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While we've reviewed a few Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 resolution) displays that managed price tags of less than £150 (the £130 BenQ G2222HDL immediately springs to mind), none are as affordable as the AOC F22s+ we're looking at today. It can be yours for a mere £110, or around £100 if you're willing to take a gamble on less reputable retailers. Either way, this makes it the cheapest branded display of its kind we're able to find, so is it the bargain of the year or do you get what you pay for?
At first glance, there's little to dislike about the F22s+. If you saw it in a shop you might remark on its unusual but attractive low-profile design, its matte, solid back and – to the casual observer – good image quality. However, the first problem reveals itself when it comes to assembly. Not that this is difficult: it's simply a matter of clicking in the provided back leg, which features a handy release button for detaching it again. Yet it does reveal some dramatic flex in the monitor's chassis and, more alarmingly, pushes away the lower bezel at the display's front when pressure is put on the stand. This system also suffers from a complete lack of adjustability, which is rather unfortunate considering we're hard-pressed to even remember the last time we came across a monitor that didn't at least offer tilt.
The build quality issues aren't just limited to the area around the stand either, as the top of the screen flexes way too easily. At its front, the F22s+ features an attractive blue-backlit (red-backlit in standby) power button with a chromed surround that acts as the control system, but it's so loose that merely touching it results in rattle. The rest of the monitor seems reasonably sturdy, but overall the AOC doesn't match the quality level of most budget displays.
Connectivity is even more disappointing, as all we're given is a single VGA port. That's right, you only get a single analogue input, which can suffer from analogue signal degradation and doesn't feature HDCP, so you won't be able to watch protected digital content such as Blu-rays.
At least the minimal controls inspire some confidence. Despite the aforementioned lack of quality, they're really responsive and, if you can ignore their looseness, offer positive feedback. A d-pad is neatly integrated into the chrome ring around the power button, which doubles as menu/enter/exit. There are no other buttons to be found.
One long press of the power button is required to turn the screen on. Once on, a short press will call up the OSD in which short presses enter or exit menus, while another long press turns the F22s+ off. When not in the OSD, the 'up' button switches between presets that include all the usual modes, 'left' gives direct access to brightness, 'right' switches between aspect ratios and 'down' automatically recalibrates to compensate for the minor inaccuracies that can creep into an analogue signal over time.
Having a four-way pad really makes navigating OSD menus far easier than with most other monitors, and we wish it was something more manufacturers implemented. The F22s+ currently offers the most intuitive control system we've come across in a very long time, for which AOC deserves high praise indeed.
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