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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  • kmmatney - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    I have the display and am happy with it. While I could easily nitpick away at various details, it's a great LCD at the $300 price point. However if I was buying a 22" TN display now, I'd go for the Dell 22" model. It has a much nicer stand, and looks better overall. Reply
  • rqle - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    Excellent setup on the viewing angle! Reply

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