How often these days do you see 4×3-aspect LCD monitors for sale? I’d be willing to bet it’s not often. Widescreen has simply dominated the PC market, from laptops to desktops, which a lot of people thinking is a wonderful thing. It makes laptops smaller, it’s better for watching movies and it lets you put documents side-by-side.
But the downside to this is considerably less vertical room, and if you think about it that’s where you often need it. How often have to been to a website that is almost twice as wide as it is tall? Or written a document in landscape? In truth, for the normal, everyday stuff we do on our computers widescreen doesn’t make a lot of sense. All it serves to do is fill our field of vision.
There are a few manufacturers that make screens to cater for those who want the ultimate in practicality for these activities, with screens that can be rotated with a simple flick of the wrist (Dell comes to mind). AOC have decided to get in on the action with the 2219P2 Jenio, a 22” 1680×1050 Widescreen display, that in an instant can be flipped to provide a very practical and long 1050×1680 resolution.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was how corporate it looked. Compared to the AOC 2230Fm I reviewed a few weeks ago it’s downright boring, but style isn’t the reason you (or your company) will buy this monitor. It’s a simple flat silver bezel, with an odd looking black bar below the LCD.
Around the back you will find the usual DVI, VGA and power connectors, as well as a 3.5mm jack for connecting the displays rubbish speakers to your computer. Included in the box is all four of these cables, which is quite impressive! Some manufacturers don’t include all of them in the box adding to the final cost of the monitor.
The stand on the 2219P2 very adjustable, so you can keep the phonebooks off your desk. To get the display into portrait mode the stand has to be set quite high, since it’s a long way from the top to the bottom of the LCD. The rotation action is very slick, and feels quite solid.
Unfortunately there is no automatic rotation, so you’ll have to dig into your graphics cards options to flip the image going out to the display. I know some of the Dell’s do it, so it’s a shame the feature couldn’t have been implemented. To be honest though I can’t see it being flipped around on a regular basis, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
In use it really is very good, if a little odd at first. When I began using the AOC in portrait mode it didn’t feel natural, but after a few days I found it to be extremely useful. Take this shot showing my Gmail inbox, I can see the entire list of emails with plenty of room to spare. It’s the same situation with websites, it makes browsing a much nicer experience.
In landscape it performs just like any other 22” Widescreen LCD. I will note that the 2219P2 is not as good as the 2230Fm when it comes to image quality, but it will be more than adequate for business users (where this monitor would really be targeted). Don’t get me wrong, colours are good, response times were fine and it’s quite a bit cheaper, but it lacks the vividness (and nice design) of the 2230Fm.
If you often work on long documents or are an avid web surfer, I would thoroughly recommend you take a look at a rotatable monitor like the 2219P2, it just works!
What I Like: Rotation ability, all cables included in the box
What Needs Improvement: Auto-rotation would have been nice, but it’s not essential.