LG isn't the only manufacturer to take a punt at passive 3D technology in its monitors: today we're trying AOC's e2352Phz which also rejects active 3D. It's a 23'' monitor with a 5 ms polarised TN display suitable for use with passive 3D glasses. An HDMI 1.4 input means you can use it with lots of different inputs and the whole thing costs less that £200.
Hardware and design: new interface
Much like the LG D2342, the AOC e2352PHz doesn't have a revolutionary hardware design. Video inputs are all there, with HDMI 1.4, VGA and DVI ports, but listing the accessories on offer won't take us very long. There's just a pair of speakers and a headphone jack. To gain more than three stars in this section, monitors need a little more flexibility, like a display which tips back or a USB hub.
The design is nothing revolutionary either, despite the glossy black exterior adding a little bit of class. One thing that is worth pointing out is the updated design that AOC has used for the onscreen menus, which are well thought out and easy to use. It might not sound much, but plenty of other manufacturers neglect this area.
You get two pairs of passive 3D glasses, which you will need to enjoy 3D video and gaming. One is normal pair of polarised glasses while another is designed to be worn on top of ordinary glasses. Passive, polarised glasses have one clear advantage over active glasses in that they're more comfortable, lighter and cheaper, because they have no electronics and no need for a battery. The downside is that the visible resolution is divided in two, falling from Full HD to 1920 x 540 pixels. The results are similar to good quality 720p, compared to the Full HD offered by active 3D.
Colours: accurate by default
We had a nice surprise when we tested the colours on AOC's new 23'' monitor, which performs at its best without any modifications. We measured an excellent deltaE score of 2.7.
The most demanding users might not be totally happy with the slight blue tinge caused by a colour temperature of 7500 K instead of the ideal value of 6500 K. The only way to get rid of that is by using a calibration profile.
We were a little disappointed by the contrast ratio which never got above 700:1, compared to an average figure of around 850:1 on other monitors.
Responsiveness: stick to films and apps
Responsiveness is less vital with passive 3D screens than with ones using active technology. On a passive monitor, it's problems with the polarised lenses, rather than a display that doesn't update quickly enough that will lead to crosstalk, interference between the signals for the left and right eye when watching in 3D. The fact that the e2352Phz has a 5 ms TN display doesn't stop it from doing a good job of showing content in 3D.
But 2D gaming is more complicated. With a ghosting time of 17 ms, there's no way the e2352Phz fast enough for gaming. We suggest you stick with office work, web browsing or watching films on this monitor.
There's nothing to report about the input lag, which is short enough to not produce any problems.
Image Quality: 3D: Cancel those invites
We've already said that the e2352Phz isn't suited for gaming, so the only way to enjoy its 3D capacities is by watching a movie in 3D. It will need to be native 3D, too, as you there's no 2D-to-3D conversion either.
It doesn't matter whether you're looking up or down at it, but the size of the screen means that you need to stay right in the centre line and to one side, otherwise crosstalk can interfere with your enjoyment of Blu-ray 3D discs. That makes it hard to fit more than one person in front of the monitor at once.
And that's even bearing in mind that you have to sit far enough back to see in 3D. We tried several positions and found that a distance of around a metre worked best. Sit that far back and your 3D movies will look great.
- Very little crosstalk if you're in the right place
- Accurate colours with the default settings
- Good value for a 3D screen
- Lightweight glasses
- Good-looking OSD
- Below average contrast
- Not responsive enough for gaming
- Viewing angles are too narrow for more than one person to watch in 3D
- No 2D-to-3D conversion
The e2352Phz is a 23'' monitor which will be fine for working with applications but also showing Blu-ray 3D discs. You can't invite any friends to join the fun, however, because its viewing angles mean only one person can see in 3D at once. In short, it does the same as the LG D2342, but for less money and with more accurate colour reproduction. LG, does, however, have the advantage of a 2D-to-3D converter which AOC misses out on.