What good is high-definition media without a high-quality display panel? The AOC T2242we not only aims to complement your computer setup, but it functions as a television as well, embodying an all-in-one display to deliver a great viewing experience.
This AOC monitor is very easy to assemble. You simply connect the base, plug it in an outlet and it’s pretty much ready to go. One thing that’s great about connecting the desktop base is that you don’t need a screwdriver.
Taking a look at AOC’s LED TV, you’ll notice that even though it has a 21.5-inch screen, it is very slim, which means you won’t have any trouble finding a place for it. If having it on a table isn’t your style, you can also mount it on a wall, but you have to purchase the bracket separately.
The first thing I noticed about the AOC T2242we was its great “Piano Polish,” which is a non-reflective matte screen. The advantage of this surface type is that it reflects significantly less of both your self-image and the irritating glare from wayward sunlight. It also repels latent fingerprints efficiently, although you will still want to wipe the screen clean occasionally to prevent dust buildup and overheating.
The T2242we comes packaged with its own remote control, which has a refreshingly simple layout and is wonderfully simple to operate. If you prefer a more hands-on experience, there are touch controls on the display itself which blends in seamlessly with the rest of the design, but it is not backlit so it will be difficult to operate in low light. The touch controls allows you to change the volume and channels, as well as access the menu and choose your source input.
Taking a look at the back of the LED TV, AOC has made sure that it has all the common connections present. There are slots for HDMI, VGA, Component Video Input/Output (YPbPr), Composite Video Input/Output, S-Video Input, PC Audio Input (or AUX) and a headphone jack. The T2242we has built-in speakers that are satisfyingly loud, although you may want to hook it up to external speakers.
After powering on the T2242 and selecting your source input, you have a total of five picture modes to choose from: Personal, Standard, Movie, Vivid and Eco. Curiously, all the presets modes were set to the maximum brightness of 100 (even in Eco mode), which I personally found to be harsh to the eyes. I would recommend a brightness setting of about 50-70, especially when you’re using the display at a close proximity, such as an extended display for your computer.
When used alternatively as a television, even when you’re at the prescribed viewing distance, the maximum setting for brightness is still too harsh, whether it’s in a sunlit room or late at night in the dark. This unkind brightness resulted in a lack of dynamic contrast, and so blacks would appear closer to gray when the setting was at full.
With that said, you will want to use the Personal mode to create your own adjustments. AOC only offers one “saved” preset at a time, which is quite disappointing. Nevertheless, its addition is very useful and may be the most commonly used. If you decide to use the presets, the Standard and Movie modes do have a slight hint of blue to it, with Eco mode hinting a little towards the warm end of the spectrum.
Once you’ve adjusted the T2242we to cater to your preferences however, it performs excellently. Colors are natural but excitingly rich, leading up to a great viewing experience. I tested the T2242we with Deus Ex: Human Revolution as well as a Blu-ray rip of Source Code, and in both instances, AOC stayed true to its brand’s name—providing great colors with equally great definition and detail.
I found the 21.5-inch display just the right size in a dual-monitor setup, and if used as a TV, it’s a little small for more than two people to truly enjoy. If you decide to have a group of people huddle around this TV though, you can rest assured that there are no issues with volume and viewing angles on the T2242we—the images displayed were visible at all times even at extreme positions and distances.
While I would have liked to see the provision for a USB thumb drive and a card reader to be able to view pictures directly on the monitor, the AOC T2242we is nevertheless an excellent LED TV/display. It features all the common connections, is easy to setup and operate, and most of all, has great image quality.
Panel Type, Size: LED, 21.5-inches
View angle: Horizontal 170°, Vertical 160° (Typ.)
Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 20million to 1
Size with base and stand (W X H X D): 521 x 401.5 x 179.4mm
• Non-reflective screen
• Rich colors
• Preset modes
The AOC T2242WE is a great monitor—colors are rich and vibrant, even though you may have to tweak its settings to get the optimal result.
Buy Meter: 8.5
[This review originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Gadgets Magazine]