Given that we've had to wait more than six months to see this 27'' version of the S243HL, the manufacturer has had more than enough time to fix the problems we found on its little brother, including reverse ghosting and colours that could have been more accurate.
Lightweight hardware: VGA, HDMI and speakers
As the S273HL is the 27'' version of the S243HL, the two monitors share the same general features, including a VGA input, two HDMI ports and a line in that's connected to a pair of speakers. All of these connectors are on the stand rather than the monitor itself, allowing Acer to offer a screen that's only 2 cm thick. Unfortunately, though, that stand is pretty inflexible, and doesn't allow you to adjust the height of the monitor, or rotate it to portrait mode. That means it can't score more than two stars here.
Colours: not enough detail for photos
Compare the S273HL to other LCD monitors in our Product Face-Off
With the default settings, the colours didn't seem to be affected by any particular problems: blacks are dark, and whites are neutral. Our equipment isn't easily fooled, though, and pointed out that whites have a slight blue tinge and a few problems with the colours, leaving a deltaE of 3.4. That means the monitor finishes just over 3.0, the threshold below which we usually consider that the discrepancies between the colours requested by the graphics card and those actually shown on screen is invisible to the naked eye.
In reality, though, although professional photographers might be able to find better results elsewhere, anybody who's mainly looking to do office work or edit their holiday snaps from time to time will be more than happy. And if not, you can can always try a calibration profile. Once that's installed, even the most demanding users will be happy.
Responsiveness: reverse ghosting even on the desktop
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The bad news is that the S237HL also suffers from reverse ghosting. This phenomenon is caused by (unsuccessful) attempts to artificially improve the responsiveness of a monitor, and it leads to fast-moving objects with trails in front of them. Although turning off Overdrive, which is associated with the electronic acceleration, would normally remove the problem, that's impossible here, because Acer hasn't included that option in the monitor's menu.
We can only discourage you from trying to play games on the 27''. Worse still, the reverse ghosting is visible even when using office applications. We can't think of any users that it will suit.
Movies: no better
Once again, reverse ghosting makes it mark. That's compounded by a blurry image that leaves the overall experience one of the worst we've seen.
- Low input lag
- Well-made, attractive design
- Reverse ghosting visibile in games, applications and movies
- TN panel, so poor vertical viewing angles
- Poor usability
The S273HL makes the same mistakes as the S243HL. With so much reverse ghosting, we simply can't recommend it for anybody.