|Review: AOC E960SW Monitor|
Monday, 11 June 2012 09:40
One of the aspects I dislike about tablet computers and – to a lesser degree – even laptops, is the fact that ergonomically, they're not good for you.
When typing on a tablet, your hands are in the wrong position. Even worse, when you're looking at a tablet's screen while typing, you tend to look down. This places strain on your neck and can lead to anything from stiffness to headaches.
If you want to limit neck and wrist strain, the solution is to use a good, old-fashioned desktop PC. One that is equipped with a separate monitor and keyboard that can be placed in positions where they will be the easiest and healthiest to use.
When I'm behind my desktop PC, I tend to be more productive too. The desktop makes me feel more businesslike than I feel when I'm using my laptop.
Not long ago, though, my happy little work space stopped being so happy when my monitor decided that it needed to take a break. For good. While gathering the resources to buy a new monitor, I ended up working on my laptop a lot more frequently.
Fortunately, the kind people at Tarsus Technologies provided a helping hand by giving me an AOC E960SW monitor to use. In fact, I'm looking at it right now as I'm typing up this review.
Without going into too much detail, the holding company of AOC (Art of Colours), is one of the world's largest screen manufacturers. No matter what monitor you're using, there's a good chance that it was manufactured by AOC.
The AOC E960SW is an 18.5-inch, diagonal, LED backlit monitor that has a resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. This makes it an HD-ready monitor and, for general applications, this resolution is good.
The functionality of the monitor is also good. It is supplied with a stand that offers some tilt adjustment, which is good for ergonomics. I would have liked height adjustment as well as tilt, but for the AOC's price, not having this can be forgiven. A copy of the Yellow Pages directory, placed under the monitor, got it to the perfect height for me.
On the control side, the 960SW has easy to use buttons on the underside of its front bezel. It even came with screen setting software that could be used instead of these buttons. Also supplied was software for splitting the monitor into multiple screens, as well as energy saving software. Being LED based, the monitor already used considerably less power than my old, CCFL-based one.
Being as fussy as I am about colour, I didn't use the supplied software to set the screen, but rather my Spyder3 Pro system, which uses a combination of sofware and measuring hardware. The results of this calibration was a monitor that was colour accurate, was capable of delivering good image depth, and with contrast good enough for me to see the shadow detail in the special stills test images I use when evaluating the overall image delivered by a monitor.
One down side was that the 960SW had an extremely narrow viewing angle. For optimum performance, it has to be looked at pretty much when it is on its main axis. Move it up, down, left, or right, and you rapidly start to lose colour fidelity and contrast.
When used to watch videos on, the monitor suffered from a fair bit of ghosting around moving images. This means that, while it will still deliver good colour quality, it probably isn't the best choice for gamers or avid video fans. Added to this is the limited input capabilities - it only has a D-Sub 15 input, so it won’t connect to higher quality graphics cards.
The AOC 960Sw is a good all-round and affordable monitor that does most things well. It will suit those whose work has them behind a monitor for long periods of time – I suffered no eye strain while typing reviews. It delivers accurate colours (with the above-mentioned caveats), and is energy efficient. Gamers and graphics designers can always look at a higher spec AOC monitor.
Good: It's well priced. Once set, it has good overall image quality, and its use of LED lamps as a back-light is energy efficient.
Bad: For optimum image quality, you have to be directly on axis or you lose contrast and colour accuracy. Its D-SUB input only may be a limiting factor to those who want to use higher quality graphics cards.
Price: R 849.00
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