Mon, 21 Jan 2013 AOC M2460Phu LCD monitor review
Looking for a monitor with near-IPS quality but a lower price?
- Manufacturer: AOC
- Pros: True 24-bit colour, good viewing angles, decent refresh rate, very good tonal range, very well built, rotating stand, no light leak
- Cons: Variation in display at viewing angles from the centre inherent in MVA panels, not that much cheaper than an IPS panel
- Price: £190
- Star rating:
The two main monitor standards around today are In-Plane Switching (IPS) and Twisted Neumatic (TN). The first is much higher quality with a more consistent display, true 24-bit colour, slower refresh times and a higher price. The TN panel by contrast is lower quality, isn’t true 24-bit colour, has faster refresh times and a much lower price. However, into this mix comes a third way, a kind of compromise between the two. The Multi-domain Vertical Alignment (MVA) panel can also display true 24-bit colour, wide visible viewing angles, decent refresh rates and is cheaper than IPS. The key question for any MVA panel though is whether it can get near enough to the IPS quality without being so near it in price that you may as well buy IPS anyway.
That brings us to the AOC M2460Phu backlit-LCD monitor which offers a large expanse of screen space with 24”, a rock solid stand which can rotate fully sideways as well as tilt, and a plethora of interfaces. These include a D-Sub analogue, DVI-D, HDMI, USB and headphone out sockets. They would be tricky to get at as they are under the back ledge, but as the screen swivels entirely upright it makes getting them in fairly easy. The overall styling is perfunctory and solid, rather than spectacular.
The resolution is 1920x1080 at 60Hz, which is typical for the price point. While on the monitor draws 25W which drops to a nominal 0.5W on standby. The on-screen menu is controlled by large buttons on the underside of the front and the menu itself is fairly easy to navigate with them. At 8.55Kg including the stand, this is a fairly hefty piece of kit.
The key statistics after the resolution are the contrast ratio, refresh rate and brightness. The contrast runs at a typical 1000:1 with a dynamic ratio of 20,000:1 which is fairly standard, as is the brightness of 250cdm2. Certainly there were no issues in dark or quite bright environments. The refresh rate is 5ms, which is fast enough to avoid ghosting on video or fast-moving images. It’s not TN-panel speed and to be honest, the better IPS panels can all manage 5ms as well. So, no complaints here so on to the testing.
The AOC monitor has a relatively slender frame with a clutch of USB sockets on the side for easy access.
Now, if there’s one issue with MVA panels, it’s that although they have good viewing angles and you can read the screen from a wide variety of positions, any shift from off-centre causes the colours to shift on the outside. That’s definitely the case again here. Moving shows them brighten up, even to the extent that when looking at solid colours, the middle is one colour and the outsides are a shade lighter. Moving to look at the outside edges shows that the colour there is actually consistent, but with such a large viewing area, it makes this MVA flaw readily apparent. It also makes the black screen test look like it has light leak, even though it actually doesn’t once you check. The white screen tests show no colour or shadowing in the corners, but looking at it straight on gives the edges a yellowish tint. For most uses it doesn’t really matter that much, but if you’re looking at photographs that occupy the entire screen, then be prepared to have to move around to check the edges.
The colours themselves are true and render skin tones well with no casts and on the tonal range there’s admirable graduation right into the highlights and shadows. Only really the bottom 7-8% of the shadows merge while right up to the top 2% of highlights are discernable.
The interfaces are packed under the rear base plate which houses the power supply, but are easy to access as it rotates.