31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Tiny slim monitor - great price
, May 29, 2011
This review is from: Acer S231HL bid 23-Inch Widescreen Ultra-Slim LED Display - Black (Personal Computers)
My 28" monitor took a dump overnight and so I needed something cheap and usable pronto until I get the chance to replace the capacitors on my larger screen.
I opted for the Acer 231HL due to the ultra slim design and obviously the low cost. First thing to note is despite this being touted as a 23" monitor it's tiny. Now I don't just mean thin (which it really is) but the screen itself just seems so wee. I realize that I'm used to seeing a 28" screen but would ~4" make such a stark difference? Maybe, and of course if you're coming from a smaller monitor then you'll instead probably be amazed at how much bigger this is... it's all relative I guess. The much-welcomed limited bezel around the screen and small base stand does add to the apparent diminutive size. It just seems a tad wider and shorter than it should be - having said that everything looks in proportion, not squished or anything indicating that there's an aspect ratio problem, so it's psychosomatic I guess. When set to its native resolution of 1920x1080 it looks crystal clear.
The monitor itself is advertised as VGA/DVI and HDMI. Now I don't know what happened but mine does not have a HDMI port. There's a space where the connector should be and indeed the manual shows it clearly but it's just not there. Bizarre as I see reviews and specifications discussing HDMI which my monitor just does not have. My model number is definitely S231HL - there's no extra numbers or letters so I guess some iterations were manufactured without HDMI. I feel this is very important to note, especially if you intend to use the monitor as a TV. You should definitely check this first before you even unpack the monitor fully. For me it's no biggy as I'm using the supplied DVI cable so I'm not worried about it. Your mileage and needs may vary. There are also no speakers on this unit which aids in its small size and depth but may be a deal breaker for you.
The screen itself is excellent and has great black levels. The 12 million to 1 contrast ratio is of course a silly spec since it's just the dynamic contrast ratio and, despite some searching online, I cannot absolutely find anywhere that states the much more useful static contrast ratio for this unit. I suspect it's in the 1000:1 range though. I do note that (probably) thanks to the LED back lighting the black levels are excellent when compared to a nearby 800:1 static contrast monitor - so no complaints there. The screen did have a slight greenish hue to it and pure yellow in Photoshop (R:255 G:255 B:0) looked a tad sickly green. So much so that when I turned down the red by 10% it still looked the same. I tried playing with both the nvidia graphic card settings and the monitor settings itself and even installed a shareware app called powerstrip which I've used in the past to acutely control the monitor all to no avail. However, after using the monitor for a week it seems to have 'settled in' and now looks fine which is frankly a little disconcerting!
As a fan of unnecessary super bright LEDs I just have to mention the power light. It a thumbnail sized piece of semi-oval perspex that drips down on the right on the monitor. Nice touch.
So in summation a great monitor at a great price. The initial greeny color and lack of HDMI on my model loses it a star. But honestly for the price it's a steal - buy two and have a great multi-monitor set up for about the price of just a single competing monitor.
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