size. Once I opened I realize that the monitor itself and the base were separated but the process to attach them in a very easy one and involves only one screw. No tools needed so 5 minutes later everything was up and ready.
Beside the monitor itself, the box contains a VGA cable, power cable, software disk and manual.
AOC 2436V has a pleasant piano black finish that, beside looking cool is also a fingerprints magnet. Lately I started to appreciate again a matte finish which is impervious to fingerprints and scratches but that’s the way it is. There is a basic tilt adjustment but no height adjustment available.
3.1 User interface
AOC 2436V features touch buttons for Power ON/OFF and menu, Up, Down screen controls and let me tell you: Not only not very sensitive but hard to see (and impossible to feel) in the dark. For this reason, interacting with your monitor is an annoying process and you’ll wish to just set it well once and be done with it.
Beside hard to use physical controls, the OSD Menu is completely graphic (supposedly to save money translating the menu in various languages). Most of the settings icons (beside contrast, brightness and several others) are cryptic enough so you won’t know what they were meant for without a manual, which is stored on the CD.
AOC probably figured out that the LCD itself is not simple to adjust from the physical controls so they included a software that should allow you to control the monitor settings directly from the computer. The only problem is that, they never thought about using the monitor as the second monitor in a set-up, for example when used with a notebook computer. In this particular case the included i-Menu software won’t detect the monitor displaying ‘not a plug and play monitor’ error message and obviously it is unusable. The test was performed on Windows 7 and all the required drivers installed.
I looked around the web and it seems that other users also reported the same error message, even when connected as the main monitor. I was able to reproduce the problem using both VGA and DVI cables.
4. AOC 2436V Tech Specs
|Viewable Image Size||24″ (16:9)|
|Brightness (typical)||200 cd/m2|
|Optimum Resolution||1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz|
|Colors Supported||> 16 Million|
|Analog Input||RGB D-Sub|
5. Image Quality
The image quality is decent if you look straight at the monitor at a 90 degree angle. If you change the angle even slightly, the colors start changing and if you are an optimist you’ll be happy for the free privacy filter included in price. That because this monitor has one of the worst viewing angles I have ever seen.
Contrast wise, the monitor is also pretty bad. If you intend to use it to watch movies, you’ll find out that the black levels are terrible. However, if you are a software developer, and let’s say you are using Visual Studio on a mostly bright background, the monitor is perfect with a clear and crisp image. In the end, it really depends of your intended usage. That being said, the advertised 60,000:1 contrast ratio is way off.
The LCD I bought has no dead pixels and this makes me happy. That doesn’t guarantee the same quality for everyone, of course.
AOC 2436V is a decent monitor considering its price. The contrast is low, the viewing angle is abysmal but if you are the only one looking at it you can position it so it looks well. If you connect it via a DVI / HDMI connector the image is crisp, clear and bright. The monitor is better suited to word processing / web surfing / software development work than watching movies and if you want to use it for these purposes you have a good bargain.
- size, at 24 inches
- clear and clean image
- low contrast
- a nightmare change image settings
- very limited viewing angle
- no sound