Features, Specifications, and Warranty

As a brief overview of some of the display features and specifications that we will discuss, we again refer back to our earlier Gateway FPD2485W review. How important the individual specifications are is up for debate, and what matters to one person may not matter at all to someone else. We will see how the Acer AL2216W stands up to the competition in a moment, but first here are the manufacturer specifications.

Acer AL2216W Specifications
Video Inputs DVI with HDCP support, VGA
Panel Type LCD Active Matrix TFT TN
Pixel Pitch 0.282mm
Colors 16.7 million
Brightness 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 700:1
Response Time 5ms (GTG)
Viewable Size 22" diagonal
Resolution 1680x1050
Viewing Angle 170/160 horizontal/vertical
Power Consumption 55W max
Power Savings 3W
Power Supply Built-in
Height-Adjustable No
Tilt Yes
Rotation No
Auto-Rotation N/A
Swivel No
VESA Wall Mounting Yes
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 20.2"x16.1"x7.7"
Weight w/ Stand 10.5 lbs
Dimensions w/o Base (WxHxD) 20.2"x13.4"x1.9"
Weight w/o Stand 10 lbs
Additional Features None
Limited Warranty 3 year parts/labor manufacturer limited warranty
Pixel Defect Policy 22 or more total subpixels
2 or more subpixels in center of screen

Compared to all of the 24" LCDs that we've looked at, the AL2216W is clearly lacking in features. It provides support for analog and digital inputs, but you only get a single VGA and DVI port. Most of the 24" LCDs on the market include several other input options, making them better for anyone that wants a multifunction display. However, if you intend to use any of these LCDs purely as a computer monitor, the extra input options really don't matter much.

Having the ability to use an analog VGA connection can be useful at times (i.e. for use with an inexpensive KVM switch), but ideally you want to use the digital DVI connection. The problem with analog signals is that the image ends up being converted twice - digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital - en route from your graphics card to your display, which can reduce overall image clarity. Throw in something like a KVM and the resulting output can look downright awful (at least with low-quality KVMs). Where possible, you should always try to use the DVI port, as that will provide a cleaner image. Except where noted, all of our testing is conducted using a DVI connection.

The specifications of the panel appear to be pretty good. The viewing angle, contrast ratio, brightness, and response time are all competitive with other offerings on the market. The Acer display uses a TN panel, which is generally considered to be the low end of the totem pole in terms of overall quality. IPS is regarded as being the best panel type at present and PVA/MVA falls somewhere in between. Having said that, a large number of people are more than happy with TN panels, so the use of a TN panel does not necessarily make this a bad LCD and it does help to keep costs down.

Besides a lack of input options, the other area where the AL2216W is clearly lacking in features is in adjustment options. Higher-quality LCDs will usually allow for tilt, swivel, rotate, and height adjustments. The AL2216W comes with a base stand that only allows you to tilt the display, and we generally find that to be inadequate. The lack of rotate and swivel options aren't a big concern, but depending on the location of the LCD the lack of a height adjustment option can be a problem. In that case, you can always place the display on top of something else, or you could resort to using the VESA wall mount. Neither option is ideal, but neither is it a deal breaker.

All of Acer's LCDs come with a standard three-year limited warranty, which is pretty good. We have actually had personal (i.e. unrelated to AnandTech) experience with getting a display repaired/replaced in the recent past. After determining that the display was nonfunctional, Acer had us pack up the panel (sans base) and ship it to them. Turnaround time was about two weeks, which isn't very good if you don't have a spare display, but when they shipped the panel back to us everything was working properly again. The display was nearly two years old at the time it failed, so we were quite happy to get it repaired rather than being forced to shell out another $200+ for a new LCD.

