“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

AOC Aire Black LED Monitor First Look

AOC Aire Black LED Monitor

AOC Aire Black LED Monitor


  • Product Name: Aire Black LED Monitor
  • Manufacturer: AOC
  • Review Date: March 02, 2011 01:30
  • MSRP: $129 (20"), $149 (22"), $179 (23")
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Screen Size: 20”, 22”, 23”
  • Ultra-slim display panel throughout (.5 in/ 12.7 mm)
  • WLED Backlight
  • 50,000,000:1 DCR
  • 5ms Response Time
  • DVI-D with HDCP Input
  • Screen+ Technology
  • e-Saver Feature

As much as we love our projectors and huge plasma displays, we spend much more time looking at our computer monitors. You're probably the same way. If it isn't at work, it's at home checking your email, facebook, and, hopefully, Audioholics.com. If you use your computer monitor so much more than your home theater display, it makes sense that you get something good. Something large enough, bright enough, and clear enough so that you're not squinting or straining.

In almost any other first look, it is at this point that I would start trying to sell you on an expensive monitor.

When AOC sent me their press release, I almost deleted it out of hand. Monitors are just so boring. They only really come in two flavors, expensive and OK or cheap and crappy. Even though we spend far more time with our monitors than we do our home theater displays, we wouldn't dream of spending hundreds, much less thousands, on them. It just isn't going to happen. So, more often than not, we are looking for the biggest monitor we can find for the least amount of money. Newer technology is nice as are other convenience features but size and price trump all.

That's why I didn't delete the AOC press release. With three new offerings, my jaw hit the ground when I saw the prices. The new Aire Black LED monitor comes in 20-inch (e2043Fk, $129), 22-inch (e2243Fwk, $149) and 23-inch (e2343Fk, $179) screen sizes, and is now available. If you are like us, you know two things about monitor prices - MSRPs are really just suggestions and you're not going to pay it. So with a 20" for under $130, we did a little searching. At this time, we can find it for $143 at Amazon (uhh.... no) and for $99 at a number of locations. That's a 20" super thin LED monitor for a C-note. count us in.

Taking a closer look at the Aire Black LED monitors, they feature a gloss black case, and one of the slimmest profiles. At only a half inch thick, you'll have no problems impressing your friends or, more importantly, freeing up some desk real estate. Of course, given the profile you know the Aire Black monitors feature edge lit LED technology which is prone to less than uniform brightness. It does claim an impressively ridiculous 50,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio (when are they going to stop the CR wars? Haven't enough died already?), a 5ms response time and a DVI-D input that supports HDCP so that you can use an DVI to HDMI cable or converter without issues. With a display this small, there aren't going to be any speakers but you don't need those anyhow. You're an Audioholic. Also included with the monitors is embedded Screen+ software that allows the user to divide the screen into four self-contained work areas.

For those worried about then environment and power usage (except for our amps, those stay on all the time), the Aire Black monitors have obtained EPEAT Gold certification for its green packaging and production and consumes only 15 watts of energy with an eSaver feature that lets the user preset power conservation modes for the display when the PC is not in use. The monitor’s Power Saving Mode uses 50 percent less power, and Standby Mode uses only 0.1w.

One of the cooler features is the built-in VESA stand that locks into place so that the monitor can be used on a desktop and easily mounted on a wall by simply pushing a button and folding the stand at its tilt hinge.  Since mounts and stands can easily run half the price of the 20" monitor, this represents a fairly significant savings. No assembly is required for the stand. 


Forget all that. Just look at the price. With the included stand which will double as a wall mount, the new AOC Aire Black LED monitors represent a new low in entry price to upgrade your computer display. We keep checking the calendar to see if it is Black Friday. With MSRPs at $130 for the 20", $150 for the 22", and $180 for the 23" and street prices sure to be lower, we don't care about much else. The fact that the Aire Black LED monitors feature edge-lit LED backlighting and are only 1/2" thick is just gravy. We'd love to get our eyes on one to make sure the picture isn't totally horrible. Because at these prices, that'd be the only deal-breaker.

For more information,please visit us.aoc.com.


Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
author portrait

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

View full profile