Acer P243W 24 inch Widescreen Review

Makaveli - 2008-05-21 00:17:45 in Monitors
Category: Monitors
Reviewed by: Makaveli   
Reviewed on: June 1, 2008
Price: $389.99 USD

Introduction:

Having the absolute best components does not mean anything to a gamer, unless he has a monitor to play his games at the highest resolution and image quality. Personally, I like to play each of my games on a 19" widescreen monitor; anything smaller just seems way too little for the games I play. Having a bigger monitor can really improve your experience in a game, because everything is spread out on the screen, allowing you to see more of the in-game environment. Another quality that is a must for a majority of users is having an HD capable monitor, so that you can watch new Blu-ray movies on your computer, as well as being able to game in HD. So is there a monitor that meets each of these attributes?

We're going check out the Acer P243W 24" widescreen monitor that supports HD, is Windows Vista Certified, and can display a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200. I've never used a monitor with a resolution that high, so it'll really be fun for me to see how it impacts my gaming, my movies, and applications like Photoshop and Microsoft Word 2007. Join me as I examine everything that the Acer P243W 24" Widescreen monitor has to offer.

 

Closer Look:

The box that was shipped to me was quite beat up, but there weren't any marks that indicated that the monitor was harmed during shipping. The front and back of the box features a picture of the monitor and some of its key features - looks like this monitor is loaded! On the sides of the box you can see the model number, as well as some other various specifications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, let's take a closer look at the monitor itself.

Closer Look:

The monitor is housed in a black casing with silver trim on the sides, and the base of the monitor is also silver. There are four buttons on the front of the monitor - the power button, "Auto", "Menu", "<", ">", and "e" for the "Empowering Technology" menu, which is where you can switch between five presets, including "Movie", "Graphics", "Standard", "User", and "Text". When the monitor is powered on, a blue LED shines above the power button. One downside to this monitor is that there is no height adjustment, just a viewing angle adjustment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, the viewing angle can be changed to about forty-five degrees from the standard 90 degree angle. On the underside of the monitor, you'll find three connectors - one for each HDMI, DVI-D IN, and VGA IN; adjacent to these connectors is the power port.

 

 

 

Included with the monitor are a VGA cable, driver CD, manual and quick start guide. Everything is neatly packed in a plastic bag to reduce clutter.

 

 

Now, let's install the monitor software and get everything configured!

Configuration:

To configure the Acer P243W 24" monitor, put the included disc in your optical drive. Once you do that, you'll have to choose your language - but after that, you'll find that the disc doesn't have any software on it to configure your monitor. All that the disc has on it are options to download Adobe Acrobat Reader, read the user manual, or see the quick start guide. I was not impressed with the fact that there isn't any software included to alter any settings of your monitor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, let's take a look at the specs and features of this Acer monitor to get a better idea of its capabilities.

Specifications:

 

Brand Acer
Model

P243W

Cabinet Color  

Black-Silver

Screen Size  

24"

Widescreen  

Yes

Maximum Resolution  

1920 x 1200
Recommended Resolution

1920 x 1200

Viewing Angle

160°(H) / 160°(V)

Pixel Pitch

0.27mm

Display Colors

16.7M (6-bit + HiFRC)

Brightness

400 cd/m²

Contrast Ratio

3000:1 ACM

Response Time

2ms(GTG)

Display Type

WUXGA

Input Video Compatibility

Analog RGB, Digital

Connectors     

D-Sub, DVI

D-Sub

1

DVI

1

HDMI

1

USB

Yes

Power Supply

100V-240V

Power Consumption

On: <90W
Stand By: <2W
OFF: <1W

Built in TV Tuner

No

HDCP Support

Yes

Built In Speakers No

Features

VESA Wall Mounting: 100x100mm

Windows Vista Certified for Windows Vista

Dimensions (W x H x D)

22.5" x 17" x 7.5"

Weight

15.4 lbs.

Package Contents

P243W LCD Monitor
User Manual
VGA Cable
DVI Cable
Power Cable
Support Disc

 

 

Features:

-All information sourced from Newegg's website.

Testing:

To test this monitor, I'm going to be using the DisplayMate Multimedia Edition program. Here is a tidbit about the DisplayMate Company:

"DisplayMate Technologies is widely recognized throughout the computer and video industries as the worldwide leader in video diagnostics, which are used in the calibration, testing, evaluation and optimization of image and picture quality for all types of displays, such as CRTs, analog and digital LCDs and plasma displays, video projectors, microdisplays, HDTVs and more."

