- Extensive OSD controls, no noticeable ghosting
- Dark grey levels have a green tinge, text has purple and blue fringing
The 210V isn't the best quality screen we've seen, but it's more than suitable for everyday tasks, watching movies and playing games.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
AOC's 22in widescreen LCD monitor has a thin bezel, an easy-to-use on-screen display (OSD) and features an extensive array of changeable colour and contrast settings. Its native resolution is 1650x1080 and it's mainly aimed at high-end users and early adopters of Windows Vista (due to its HDCP support), yet it manages to retain a competitive street price price of under $470 (even though it has a very high recommended retail price of $999). Its quality isn't great, but it's a decent screen for everyday use.
The 210V has a DVI and a VGA port and its DVI port is HDCP-compliant, which makes it a suitable fit for a Vista-based PC that will be used to watch Blu-ray movies, for example. Its basic stand allows tilting up and down; it doesn't have swivel or height adjustments, but its OSD has many settings that similar-sized monitors in this price range don't have.
Dynamic contrast ratio (DCR) is a feature that adjusts the screen's contrast ratio on-the-fly, according to the colours that are displayed on the screen. It makes dark areas darker and bright areas brighter. In our tests, this feature washed out the image on the screen, making many images lose their definition and it also changed the hue of the screen from green to blue in some of our images. One-touch contrast and brightness adjustments can also be made, which change the intensity of the screen to a pre-programmed setting. For example, the brightness and contrast get a boost when 'movie' mode is selected, while those same settings are reduced in 'text' mode. We tested the monitor using 'standard' mode as the other settings were excessive and made the overall image look washed out.
There is a colour boost feature that can increase the intensity of images. Presets for 'green fields', 'sky blue' and 'skin' aim boost the predominant colours in those types of images and there is also an 'auto detect' mode. This feature just appeared to boost the contrast of images and, again, washed out some images. If the monitor is already properly set up, this and the other contrast settings probably won't ever need to be touched. For colour adjustments, the OSD allows for the gamma setting to be changed, and, as well as being able to change the individual red, green and blue colour values, the yellow, cyan and magenta colours can also be changed. Colour temperatures include warm, cool, normal, sRGB and user and 'warm' looked the best in our tests.
A brightness and colour-adjusting feature, called Picture boost, allows only certain areas of the screen to appear brighter, or more colourful than others. This 'Picture boost' area can be adjusted from a small square (which can be placed anywhere on the screen to accentuate an area of an image) right up to the entire screen. We found this feature a little odd, but it can be used in multitasking situations to provide brightness to the left side of the screen, for example, where a video might be playing, while the right side of the screen can remain darker for a word processing document. This feature can be used to change the hue and saturation of the picture, as well.
The dynamic contrast ratio (DCR) setting can automatically change the contrast of the screen depending on the content, but we found it to be annoying when loading 3-D applications, for example. The contrast also appeared to change the hue of the screen from green to blue. Before we got to the DisplayMate tests, we observed the screen during regular use and found its text reproduction to be a little messy. Letters suffered from purple and blue fringing. This appears to be a convergence issue with the red, green and blue LCD colours not being close enough together produce crisp, black letters, and despite the comprehensive OSD, we couldn't find a setting to fix this.
In DisplayMate, some noise was visible in the mid-range grey colour-blocks during the black-level test, where grey levels are shown on a black background. Additionally, the darker grey levels had a green tinge to them. This is something that couldn't be removed by changing the colour temperature or the individual colour settings. In the Extreme grey scale test, which pits light grey blocks on a white background and dark grey blocks on a black background, we had to turn the monitor's contrast down to 30 percent in order to see the light grey boxes. This made the overall picture look a little dull, so we had to bump up the brightness to get a more vibrant picture.
The montor's black-level and white-level tests returned good results after our luminance adjustments. The black level was rich and made watching movies enjoyable, while the white level didn't look blue or yellow and it wasn't overly bright. On a completely black screen, the monitor's backlights weren't distracting. While watching movies, we did notice a slight green tinge during dark scenes, which backs up DisplayMate's findings in the greyscale test. As for its colour reproduction, the monitor reproduced DisplayMate's colour scales accurately, but high-intensity blue colours did almost bleed into each other. Testing the monitor with photographs that we've taken, we didn't notice any lack of detail in shadowed areas, and fine details such as feathers and strands of string were reproduced clearly.
The 210V is easily viewable from the sides, but there is a slight loss of contrast. As for its response time, the monitor easily handled scrolling text in a word processing document; text didn't blur as it moved up and down the document and subtle motion, as well as fast motion sequences in games were handled without noticeable ghosting. For watching movies, the screen is adequate, but we did notice a slight green tinge in scenes with a lot of grey colours.
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