LCD monitors. We just can’t get enough of them. From the jargon printed colorfully on stickers hugging the side panels, to the detachable stands that come packed snug in their thermacol factions. There are numerous brands, and even more series of product models by those brands. Today we have Acer, a brand we haven't covered recently, thus it will be a refreshing change, let’s see what their 23-incher, the H233H can do to stand out in the crowd.
Design and Features
This LCD monitor has one thing going for it very well, and that is its aesthetics. It is markedly cooler looking than other brands' models — it’s the subtle stuff that matters. The finish is high gloss piano black all over, even on the oval stand. The stand surprisingly looks the best, with a large Acer logo embossed in, and a special glitter finish on the gloss. Everything is in good limits so as to not go into the realm of ‘tacky’. The bottom panel has a nice looking power button, with a white LED accenting when turned on. The controls for the monitor are touch sensitive, and smoothly flush with the bottom panel. I like the white backlit buttons; they become brighter when you touch them.
The stand only allows for the screen to be tilted forward and back, while the back itself is also good looking; not that it matters as it is out of sight. The connectors are bare necessities for an HD multimedia experience, which are one HDMI, one DVI-D (HDCP compatible) and VGA in. There are no USBS ins, no webcam or other fancy stuff, as this monitor is aimed at the segment where HD viewing on a budget is the need of the moment. The monitor has 2-watt speakers, located behind the bezel, though, but their physical attributes alone do not look too promising. A headphone out would have been nice instead of the included audio in, but the former is not there.
The screen is full HD at 1080 x 1920, and true 16:9, so this model takes on the avatar of the new breed of affordable Full HD displays. The brightness is at 300 cd/m2, and contrast ratio is at 40,000:1 dynamic. Response time is standard 5 ms, and the panel is TN panel. Thus viewing angles rating is less at 160/160 degrees. There is one point that needs mention here: the monitor does not swivel left and right.
We were quite eager to see what this shiny looking LCD could do when turned on, so in went the power cord and out came the HDMI wire brimming with a 1080p signal. On turning it on the first thing we had to encounter and familiarize ourselves with were the backlit fancy touch sensitive buttons. I was expecting them to misbehave as their kin always does, but these were not so finicky. In fact they were satisfactorily responsive. A light feather touch is all that’s required.
The menu actually has limited controls for calibrating stuff and the five presets, namely User, Standard, Text, Graphics and Movie were nothing out of the ordinary. So we selected User preset and put on Grayscale test patterns.
The low blacks were weak, and this disappointed us outright. There was not much discernment amongst low black level bars, and overall they did not go that deep. On the other side, whites were clear, but again, the contrast in the image that could make the image really vibrant was absent. So overall we can say that the brightness and contrast is average to decent. The good part is that the whites do not bloom at high levels, nor are there colorations or tinges, thus mostly 6500 K neutral color temp is maintained thereabout.
The good part of the monitor was the sharpness and detail. Fonts look very crisp and readable, plus we conducted our test of 1080 lines of alternating black and white, that can really show the monitors level of accuracy in detailing colors and minute regions, which this Acer did well at depicting.
For the movies and games playback we used Tropic Thunder HD file, and Prince Of Persia. The motion department was satisfactory, impressive rather. Very little motion blur and artifacts of the sort were encountered. With the contrast being weak, there was a certain washed out feeling. Blacks did not look too convincing.
This one is an affordable monitor at Rs. 13,000. But there are compromises in the grayscale luminance department. Simply speaking the blacks are not too deep and looks washed out a bit. The good things are the clear sharpness and well controlled motion scenes. Overall it might work as a nice office monitor for doing text and presentation work, and casual gaming and movies will pass, but anyone who is an enthusiast level video guy will want more juice for sure.
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