Acer's pixel defect policy is somewhat confusing at first glance, and we had to read through it a couple times to fully understand it. In essence, they will not replace a panel unless more than four pixels per million are bad, or if you divide the LCD into nice equal sections more than one pixel in the center section is bad. The number of pixels is actually calculated as the number of subpixels, so the AL2216W has 1680 x 1050 x 3 = 5,292,000 pixels. That means your display would need to have 22 or more bad subpixels before Acer would replace it - or only two bad pixels in the center of the screen. That may seem like quite a lot, but a black dot on a white background would actually count as three dead pixels, so the policy is competitive with what we've heard from other LCD manufacturers. For the record, our particular display did not have any pixel defects, and we haven't seen a display with more than two dead pixels over the past two years.

Technical support is available either via phone or online support. Phone support hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central Time and Sunday at 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time. A variety of information is also available on the web site to help answer questions, but unfortunately we have to say that the Acer web site can be extremely sluggish. The telephone support wasn't much better, as hold times in several tests were over 30 minutes, with the longest hold time being 40 minutes. If you're not in need of immediate support, dealing with a periodically sluggish web interface is probably better than sitting on the phone. Once we got through to support, the people we spoke with were able to answer our questions and provide the requested help; we just wish we didn't have to wait so long.

Index Appearance and Design
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  • JarredWalton - Monday, March 12, 2007 - link

    Newegg lists a http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Subm...">bunch of 22" LCDs, with the Acer AL2223Wd and Chimei 221D being the cheapest. Actually, I'm curious as to what the difference in panel is between the AL2216Wbd and the AL2223Wd, as the latter has a better stand IMO. Looks like it has a slightly higher contrast as well - possibly a better display coating? Anyway, you can see in that list that specs are almost all identical between the 22" LCDs, so price and features are going to be the big factors. Reply
  • tercathian - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    w/ Base, (WxHxD)=20.2"x16.0"x7.8"; w/o Base,=27.16"x17.70"2.93". That base must reeaally scrunch things together! Otherwise another great Anandtech review. Glad to see monitors getting coverage again for a change.
    Upon visual comparison of BesBi's display lcd's, I passed on the Acer 22" that had a white line running top to bottom and picked the LG 22". Noticably crisper than any other brand, with purported 3000:1 contrast, for not much more $$$.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    Oops... yea, wrong display on the w/o stand measurements! I updated the size figures, for those that are interested. I'll also see about getting that LG LCD for review - looks interesting, as they may actually use something other than a TN panel. Reply
  • semo - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    1st, the color gradient for the gateway display links to the dell 2405fpw's (page 6).

    how does the dell 2405fpw look with an average delta e of 10.41? do you look at it and say "hmmm... something's wrong" even if there is no other display to compare it with? just wondering if a home user can detect color inaccuracies and do something about it or you get what you get and hope for the best (i assume a "home user" does not have access calibration equipment).

    for the last several years i've largely ignored anything that has happened in display technology (other than glance over price tags) so imagine my surprise when i decided to bring myself up to date and found the crt is virtually extinct. i bought my pc and tv 5 years ago and crt was everywhere. i always thought i wouldn't switch to the thin stuff for decades and that my next tv would be a cheap hd ready tube.
    anyway, i was wondering when will we see picture quality as good as crt used to provide and is lcd or plasma going to bring it to us. some of the displays at consumer shows seem to deliver the goods but anything that isn't plasma or lcd at the moment is just vaporware.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    Thanks for the link correction; that's fixed now for the Gateway chart.

    I'm not sure if the colors on the 2405FPW are just getting worse due to age or if it's always been off that far. If it's sitting next to another display display, I can certainly see a difference and the 2405 tends to look a bit washed out/yellow. If it's sitting alone on a desk, it actually doesn't bother me much, and going through some basic color calibration charts (i.e. calibrate by eye without the colorimeter) you can improve the colors to the point where it's about the same as the other displays (around 6-8 average delta E).

    CRTs are dead/dying I think in part because they can't really be any cheaper to produce anymore. Even with current LCD prices, I'd wager the markup on all LCDs continues to be pretty good, while CRTs probably don't get more than a 10-20% markup because the market won't bear it. Especially quality CRTs cost quite a bit more to manufacture, and the companies that used to make such displays (Sony, NEC, etc.) have abandoned the CRT market as far as I'm aware.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    I still think 22" WS monitors cost too much, you can get a decent 19" WS for $179, so why the $100 markup for 3" diagonal ? It certainly cant be assurance against dead / stuck pixels . . .

