AOC Aire Black E2243FWK LED Monitor Review

Calibration & Controls

¿Habla Español? Français? English? AOC's on screen display (OSD) controls have you covered with 14 different languages to choose from. Unless you only understand Klingon, there's a good chance the E2243FWK speaks your native tongue.

AOC wins style points for implementing touch sensitive buttons on the base, but loses brownie points for functionality. Once the gee-whiz factor wears off, you're left with a second-rate input system that, while it looks and feels high tech, is a second rate solution that doesn't offer the same comfort as physical buttons. The E2243FWK includes five touch-sensitive buttons that all glow blue when you run your finger across any of one of them, but as has been our experience with other touch input solutions, we found these to be a little janky. They're great when they work, but oftentimes you'll find yourself repeatedly mashing a button trying to get it to register.

On the plus side, AOC affords plenty of customization options in each of its seven menus, including Luminance, Image Setup, Color Temp., Color Boost, Picture Boost, OSD Setup, and Extra. Two additional options allow you to Reset back to factory settings, and Exit the menu. Navigating takes a little bit of getting used to, as it does with any monitor, though we never quite felt that jumping around was particularly intuitive, in part because as soon as you get yourself into a rhythm, the touch buttons stop responding.

To make things easier, AOC offers a couple of apps with the included CD. One of these is AOC's i-Menu software. This lets you control the OSD options using a keyboard and mouse, assuming you get it to work. Even though we had installed the supplied driver, the i-Menu utility refused to recognize the E2243FWK on our testbed using Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

The other piece of software is AOC's Screen+ utility. What this does is let you manage multiple windows in up to four panes, each one automatically resized when you drop them into a pane. You can accomplish the same thing using Windows as you normally would by manually resizing and moving things around, which essentially limits the usefulness of such a utility. Where it might be more useful is in multi-monitor setups, which AOC says is fully supported. We also ran into a bit of trouble using the utility using a 64-bit version of Windows 7. Browser windows would refuse to lock into place, an anomaly that didn't occur when using a 32-bit version of Windows.

Calibration (DisplayMate)
Menus and Options

DisplayMate Test Screens

We're now using DisplayMate for Windows ( as part of our monitor evaluation process. DisplayMate's smorgasbord of tests allow us to root out potential problems areas, such as geometry distortion and color inaccuracies, to name just two.

Not many pitchers are capable of hitting a homerun, and likewise, we didn't expect the E2243FWK with its TN panel to knock one out of the park during our DisplayMate run. And it didn't, though it did perform pretty well overall, particularly for the price. We didn't notice any geometry issues, the panel didn't exhibit any backlight bleeding, and the LED backlight shines bright. White and black level testing turned in average results, with less than smooth transitions at the extreme end of each spectrum, and the same held true for grayscale testing. The E2234FWK also ran into a bit of trouble in DisplayMate's Moire test, in which there was noticeable interference in the form of flickering.

Running through DisplayMate's suite of photos and our own collection of images, the E2243FWK produced bright and clean reproductions that should satisfy most home users. However, professional graphics artists and those invested heavily into photography, whether as a career or a serious hobby, will want to save up for a professional monitor with an IPS panel. While we were mostly pleased with the E2243FWk's performance, compared to professional displays, images didn't 'pop' and appeared a bit dull. That's not to say AOC's monitor looked bad, it just didn't punch us in the gut and knock us out of our chair.

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