AOC Zifas 2218Ph

A 22in LCD monitor that rivals Apple's Cinema Display in terms of style.

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AOC Zifas 2218Ph
  • AOC Zifas 2218Ph
  • AOC Zifas 2218Ph
  • AOC Zifas 2218Ph

Pros

  • Attractive design, touch-sensitive controls, vivid colour palette

Cons

  • Some backlighting issues, no DVI, slow dynamic contrast, glossy panel

Bottom Line

Though boasting a gorgeous design, the AOC Zifas 2218Ph doesn't provide the best colour accuracy, and the dynamic contrast ratio is likely to annoy.

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AOC's Zifas 2218Ph 22in LCD monitor offers a stylish design that rivals Apple's Cinema Displays. Unfortunately, it delivers a lacklustre viewing experience for anything beyond basic desktop use.

On paper, the AOC Zifas 2218Ph is very similar to most other 22in monitors. It employs an 8-bit TN panel with a maximum resolution of 1680x1050 pixels, along with a 2ms response time and a contrast ratio of 12,000:1. Unfortunately, this is when dynamic contrast is switched on; the monitor manages only 1000:1 when this is turned off.

The AOC Zifas 2218Ph's stand and back are constructed from aluminium with a brushed silver finish similar to Apple's Cinema Displays. In contrast, the front is reminiscent of a Samsung monitor, with a thin bezel with a piano black finish.

Separated into three hinged sections, the aluminium stand provides a surprising amount of adjustability. The AOC Zifas 2218Ph even recognises when it is shifted to portrait mode, automatically reorienting the onscreen display.

Instead of a standard three-prong power cable, the monitor uses a separate power adapter. The near-ubiquitous DVI port is absent, replaced by RGB and HDMI connections; both can be converted to DVI connections. Along with stereo speakers integrated into the chassis, the 22in monitor has a headphone jack and a line-in audio input. All cables are passed through a gap in the aluminium stand in a similar fashion to Apple's iMac and 30-inch Cinema HD Display.

The Zifas 2218Ph's onscreen display is navigated using an illuminated touch panel. The panel may seem inaccurate and troublesome to use at first, but you will adjust to it eventually.

While most consumer monitors require some fine tuning to achieve acceptable colour accuracy and brightness levels, the AOC 2218Ph required a surprising amount of adjusting — it produced stark contrasts and had an odd colour temperature straight out of the box.

Users can choose from six different presets that alter colour temperature and brightness/contrast settings without having to use the onscreen display. Colour temperature settings can be altered but they are confusing, with descriptions like "warm" and "cool" rather than industry standard temperatures; an sRGB preset is thankfully included.

Picture quality isn't fantastic. The glossy panel makes the Zifas 2218Ph hard to view in well lit areas, but it has a vivid colour palette that is good for games and images; those who need an accurate colour palette for professional use may not be satisfied.

AOC offers dynamic contrast ratio technology on the Zifas 2218Ph. Although it allows for darker black levels and better overall contrast, it adapts very slowly to the image, moving through several different backlight levels before finding an appropriate setting. The technology can be very distracting because of this, as the monitor must finetune the contrast every time an image's contrast changes.

Motion is generally smooth — thanks to the monitor's 2ms response time — but even here the Zifas 2218Ph could use some improvement. We didn't notice the same problems found on the AOC 2219P2, but slight ghosting was noticeable in fast motion movies and games. This is coupled with some slight tearing during fast motion.

The AOC Zifas 2218Ph suffers from some minimal backlight bleeding, but during normal desktop use this shouldn't be noticeable. Horizontal viewing angles are nearly flawless, but tilting the monitor beyond a 30 degree angle vertically leads to washed out colours.

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