    This is another problem I have with paying so much , eTailers, and manufactuers saying "must have 8 dead pixels, or more to replace monitor for a new one". That would be like me saying, "hey man, most of my money is not counterfit, but some of it is, but you can not have your monitor back, becasue you dont have a high enough percentage of bad vs good currency". Would be nice if these 'people' would come around to reality, this is the main reason I personally go through convoltions, every time I plunk down a good bit of my hard earned cash for a LCD . . .

    I've yet to get any dead / stuck pixels, but I figure, it is just a matter of time. Anyhow, would be nice, if 'we the people' could 'rectify' this.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    The eTailers are just trying to protect themselves, and there's a simple solution: if you can't live with a few dead pixels, shop somewhere else. Local stores usually cost more but have better return policies.

    As for the cost, I paid $1100 for a 2405FPW 18 months back, and $300 for a rather lousy 19" LCD about the same time. Needless to say, while $300 may still be more than some people are willing to pay, prices have become much more reasonable across the board. It wasn't that long ago that 19" LCDs were at the $300+ price point for entry level models, and still people were willing to buy them.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    I understand WHY eTailers do what they do, but my whole point is basically, why are these companies (OEMs) getting away with what is obviously 'bad business'. I suspect this has to do with some 'fair trade' garbage, something a long the lines of why 3rd world countries are allowed to import food products into countries, that would not normally allow this food in to begin with ( IE, the food does not meet the countries standards for health and wellfare ).

    As for the bad 19" for $300, well, I too also paid ~$300 for one of mine (ViewSonic VA1912wb) around 12-18 months ago, and could not possibly be more pleased with it. Well, ok, maybe if it were free . . . Now, could you imagine, if you just spent $650 on a 24" WS, and had noticable bad pixels ANYWHERE on the screen ? Me, I'd be very upset.

    All I'm really saying, is that 'we' need to let the OEMs this is not acceptable, until then, they will get away with whatever we let them get away with.
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Monday, March 12, 2007 - link

    It's real simple, they either have to sell the panels with the bad pixels or discard them (throw away if bad enough or divert to lower grade sales which is also a loss).

    If they take back these panels then it will cost more per monitor. They're not "getting away" with anything, if you don't like it don't buy their product. That's the catch, they can stipulate any return policy they like and won't have to alter it if they don't preceive it hurting sales.

    It doesn't really hurt sales much because there aren't that many monitors with that many bad pixels, apparently they already sort the panels well enough that the sort criteria is lower than the defective product return criteria.

    They're only getting away with it if/when someone actually has that many dead pixels. Who do you know that does? Unfortunately a lot of businesses have policies that (if I knew about them), would make be pause before doing business. You end up playing odds, what is your time worth to find a better policy and what other compromises are made with the alternative product? I have one LCD of several that has one stuck pixel. I can accept that as much as I can accept a bug in some other piece of hardware, as most hardware isn't perfect, it's just a matter of whether you notice the flaw or not.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    All I'm really saying, is that 'we' need to let the OEMs _know_ this is not acceptable, until then, they will get away with whatever we let them get away with.

    Anyhow, IM sorry that my little rant here, kind of hijacked the idea of this discussion area :/ It just seems, that 'the business', is slowly, but surely moving to a 'screw the cutomer for what they're worth' type attitude, and of course, this . . . sucks.

    The good news is: From all the reviews of read on acer monitors over the last few months, have been very favorable on their behalf, at least concerning dead/stuck pixels, other issues do seem to pleague random models however, such as LCD not comming up until windows is booting (need to change BIOS settings ? SoL buddy . . .), to others not working properly with dual monitors attached to a video card ( monitor not operating at 'optimal' resolution).

    Some of these issues would not likely bother the average user, while it would effect those who do need to adjust BIOS settings (without hooking up another monitor), or run dual monitors, etc, etc.
    Reply

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