We don't typically start off an article by waxing historic on a company's brand, but unless you're really plugged into the technology circuit, and have been for a while, there's a good chance you're unfamiliar with AOC. Punch the letters 'AOC' into Google and they're not even the first entry, not at the time of this writing anyway (the No. 1 spot belongs to Age of Conan). But if you're looking to save a buck -- and with gas prices soaring to obscene heights, who isn't? -- then do yourself a favor and get acquainted with the company formerly known as Admiral Overseas Corporation.
Originally founded here in the States (Chicago, Illinois), AOC International now operates out of Taiwan and ships monitors, TVs, and even all-in-one PCs to over 115 countries worldwide, including the United States. Incidentally, AOC was the first manufacturer of color televisions for export. AOC's most recent addition to its product portfolio is the Aire Black LED monitor line. Featuring a razor-thin profile and an attractive glossy-black finish, these new monitors are aimed at business professionals and home users looking for an affordable display that doesn't look cheap. The one we're looking at today is AOC's 22-inch model (E2243FWK, $149), though the Aire Black series also comes in 20-inch (E2043FK, $129) and 23-inch (E2343FK, $179) SKUs, all of which carry budget price tags. How is it that AOC can launch an LED monitor line at such a low cost? Let's find out.
AOC E2243FWK 22-inch LED Monitor
Specifications & Features
170 degrees (Horizontal), 160 degrees (Vertical)
TFT Active Matrix
D-Sub, DVI-D with HDCP
25W (Max), 0.1W (Standby)
Dimensions (with stand)
21.8" x 14.99" x 9.25". (WxHxD)
5.5 lbs (Net), 11.9 lbs (Gross)
Power cord, VGA cable, setup guide
3 Years Parts and Labor, 1 Year LCD Panel
The Aire Black line comes with a built-in VESA stand that locks into place and can be mounted on a wall by pushing a button and folding it back. It doesn't require any assembly, and this, AOC says, makes "the monitor a helpful solution for businesses that require visual displays but have limited space." Duly noted.
What you won't find with the Aire Black series is an IPS panel. AOC instead uses a TN panel with LED backlighting, which is one of the reasons they're so affordable. The lack of an IPS panel isn't surprising, considering there aren't many displays that utilize both an IPS panel and LED backlighting.