Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Nov 30, 2011

Review – AOC Aire Black 22″ LED LCD Monitor

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Technical Specs

Model: e2243Fwk MSRP: $149
Viewable Image Size: 21.5″ (16:9) Contrast Ratio: 50000000:1
Response Time: 5ms Optimum Resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz
Video Input: RGB D-Sub, DVI-HDCP

I think we all remember when we got our first LCD screen. Scooting over that old CRT and setting up that thin panel was one of those days that sticks out in my PC gaming history. Half Life 2 never looked so good. Well, there’s a new breed of monitor that’s slowly been making its way to the general populous, and while it isn’t quite as revolutionary as the LCD, these LED backlit LCDs still have a nice wow-factor. Today we’re going to take a look at our first such screen, the AOC Aire Black 22-inch backlit LCD.

First Look

Remember that wow-factor that I mentioned earlier? As soon as you pull this out of the box, it will hit. The panel is only 1.29cm thick. To give you a better idea, my (original) iPad is 1.34cm thick, so it’s thinner than a tablet. That goes for the entire panel as well, since there are no controls, inputs, or VESA mounts to be found on it. Just 1.29cm of screen goodness.

So where are all of those other things? The company has elected to put them in the base, to keep that thin panel look, and I can’t blame them. It would seem a bit less impressive if there was a block that was considerably thinner in the middle. On the base are a series of touch-sensitive controls, a port for your power cord, and both DVI and VGA inputs. Unfortunately these are the only two inputs, which means you’ll have to look elsewhere if you’re wanting HDMI or DisplayPort. Something else you won’t are speakers. I’m not particularly upset about this one, as most built-in speakers are terrible at best.

The base for this monitor is a bit unusual, as far as bases go. It does not detach, like most. Instead, it folds back and can sit parallel to the screen. This allows it to lay down almost flat for packing, or sit right up against the wall. Speaking of mounting, the VESA mount is on the bottom, which works out for this design.

My biggest issue with the base is that it prevents you from moving the monitor around. It only tilts back and forth (more back than forth). There’s no height adjustment or swivel to be found here. If you want to make adjustments, you’ll either need to mount it to something, or set it on some books.


I like a thin monitor just as much as the next guy, but if it has muddy colors and ghosting issues, I’d prefer a clunky old CRT. I will say that since this uses a TN panel, you’re not going to get the most crisp picture around. However, you’re definitely not paying for an IPS monitor, so the difference is forgivable (and definitely no reason to go pulling out a CRT).

The colors on this screen are crisp enough for a TN panel, with whites being especially bright. Blacks, on the other hand were a bit lighter than I would like, but still within acceptable viewing limits. Brightness will not be an issue at all. In fact, if you stick it next to an older LCD, you’ll almost wish it weren’t so bright, as it makes the old one look dull by comparison.

Viewing angles were great, with the only issues coming at the very extreme angles. At that point, colors tend to wash, and you start seeing a lot of excess white. I was also happy to find that there was no backlight bleeding to be found, which has always been a big pet peeve of mine with some LCDs.

So how does it do for gaming? I can’t say I have a lot of complaints here. Motion blur and ghosting weren’t an issue, which are generally the two things you’re going to care most about.


If you’re in the market for a new monitor, I’d definitely recommend looking at LED-backlit screens. They are definitely the future. I’m happy with this one in particular, as it looks good and performs well. The $149 price (you’ll find it for less if you look around) isn’t bad at all for a 22-inch monitor. Just keep in mind that you’ll only have VGA and DVI to work with, and that you won’t be able to adjust the height of the screen. If you’re fine with those two issues, then I’d say the AOC Aire Black would be a good purchase to make.

The Good

  • Extremely thin.
  • Very bright.
  • Colors look vibrant and crisp.

The Bad

  • VESA mount is on the stand.
  • No height adjustment.
  • Blacks could be darker.

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