The market for mid-range budget monitors has never been this blurred, as you had little choice but to compromise on screens with poor viewing angles and washed out hues in the past. However things have changed for the better with cheaper LED-IPS technology and higher consumer expectations overall, which brings us to a monitor like emerging display player AOC’s 23” i2367fh Frameless LED-IPS Monitor. It’s products like this that give us hope that there’s finally a HD-quality display that not only looks good, but is relatively affordable too.
The formula involves more than showing a picture; it has to look good on the outside as well. For simple sleekness, the 8lb i2367fh is a “frameless” monitor, which means the sides and top of the matte screen is held in place by an insanely narrow bezel strip of (in this case 2 mm glossy black) plastic. To liven things up, the bottom edge sports a 0.75” faux brushed metallic finish with a shiny AOC logo in front, while the rectangular stand is also brushed and provides 28 degrees of tilt but offers no height or swivel action.
Around back is a combination of plastic textured matte and gloss that make up the rear styling and not much more, but the real attraction is the connectivity. AOC wants the i2367fh to be your sole entertainment desktop display, and with a VGA (D-Sub analog) and two HDMI inputs it very well could be, as there’s even audio inputs for both headphones and speakers. On the right side are the usual assortment of menu/OSD, volume, and power buttons. What you won’t get in this package are USB and DVI ports, omissions can we easily live without.
The performance of the i2367fh is actually quite good for what you get. Before we adjusted and did a little fine-tuning for ourselves, the colors were generally deep and natural-looking, with grayscale/shadow levels (for dark and light shades) sitting fairly neutral. If we have to nitpick about anything, it’s that our test unit was a little cooler with the blue and green hues, but not so prominent to require any extensive tweaking. And this is just the default Standard preset. Very impressive stuff.
As with most monitors, you get a number of Eco-mode presets that range from Text, Internet, Game, Movie, and Sports modes. Compared to the ViewSonic VX2270, some presets (Text/Game/Movie) do a better job with gamma and saturation, but like always the best adjustments were done by us. Speaking of which, there’s no User preset to start from scratch, but do you get the usual settings like Brightness, Contrast, and Gamma. Other enhancements include Dynamic Contrast Ratio, Color Boosting, and Pixel Override for motion response and artifact reduction. Ultimately, we left these options off because they’re largely unnecessary.
This monitor will be more than enough for the average user, but the results were mixed when we hooked up our trusty PlayStation 3. For people who simply want to play their games or watch Blu-rays on a monitor, the i2367fh will easily get the job done considering there was no serious lag or delayed responses. However, the audio wasn’t that great. Sounds were loud and surprisingly audible, but the treble was far too much and overpowered the meager bass output. Fortunately these issues were solved with headphones, though if you’re planning to make this display an essential part of your home setup I’d recommend a halfway decent sound system or even USB speakers.
Given it’s jaw-dropping low price and stylish look, AOC’s 23” i2367fh Frameless LED-IPS Monitor was a major surprise to us for all the right reasons. It may not be bleeding-edge, but AOC’s budget-friendly option is definitely a big step in the right direction. With above-average performance out of the box and robust connectivity (Dual-HDMI), I can’t really complain, especially when other displays of similar specifications can easily cost double or triple the price. Without question, give this display serious consideration.