Review: Acer GN245HQ

Our score: 4/5
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Published: March 19, 2011 11:00 PM
By Alexandre Botella
Acer is back with a follow-up to its first 24'' 120 Hz monitor, the GD245HQ, this new GN245HQ.  This time around, the transmitter that synchronises the 3D glasses with the screen is built into the monitor itself, while the addition of a HDMI 1.4 port gives you more room for manoeuvre when choosing 3D video sources.

Hardware: only the inputs

Just like with its first attempt at a 120 Hz display, Acer has decided that usability only goes as far as adding audio and video connectors to its monitor.  There are VGA, DVI and HDMI inputs at the back, as well as an line in connected to a pair of speakers.  That leaves AlienWare and Asus as the only manufacturers whose 3D monitors allow for more customisation than simply tilting the panel back a few degrees as is the case here.

The GN245HQ does have a trick hidden up its sleeve though in the form an infra-red transmitter.  It synchronises what's on screen with the active 3D glasses that are part of the Nvidia GeForce 3D Vision pack that comes with the monitor.  That means you can enjoy games and films in three dimensions—and not just with Nvidia graphics cards either (see inset).

Colours: so near and yet so far


When we first switched it on, we thought that the GN245HQ did a reasonably good job of reproducing the right colours.  Our test equipment didn't agree with our first impressions though, revealing a colour temperature that was a touch too low (leaving a red tinge) and a slightly low gamma curve.  The deltaE score, which describes the discrepancy between the colours that should have been shown and those actually displayed, was as high as 3.9.  That figure is just too high to say that the GN245HQ offers 'accurate' colour reproduction, and, despite all of our attempts, we couldn't improve the situation.  The only way to fix it is to try a calibration profile.

The contrast, on the other hand, is pretty good.  Black levels of 0.20 cd/m² against an overall brightness of 201 cd/m² create a contrast ratio of 996:1, which is more than reasonable when you remember that the average figure across all of our monitor tests is around 850:1.

Responsiveness: excellent—but not quite perfect

Our tests clearly demonstrated that the fact that you're sending new frames to the monitor at a rate of 120 Hz instead of 60 Hz doesn't necessarily half the ghosting time.  The GN245HQ still has a very low ghosting time, ensuring very smooth movements without any blur.  That also serves to iron out the irritating crosstalk effects when viewing in 3D, where the signal for each eye gets confused with the other.

Measured responsiveness
Light background Black background Average
This graph shows the 'ghosting time' of the monitor.
The lower these figures, the more responsive the monitor is.
 
In fact, the GN245HQ is the monitor with one of the lowest ghosting times we've ever tested.  It's as good as the LG 15EL9500, making it an excellent choice for avid gamers in two or three dimensions.  The only hitch that might leave the most demanding users to hesitate is some light—and we really do mean 'light'—reverse ghosting.

There's nothing to report about the input lag: it does exist, but it's so low that you won't be able to detect it with the naked eye.  There's no chance it will have a negative impact on your multi-player performance.
4/5 Acer GN245HQ DigitalVersus 2011-03-20 00:00:00

Pros

  • Very low ghosting time
  • Above average contrast
  • Compatible with more 3D sources
  • Built-in 3D transmitter

Cons

  • Very, very light reverse ghosting
  • Not very customisable
  • Colour reproduction could be more accurate

Conclusion

The GN245HQ is a great 120 Hz monitor, whose HDMI 1.4 input leaves it open to 3D content from a Blu-ray 3D player, a PlayStation 3 or graphics cards from either ATI or Nvidia. That makes it all the more disappointing that Acer hasn't improved the usability or the accuracy of the colour reproduction on its latest 24'' display.

OUR SCORE 4/5
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