Published on February 29th, 2012 | by Cameron Woolsey, Editor-in-Chief3
Hardware Review: AOC 23″ e2352Phz LED 3D Monitor
Release Date: Jan. 18, 2012
Dimensions: 23″ Widescreen, 16:9 Aspect Ratio – 23″ Viewable Image Size, Diagonal
As the entertainment industry continues its march toward the 3D-enabled landscape, computer monitor manufactures have leapt forward to match pace and offer their very own line-ups of monitors that meet, or exceed, the same experience offered by theaters. AOC has tossed its hat into the ring with its own brand of 3D monitors. The 23″ e2352Phz LED 3D monitor is a part of the 3D family, and I was able to spend an entire month with it to test it out.
In this review I will occasionally make comparisons to my current monitor, an ASUS VH238H 23″ full HD HDMI LED backlight LCD monitor, which is no slouch.
AOC 23″ e2352Phz Spec Highlights
Along with the monitor, the box contains two 3D glasses, TriDef 3D software and a VGA cable. Now, if you’re into computers you may wonder why the box only included a VGA cable instead of something that wasn’t introduced back in 1987. That would be a good questions, but sadly I don’t have the answer. If you plan on purchasing this monitor I highly suggest upgrading to a DVI cable as soon as you can and give this monitor some justice.
On the back there is one input for VGA, a 1.4a HDMI, DVI, and a stereo output and headphone jack. The monitor itself contains built-in speakers with a volume adjuster located in the menu.
Let’s get technical for the gadget junkies, shall we? The AOC e2352Phz monitor is equipped with a TFT Active Matrix LCD with an LED backlight. It has a dynamic 20,000,000:1 contrast ratio with a maximum 1920×1080 @60Hz resolution and boasts a 5ms refresh rate, which is standard. This fancy string of tech jargon means that the monitor has incredible depth, sharpness and color. I was surprised to see how good the monitor looked just on default settings. The 5ms refresh rate is perfect for the gamer crowd, keeping games running smooth without a hiccup.
The quality of the monitor is superb. I have seen and used many high-end monitors and the AOC e2352Phz monitor easily matches or surpasses all. It has a deeper contrast ratio than my ASUS, delivering darker blacks and brighter whites.
For its 3D capabilities the monitor utilizes a flicker free Film-type Patterned Retarder display. This means that it uses polarized light, which is similar to what we see in cinema. The monitor sends polarized images at different angles for each eye. FPR creates a slightly darkened image overall–but can greatly reduce eye strain, headaches and the danger of photosensitive epilepsy caused left/right shutter glasses, which are also more expensive.
I’m not one of those people who are good with 3D films. I could barely watch more than 40 minutes of Avatar in theaters before needing to take off my glasses and close my eyes for a while. I get both eye strain and headaches when trying to use the technology, so my support behind it is not exactly 100 percent.
The longest I was able to use the AOC e2352Phz monitor’s 3D mode was around two hours. And I mean straight through without needing to remove the glasses and take a break. While I don’t expect everyone to get the same results, I was surprised by how long I lasted. When I stopped using the 3D it wasn’t so much because of eye strain, rather the fact that I had been sitting at my computer for two hours and needed to expose my cave dweller skin to some sunlight for five minutes. By the way, the shaded 3D glasses work pretty well outside. Just don’t expect to gain many friends who aren’t hipsters.
Movies and video
The TriDef 3D program comes on a CD. This is a really cool program that I spent a lot of time playing with. TriDef 3D allows users to view movies, pictures and video games in fully rendered 3D. This means that users can watch films and video on DVD that are otherwise in 3D without having to upgrade their desktops with top-of-the line Blu Ray players. The 3D output isn’t perfect, however, the program provides the option to users who don’t want to shell out around $30 or more for the 3D versions of their favorite flicks. The program comes with a slider bar to adjust the 3D effect to the user’s preference.
TriDef 3D is able to convert hundreds of Direct X 9, 10 and 11 games to 3D. From the official website, the software is compatible with “Intel’s second gen core 3D, AMD’s Radeon HD 3D and Nvidia’s 3D Vision Processors.” However, since the monitor is passive it is not compatible with Nvidia 3D Vision.
The software automatically searches your machine for compatible games. After starting the program up and selecting the video games option, a box displaying all compatible games will appear. As you get new games you can add them onto the list. The games take a few moments to start up, but the delay isn’t long enough for impatience to settle in. Users are given the option to bring up a menu in the game with many different options to adjust the 3D effect in case the default settings aren’t quite right.
I tried out many games using TriDef 3d, including StarCraft II and Metro 2033, and they all looked great. The 3D conversion was surprisingly high quality, and I appreciated the ability to adjust the settings on the fly using a pop-up menu.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good the monitor looked when hooked up using an HDMI cable. My ASUS stands as a stark opposite, with blurred pixels and inadequate resolution. I was able to attach my Xbox 360 up to the AOC e2352Phz monitor with a 1080p resolution and it looked great. With that configuration I was able to play some games in full 1080p, as well as enjoy playing Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary in 3D for the first time.
The stand itself is surprisingly flimsy. After I attached the two parts and set the monitor down, it wobbled in place for a second. Moving my desk a little caused it to sway to-and-fro for a moment before coming to rest. For most this shouldn’t be a huge problem. Just keep the monitor on a flat, stable surface at all times.
The monitor comes with built-in speakers, but they’re not good at all. The speakers sound metallic and at a high volume they pop. These are not quality speakers by any means. If you want better sound I highly suggest a good pair of headphones or buy some speakers for it.
My last issue really isn’t too big of a deal; it’s more of a nitpick. The power button is located at the bottom row along with the others (menu, volume, etc.), but it is the same size and hard to spot at a glance. It’s easy to accidentally hit the wrong button by mistake if you’re not actively searching for it. Like I said, it’s a nitpick and it hardly hurts the overall score.
The screen is designed to be anti-glare but it’s not as good as I had hoped. If users have a light such as an open window behind them (such as myself), the monitor barely reduces any reflection.
For those who are looking for the type of monitor that offers a great 3D display, there are many options available. The AOC e2352Phz is easily recommendable as a great option, especially to gamers. The 1.4a HDMI input makes the monitor not only a great purchase for PC users, but console owners as well.
With amazing clarity, rich contrasts, 3D that’s easy on the eyes, the e2352Phz stands as a perfect all-in-one entertainment device for everything you’re into.
+ Near-perfect picture quality
+ Rich contrasts
+ TriDef 3D conversion software
+ Two pairs of polarized 3D glasses
+ All-in-one device for movie buffs and gamers alike
- Flimsy stand
- Low-quality speakers
- Not enough glare reduction