So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Low price, sharp picture, good contrast
- Flickering issues particularly when running VGA, some colour errors
The AOC 212VA isn't at the top of the monitor pack, but considering the price tag, this 22in display is good value for money for those looking to make the leap into the widescreen PC display market.
Price$ 450.00 (AUD)
It was just a few short years ago that a 19in LCD monitor would set you back $500 or more. These days however large, widescreen displays are a dime a dozen and AOC's 212VA is a prime example of this. Offering 22in of screen space with a sub $450 price tag it is certainly an attractive proposition for those on a budget and while it does have some colour and uniformity issues it is a more than capable performer.
Our first test was using DisplayMate Video Edition, which contains a variety of still image charts designed to test the panel at a fundamental level. It was here most of the display's problems became evident. The largest of these was some flickering caused mostly by signal interference. It was most prominent during the contrast chart tests, but it also reared its head in our gaming and movie play back. Switching from a VGA to DVI connection helped clear the issue up although it was still somewhat noticeable.
The intensity ramps also showed some minor banding issues. There were a few lines visible in the blue and magenta strips but the other colours shifted smoothly. For the most part colours were well represented, although greys did have a slightly blue tinge and we found the magenta hues to be a little strongly saturated.
During our gaming tests, we were pleased with the lack of ghosting. AOC quotes a 5ms response time for this model which is more than adequate for even hardcore gamers, and we saw no real signs of streaking even during our faster tests. Contrast was fairly good with reasonable detail rendered in dark areas, although it wasn't the best we've seen. That said, the brightness could have been a little higher at times as whites came out quite dull.
Viewing angles were reasonably good although detail does become a little skewed on the horizontal axis the further you move away from the centre. During our movie tests we spotted some minor uniformity issues towards the top and bottom of the display, but it shouldn't be too problematic.
There are a number of preset colour temperature options as well as a custom setting and as usual things like brightness, contrast, hue and saturation can all also be altered. The unit comes with both DVI and VGA ports, but considering the issues we had when running it via VGA, we'd definitely recommend sticking to the digital option.
Aesthetically, the 212VA is a little dull, with a matte silver bezel and plain black buttons adorning the front. The bezel is a little thicker than normal on the bottom as it also houses a pair of speakers. If you're at all concerned with audio quality we wouldn't recommend using them as your primary sound source due to poor bass levels and a lack of detail, but they work alright in a pinch.
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