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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  • anandtech02148 - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    That viewing angle thing makes me proud of my 2yr old investment on the dell 2405fpw.
    Jarred when are they gonna give you a Dell 27inc 2707wfp to play?
    27inc seems to be the right viewing angle for my future upgrade when price drop to 700usd or so.
    Reply
  • BigDDesign - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    Great LCD reviews. Could you test some of the monitors that cater to graphic pros or photo pros like the Lacie 321 or NEC monitors. I currently am using a Lacie Electron Blue 22" and a Viewsonic 2050 LCDTV 20" for my workstation area. Every day I pray that my CRT will last forever. I know that someday that I'm going to have to replace my CRT with a LCD. Perfect color is top priority for some of us, over response times. With digital photography so mainstream, good color is very important to many. Perfect color is what I need. Reply
  • kmmatney - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    NewEgg has a new interesting monitor for sale, which I believe is an IPS panel, for $350. The link is here. Would be nice to review a monitor in the same price range which ay perform a lot better (with a slightly smaller screen and 4:3 aspect ratio).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82...
    Reply
  • Bana - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    I'm glad to see that you tested the input lag (buffering) of the monitors this time around. I am unfortunate enough to be able to see and feel the difference on my mom's 2405fwp (hence why I haven't bought an LCD for myself). It would have been nice to see the monitors compared to a better baseline ie: a CRT monitor to get a more repeatable measurement. It'd also be nice to see get an actual response lag range like http://www.behardware.com/articles/647-4/which-22-...">BeHardware does.

    Thanks again Anandtech. :)
    Reply
  • Chadder007 - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    On the color gradients....I don't understand how its supposed to look. It is supposed to look smooth throughout the colors going from dark to lighter? Or is it supposed to have a blocked look to the colors in sections?...or is that what is called banding? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    It should be smooth, so the blocks are indeed banding. Without calibration, the banding tends to be a lot worse on some of the displays (particularly the Gateway FPD2485W). Reply
  • Den - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    What is interesting to me is that if you are not willing to spend an extra $200 on a color calibration device, the cheap Acer has FAR better colors than any of the more expensive panels that have been reviewed here so far. Indeed, since 99% plus of people don't have a calibration device, I think this should be weighed far more heavily than the calibrated values. (Obviously, professionals who do have a device will reverse this weighting, but for the rest of us...) Also, could AnandTech make their calibrated color profiles available for the rest of us to download? I realize there is some panel to panel variation so it would not be perfect for every owner of the same display, but for most I think it would be far better than the factory default. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    I agree that the uncalibrated results are important, but at the same time I think most people will be okay with even Delta E of 6.0 if they don't know any better. Your eyes and brain are generally happy with what they see, whether or not it's 100% accurate. I've used a Dell 2405FPW for a long time without proper calibration and it never bothered me; now that I have a colorimeter, I suppose I'm seeing more "true" colors, but if I were to just walk up to a display and try to judge it it would be hard to say how it performs. For image professionals, a colorimeter should be standard equipment; for everyone else... unless the display is *really* bad, other aspects probably carry at least as much weight. The viewing angles, for example, normally don't bother us much, but the Acer panel clearly has a much narrower viewing arc.

    And since you asked, here's a link to the <a href="http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/monitor/2007/a...">http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mon...ndtechCo... profiles</a> for all of the monitors, including both the print and standard profiles. The settings used for calibration are listed in the file names. Obviously, these are targeted at the panels we have, but as a baseline others may find them somewhat helpful. Cheers.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    Let me try that link again. :)

    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/monitor/2007/a...">Downloadable Color Profiles
    Reply
  • anandtech02148 - Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - link

    This is very helpful Jarred, these files save us some time if we plan to invest in these monitors, it's already obnoxious to spend 600buxs on a monitor and another 1-2hr calibrating, such little details is mind boggling, and manufacture reset is not that great. Maybe they should hire a professional calibrator like yourself.

    Reply

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