AOC F22+ review
A decent budget monitor, the AOC F22+ has both VGA and DVI inputs, but despite offering fine control of image quality, the dull CCFL backlight and poor contrast detract.
Review Date: 19 Nov 2010
Price when reviewed: £100
Reviewed By: Barry de la Rosa
AOC's F22+ is just about the cheapest Full HD 22in monitor that we've ever seen. Fortunately, it doesn't look cheap thanks to its unusual design: instead of having a stand, it sits on a long bar slung underneath the screen, and leans back on a rubber-tipped "foot" whose length can be adjusted by screwing or unscrewing it. This means it sits lower than most of the other screens here.
Apart from limiting the height of the screen, this design doesn't seem to have any major drawbacks, and the F22+ can still be wall-mounted using the standard VESA mount on the rear. This model has a VGA and, unlike the similar F22s+, DVI inputs. The monitor supports HDCP, so you can connect HDMI devices, such as a Blu-ray player using an HDMI-to-DVI adaptor.
Unlike the majority of new screens here, the F22+ uses a CCFL backlight, which we found uneven and comparatively dim compared to the latest LED displays. This meant that contrast suffered, and detail was lost in very bright or dark areas. There's a slight yellow cast as well, which added warmth to photos but meant colours were a little inaccurate. The F22+ drew 34W of power when on, which is about 10W more than the average LED-backlit screen.
Instead of the usual Menu, Select and navigation buttons, the F22+ uses a single button with a directional ring around it, which also acts as the power button. A single short press brings up the menu, selects the current item and goes back to the menu, which can be confusing, but it works well enough in practice. The menu system is quite comprehensive: as well as standard brightness and contrast, you can change gamma levels and turn on dynamic contrast, although we found this caused sharp changes in brightness that were distracting.
Colour controls include Warm, Cool and Normal presets, plus a user-definable setting and an sRGB setting that disabled the other controls and which we found a bit too dark. While you can tweak a wide range of settings, however, the limitations of this monitor mean you'll never be able to get truly accurate colours or decent contrast.
Having said that, the F22+ is great value, and its menu offers more subtle control of the picture than on some more expensive displays.
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