AOC is a trusted brand when it comes to dependable desktop monitors, offering some smart display tech at an affordable price. Recently we reviewed the brilliant Q2790PQU, which delivered hard for just £339. Yet the new X24P1 offers a similarly strong experience for a little over £200, making it an absolute bargain.
AOC’s latest 24-inch desktop monitor is a smart match for anyone after an affordable screen that doesn’t compromise on quality. Designed with business tasks in mind, the AOC X24P1 offers a 16:10 aspect ratio and Full HD visuals. It’s also pleasingly compact, so will fit desks of pretty much any size and shape.
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First impressions are certainly strong, thanks to the display’s easy-to-assemble nature. Five minutes after yanking the monitor and its various bits out of the box, the thing was all setup and wired to my computer. You can securely attach the monitor to its stand without the need for any tools, so I didn’t even need to waste time hunting down my screwdriver.
You should have no problem at all finding a comfortable viewing angle either, thanks to the AOC X24P1’s flexible design. The screen can be raised an impressive 8 inches (20cm) from your desk’s surface, or lowered so it’s stood just two inches above. Adjusting that position is a smooth, fluid motion, yet the display holds firmly in place once you’re happy. Just don’t accidentally lean on the thing while you’re sipping your coffee.
Likewise, the screen can be tilted on its axis to face 35 degrees upwards, or 5 degrees downwards. You can also rotate it 90-degrees clockwise, for a portrait orientation.
The monitor’s stand isn’t intrusively large, so you can fit this panel on even quite compact desks without a struggle. All the same, it’s big enough to keep the X24P1 stable, even when the screen is accidentally knocked. And the display itself is fairly skinny, measuring just a couple of inches at its thickest point.
The monitor and its base are both constructed from plastic, without any frills to speak of. Not a surprise, given that low asking price. All the same, I appreciated the skinny bezels surrounding the screen. There’s no wasted space here, which again really helps out when you only have a compact space to work with.
Likewise, I have no complaints when it comes to the number of ports and other connections on offer. For display output you have a choice between D-Sub, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. I stuck with DisplayPort and HDMI and these worked a charm. Those ports are all squirreled away at the back as standard, so you can keep your cables tucked out of view.
You’ll also find a bank of four USB ports handily arranged along the right hand side of the monitor, again out of view. Sadly, I found that my mice, keyboards and other peripherals wouldn’t work via these connections, although the ports are still handy for charging smartphones and other gear. There’s even a headphone port buried away at the back, but it’s more awkward to locate than a polar bear in a blizzard. You’re probably best off just using the port on your computer instead.
The monitor’s built-in settings menu is simple enough to navigate using the dinky buttons in the bottom right corner. This includes all of the usual options you’d expect, including timeout, picture position, contrast, brightness and gamma control and full colour setup. You also have a selection of Eco Mode presets, which you can quickly skip through. These basically configure your contrast and brightness levels to suit activities such as gaming, reading and watching movies, to save you fiddling with the separate balances separately.
Of course, a desktop monitor can be beautifully designed with a whole host of useful ports, and it won’t mean squat if the picture output is obscene. Luckily the AOC X24P1 offers some decent image quality, considering that budget asking price.
The IPS panel pumps out some attractive colours, so anyone who wants a monitor for professional design work will be happy with the results. A respectable 99% of the sRGB gamut is accurately reproduced for photo and video editing, so what you see is basically what you get. This dips a little to 79% for the AdobeRGB gamut, but that’s entirely common. The 6281k colour temperature is a little warm, but not terribly far from the 6500k ideal.
Contrast levels are just as satisfying. The colorimeter test recorded a ratio of 950:1, which is excellent — 1000:1 is the ideal, so we’ll take this. If you’re working on video with high dynamic range, the picture will be accurately reproduced. And at this size, I found the Full HD 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution produced a crisp enough picture for all kinds of tasks. You have to push your face right up to the panel to spy any individual pixels, which I wouldn’t particularly recommend anyway.
Despite that budget asking price, video reproduction is also perfectly fine. I didn’t notice any obvious issues with ghosting or tearing, even when enjoying fast-paced sports like football and F1 racing.
The panel’s matte finish means that you won’t be troubled by pesky reflections, which can be a particular problem in some office environments. Along with the flexible screen positioning, this is a great pick for any kind of workplace, regardless of any searing neon lights. Clarity is helped by the respectable maximum brightness of 300 nits, enough to counter typical levels of glare. I didn’t have any issues with the uniformity of that WLED backlighting either. Occasionally these budget monitors bleed a little at the edges, but that wasn’t the case here.
Viewing angles are also absolutely fine. Even when you have three heads crammed around the AOC X24P1, there’s no problems with visibility. You can look at the picture from even the most extreme near 180-degree angle and still clearly read text, while colours don’t take much of a hit.
As for the size and shape of the display, I found it well suited to your typical office tasks and web browsing. If you’re going to be gaming or watching a lot of movies, you may wish to look at a monitor with more of a stretched aspect ratio. For everything else, this does the job nicely.
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Around the back of the monitor you’ll find a pair of built-in 2W speakers. At first I thought that these stereo blasters would be a welcome bonus feature. After all, if you’re trying to save on desk space and don’t like headphones, this is a pretty neat solution to free-standing speakers.
Unfortunately, a mere minute after testing them out, my opinion changed. Playing audio through these speakers is possibly worse than simply having no sound at all. The audio quality is dire, worse than some tablets and smartphones that I’ve tested.
Even on maximum volume, the sound that’s pumped out of this thing is flatter than my neighbour’s yappy dog. You’ll need total silence in your surroundings to make out dialogue in movies, which is whisper quiet, while music playback is tinny and awful.
For this asking price, the AOC X24P1 offers solid value for money. The smart design makes it well suited to smaller desks, while connectivity and the features set raise no complaints.
Likewise, I was impressed by the picture quality. Sharp, accurate visuals make this display a great choice for any creative workers on a tight budget, or simply anyone who wants a reliable panel for everyday office tasks.
It’s a shame the built-in speakers are utterly dire, but you can only expect so much at this kind of price point. Get some headphones on the go and you’re golden.