Update: Our monitor came labelled as the i2353Ph, but the European model is the 'i2353Fh'. This model number has been updated throughout the review.
The tech sector moves so quickly it can be hard to know when to take the next step. IPS panel monitors are a perfect example: just a few years ago a 23in model would have been aimed at professionals, measured several inches thick and typically cost in excess of £500. Today we have a 23in IPS monitor, thinner than a smartphone, retailing for under £150 and targeting everyone. Is it time to take that step?
One look at AOC's 'i2353Fh' would certainly suggest as much. AOC has long been known for its budget products (and they haven't always fared well in our hands), but the i2353Fh is the first model we have seen which truly aims to punch above its weight. As such the first surprising figures don't come from the screen, but the design.
The i2353Fh has dimensions (with the base) of 558 x 389 x 185 mm which is wholly unremarkable, but a weight of just 2.49Kg raises eyebrows and at 9.2mm deep the thickness of the display is positively jaw dropping. As far as we are aware, this is currently the thinnest IPS monitor in the world. Naturally enough AOC has pulled some strings to achieve this - the PSU is a power brick on the cable and inputs are in the chunky base (actually making them easier to connect/disconnect) – but the end result is no less stunning. Combined with its slim bezel, brushed aluminium finish and deliberately subtle AOC logo it will be a piece of design nirvana for minimalists and fans of Apple's design philosophy.
Then again like any supermodel, the i2353Fh does suffer from moments of dizziness under close inspection. Most practically is the i2353Fh's limited adjustability. It has a limited 18 degree tilt angle (-4 to 14 degrees), but there is no height adjustment or pivot. Being so light the latter isn't a huge problem and a book will solve the former, but the omission of both is certainly disappointing, if understandable at this price. In addition, while the i2353Fh looks superb in general, there are inconsistencies in the finish and build materials which take away some gloss. For example the bezel is brushed aluminium, the neck has a mirror finish and the base is matt silver and plastic. Nice but not exactly a new dawn in product design.