Design & Build
The first unusual thing about the E2251Fwu is that the monitor itself can be removed from its stand and propped up like a kind of giant digital photo frame. Otherwise, it can be slotted into the base supplied and used like a classic computer monitor.
Whichever option you choose, you won't be able to position the screen all that freely, as it's not height adjustable and it can't used in portrait mode.
The AOC E2251Fwu has a matte screen panel, but the front casing is finished in glossy plastic. You'll therefore have to take care when moving the screen around seeing as it picks up fingerprints and greasy smears quite easily.
As we mentioned above, the only video connection on this monitor is a USB 2.0 port, which serves both to power the monitor and to input a video signal. This has the advantage of keeping cables to a minimum. Note, however, that this monitor has no audio components whatsoever.
To use the E2251Fwu, you first of all need to install the driver supplied on the computer (Windows or Mac) you want to connect it to as a secondary screen (it can be used as a main display for desktop PCs but you'll initially need to connect separate monitor to install the E2251Fwu driver). Installation is quick and easy but you'll need to reboot your computer to finish the process.
Next, connect the monitor's USB cable to two USB 2.0 ports (or one USB 3.0 port) on the computer and—hey presto—it's up and running. The E2251Fwu can then be used like a regular second monitor—to clone the main screen, to expand the display area or to shut off the main display and just use the E2251FWu.
This monitor has one major advantage over competitors, as with only one cable required for connection to a notebook, it can be easily moved from room to room with whatever device it's hooked up to. Plus, you won't have keep plugging the monitor in and out of mains sockets each time you reposition it.
The AOC E2251Fwu also allows you to connect more screens there are video outs. Plus, you can use it to add a video output without having to buy an extra graphics card (up to 6 USB displays).
Colours & Contrast
Out of the box, colours on the E2251Fwu are relatively accurate (Delta E = 3.3). In fact, only extremely demanding users needing perfect colours (photographers, designers, etc.) will really have any problem with it.
Still, it's a shame to see that there's no OSD. There's therefore no way of improving colour fidelity, and no way of adjusting the screen brightness, which is fixed at 158 cd/m².
We measured a good contrast ratio of 925:1, which is above average (850:1) compared with the other LCD monitors we've reviewed.
It's no surprise to see that this monitor isn't responsive enough to suit gamers. We measured an average ghosting time of 19 ms, which means the E251Fwu should only be used for office computing, web browsing and video playback.
There's nothing to report when it comes to input lag, however. While the lag isn't zero, any delay between a command and the onscreen action will be so low (13 ms on average) that it won't make any difference in multiplayer games.
- Only one cable for power and video input (USB 2.0)
- Colour fidelity (Delta E = 3.3)
- Contrast (925:1)
- Poor responsiveness
- TN screen looks dark when viewed from below
- Uses extra CPU power
- Hardware is quite basic
The most interesting, original and appealing thing about the AOC E2251Fwu is that it can be hooked up to a laptop or tablet (Windows and Mac) via USB with no need for an extra graphics card, a load of cables or an external power connection. However, this can add extra workload to the computer's CPU with certain programs (games, videos, etc.). Plus, there are monitors out there with better colours and wider viewing angles for about the same price. We'd therefore only recommend it if you have very specific needs.