AOC myStage e2343Fi £208
4th Oct 2012 | 08:30
Want to watch movies on a washed-out screen with awful audio? Okay!
The problem with the AOC mySTage e2343Fi monitor isn't so much the fact that the screen is poor, or that the speakers in the base are lacklustre. Neither is it that the finish and build quality feel cheap, that the price is high, or that the iPod/iPhone dock doesn't do what you hope. No, the problem is all of these at once.
The panel itself, at 1,920x1,080 pixels, might have impressed us five years ago, but it's not good enough today. No matter how we fiddled with colour profiles, the different modes on the screen, or the manual controls, we couldn't get rid of the blue bias.
Worse, despite boasting a meaningless 50,000,000:1 contrast ratio, everything was shockingly washed out.
There's enough space in the base to fit speakers that could make a decent stab at reproducing a song or a movie soundtrack with some semblance of accuracy and drama. Sadly, AOC hasn't taken the opportunity to fit those speakers; what we have instead are insipid.
The shiny black plastic of the frame doesn't match the premium finish of a Mac, and there's an alarming amount of wobble in the stand. The screen is at least slim.
Finally, the dock: the thing that presumably justifies charging twice what comparably-specced 1080p displays cost. Well, it charges your device, and you can play music from it through the speakers.
But if you think you can mirror your iOS device's display, or use it as an easy way to watch iPlayer on the big screen, you're in for an unpleasant surprise. Only apps that implement a specific video output method - such as the built-in Videos or Photos app - are supported, and that means no iPlayer, no 4oD, no Netflix and so on. Also, video is passed to the screen over an analogue connection, and it's low-res and smeary.
The idea of a combined Full HD screen, dock and speaker is really appealing. Just don't buy this one.