Hardware: all the basics are there
The T230H sits on a stand that allows you to rotate from side to side as well as move it up and town. At the back, there are VGA, DVI and HDMI inputs. For audio, there's a separate input leading to the speakers if you're not using the HDMI port. Taken together, these features make for a relatively complete monitor, which is why it scores four stars in this section. To gain the famous fifth start, it would have had to go a little future and include accessories like a memory card reader or, a USB hub or even a webcam.
Responsiveness: touschreen and 2 ms
As a general rule, touchscreen monitors have a response time of 5 ms at best, which means they're more suited to office use. The T230H, though, has a 2 ms response time, meaning it should be able to stand up to the demands thrown at it by gamers--or so the theory goes.
|Average ghosting over ten frames|
In practice, Acer delivers. This is a very responsive monitor that can easily handle rapid movements without suffering from any blurriness. Its other strength is that its input lag is only around one frame on average, meaning it won't hold you back during multi-player sessions.
Colours: almost perfect out of the box
The Acer T230H gave us an excellent surprise by producing the best colours we've ever seen. We measured an average discrepancy between the colours requested by the graphics card and those shown on screen, or deltaE of just 1.5. We normally consider that when this value falls below 3.0 it's invisible to non-specialists. We still noticed a small problem with the gamma, or the division of luminance across tones of grey.
Things were going so well, but the monitor has one big weakness: contrast. In general, most screens manage a contrast ratio of 850:1 without any problem; the T230H is only 350:1. To the eye it doesn't look too bad though, because of its glossy finish. That doesn't mean we've changed our opinion about the use of glossy screens on laptops: we're still convinced they're a bad idea. On a desktop monitor, though, which won't ever be outside, it's less of a problem. It's even an advantage for the T230H, but if you buy one, you'll need to think carefully about where you put it in relation to light sources in the room.
A second point it's worth paying attention to is relatively low brightness. By default, it's only 126 cd/m², but we'd normally expect around 200 cd/m².
- Accurate colours with factory settings
- Hardware options
- Low input lag
- Contrast half as good as average
- TN panel, so poor vertical viewing angles
As well as having multitouch, the T230H is an excellent monitor in its own right. It's a shame that such poor contrast cost it a fifth star.