The latest widescreen monitor from AOC touts its green credentials; it’s 100% mercury-free which reduces its environmental impact considerably, and its LED lighting technology is so efficient that it saves up to 63% power when compared with non-LED monitors. It is only 18.5 inches, which can also cause resolution issues with its widescreen format (with the fairly unusual 1366 x 768p resolution being the natural resolution in this case). For instance, this particular unit was tested mostly as a secondary monitor to a laptop, and many of the complementary resolutions simply weren’t supported. In fact, you really notice the difference in resolutions when running it side by side with a high-res display using such a dual-monitor setup as in this scenario; in many ways the visual clarity of the E936SWA seems like a step back towards that of older CRT monitors. It’s perhaps due to the rather unfortunate fact that this supports VGA input only. Because it doesn’t support a digital input, it impacts noticeably on the crispness of the on-screen visuals. It’s bizarre, since most monitors these days come with an HDMI input as standard, but it might explain the relatively low price point of this model.
That considered, it’s surprising that the E936SWA includes an additional USB port; they’re fast becoming a scarce commodity, so it’s nice to see that AOC has given you one more with this monitor.
PROS: Affordable. Built-in speakers. Extra USB port. Touch controls.
CONS: Analogue only (no HDMI input or otherwise), which results in a comparatively bland and washed-out image.
VERDICT: An inexpensive entry-level monitor that performs well and even has a few nice touches that are (hopefully) adopted by other manufacturers going forward. I’d recommend this monitor as a cheap and reliable deployment for a small business that needs monitors and not necessarily all the bells and whistles. However, those with a particular requirement for visual fidelity should look elsewhere.