Review: Acer S243HL

Our score: 2/5
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February 22, 2010 10:51 AM
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Published: February 18, 2010 11:00 PM
By Alexandre Botella
Acer's S243HL is a 24'' Full HD monitor which measures barely 15 mm from front to back--but still uses LED backlighting. 

This more energy efficient technology is also supposed to make it the perfect environmentally-friendly companion to your computer, without any kind of compromise on display quality.

Hardware: VGA, HDMI and speakers



The first thing we noticed when we unpacked it was the unusual stand, although we had the nagging sense of being familiar with the design from somewhere else.  And after a little research, we found out why: it looks strangely similar to the BenQ V2400W.  Now that mystery's out of the way, we can get on without he rest of the test …

While the frame around the screen itself really is incredibly then, the stand itself is much bulkier.  That's where all of the inputs are, too: one VGA and two HDMI ports for video.  For audio, there's a single line in connected to the speakers.  If you were hoping to be able to rotate your monitor to portrait mode or even move it up and down, then you'll have to look elsewhere: all the S243HL can do is tilt it back around 15° or so.

There's also a separate power block, which is often the price to pay for such a slim body.

Colours: blue tinge and gamma problems


Default Colours

Ideal Colours
Compare the Acer S243HL to other LCD monitors in our Product Face-Off

Straight out of the box, we noticed several problems with the default colour settings.  First up is a strong blue tinge, which is complemented by a problem with the way the luminance is divided up amongst various shades of grey, the gamma.  Unfortunately, you can't correct for any of these problems by using the onscreen menus, leaving the S243HL with a deltaE of 4.6, where we'd normally expect it to be below 3.0 for the discrepancies to be invisible.

Like the colours, the contrast ratio is far from excellent.  At least it gets close to the average value of 850:1 by coming in at 800:1.

Responsivenees: lots of reverse ghosting


Coloured    Transparent
Average ghosting over ten frames

Our responsiveness tests made it immediately obvious that the S243HL suffers from reverse ghosting.  Acer should have put more effort into this 24'' display, because this problem is as visible when you're doing office work as it is when gaming.  That leaves with no choice but to advise against this monitor, whatever you're planning to use it for.  It's even more of a shame because with an input lag of under one frame, it could easily have been a faithful companion to your gaming adventures.
2/5 Acer S243HL DigitalVersus 2010-02-19 00:00:00

Pros

  • Low energy consumption
  • Thin, stylish frame

Cons

  • Reverse ghosting
  • TN panel, so poor vertical viewing angles
  • Colours aren't accurate and can't be improved

Conclusion

Acer hasn't pulled it off here: the S243HL might be energy efficient, but the display quality has gone out of the window too ...

OUR SCORE 2/5
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