Hardware: the absolute minimum
There's no use looking for any accessories or flexibility: you won't find anything, apart from the ability to tilt the screen back by a few degrees. You'll also have to make do with just VGA and DVI inputs, which leaves the S231HL with just one star in this section.
Responsiveness: a pleasant surprise for a 5 ms TN
There are dozens of 5 ms monitors out there, and it isn't very often that they surprise us with their responsiveness. That's what the Acer S231HL managed to do though. It's not as fast as a 2 ms screen, but its results leave it firmly between the two categories.
In reality, that means that fast-moving objects are displayed slightly more smoothly than we'd expect on a monitor that's reserved for office work. It's still not responsive enough for us to actually recommend it for gaming though.
And as for the input lag, the gap between the signal leaving the graphics card and actually appearing on screen, there's nothing to worry about: it's so short in this case as to not be noticeable.
Colours: skin tones look purple
Compare the Acer S231HL to other monitors in our Product Face-Off
With its default settings, this monitor produces colours that have a strong blue tinge. Flesh tones, meanwhile, have an annoying tendency to look purple. We would normally correct this sort of problem by adjusting the colour temperature mode from 'Standard' to 'Warm'—except that the S231HL is already set to 'Warm' when it leaves the factory.
- Low energy consumption
- More responsive than most 5 ms monitors
- Low input lag
- Above av
- Strong blue tinge with factory settings
- Mediocre usability and accessories
The S231HL is thin, energy efficient and has virtually no input lag. However, there's a little room for improvement with colours, responsiveness and hardware before it can climb above three stars.