This program is a great way to gauge the performance of this monitor. I'll be comparing this monitor to the BenQ FP241VW 24" Widescreen monitor to see which is the better of the two.

 

Testing Setup:

Benchmarks:

Comparison Monitor:

 

Set Up Display:

"This selection will show you how to properly and precisely set all of the controls on your display and video board to produce Optimum Geometry, Grayscale and Contrast. All of the other picture quality enhancements in DisplayMate assume that this procedure has been followed carefully."

Tune Up Program:

"The Tune-Up Program further improves and enhances display picture quality by searching for every possible potential weakness of a computer display at high sensitivity, and then showing how to improve the image at every step. The program selections include the following:

Script LCD Test:

"A set of test patterns to setup and check LCDs."

Video System Info:

Upon boot up no changes.

Screen Pixels
1920H x 1200V
Screen Colors
16,777,216
System Colors
16,777,216
Intensity Levels
256
Screen Orientation
Landscape 8:5
Reported Screen Size
677 x 423 millimeters
Screen Aspect Ratio
1.60 H/V
Square Pixels
1.00 H/V
Color Capability
True Color
Color Depth
24 Bits per Pixel
Color Palette
Not Available
Color Planes
1
Pixel Pitch
0.35 x 0.35
Dots per cm
28 x 28 dpcm
Dots per in
72 x 72 dpi
Total Pixels
2,304,000
Screen Memory
9000 Kbytes
Pixel Memory
32 Bits per Pixel
System Font Pixels
7H x 16V
System Font Format
274 Columns x 75 Rows
System Font File
Vgasys.fon
Display Driver
VGA
Driver File
vga.dvr
Driver Version
64.0
Enhanced Lines
Yes
Wide Lines
Yes
Styles Lines
Yes
Filled Lines
Yes
Block Lines
Yes
Polygon Lines
Yes
Curved Lines
Yes
Flood Fills
Yes
Clipping
Yes
Curves
Yes
Polygons
Yes
Device Fonts
Yes

 

Testing:

Set Up Display:

DisplayMate recommends that users run the “Set Up Display” applet before running any tests, so that you can properly configure your monitor. “Set Up Display” goes through many screens to help you adjust contrast, brightness, and other picture quality options. This is also an opportunity for you to spot any ghosting, which is what happens when color changes fluctuate or streak on the screen.

 

The first sections of the test deal with brightness and contrast, focusing on black and grayscale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later, the program starts testing color purity, color tracking, etc.

 

 

 

Color intensity is next, followed by Gamma tracking, size and position, sharpness and moiré interference patterns.

 

 

The last set of tests includes font size, bandwidth, and text readability evaluations, and a master screen, which you can use to execute a quick setup.

 

 

The Acer P243W has a 400cd/m2 rating (cd/m2 or candela per square meter, which indicates how well you can view a monitor/TV in bright light conditions), while the BenQ FP241VW has a 500cd/m2 rating. Optimally, you want higher numbers here, because that makes it easier to see the monitor in bright conditions. 400cd/m2 is better than the standard 350cd/m2 on most monitors. The BenQ obviously does better in situations where a bright light is shining on the monitor. The light in my room is not very bright, so I didn't have any issues with 400cd/m2.

Testing:

Tune Up Program:

Testing:

LCD Test Script:

DisplayMate proves how unique and useful it is by coming with a lot of scripts that can be run to test your CRT or LCD monitor, projectors, printers, and video cards. I ran the LCD monitor script twice, once before I ran all of the tune up and setup programs, and once afterwards. There's an adjustable timer in the LCD script that allows you to change the time per screen, so I set it to 30 seconds per screen. After running the script the second time, I noticed the brightness and contrast settings were set a bit higher than they were before. I also noticed that the colors seemed a bit more vibrant.

Subjective Viewing:

 

Gaming:

If you haven't gamed on a widescreen monitor yet, you really need to do yourself a favor and buy one, because they are absolutely amazing to game on. The large 24" screen really put me into Counter-Strike: Source and Call of Duty 4. I really was amazed by how everything just looked so glossy and smooth. This monitor makes everything crystal clear, and I had absolutely no issues with either monitor during the gaming portion of the subjective viewing. The BenQ monitor wasn't quite as smooth and glossy looking as the Acer monitor was. I played both of those games at 1920 x 1200, which is the highest resolution on both monitors, and I must say that I have never gamed like that. I honestly felt like I was playing my games in HD because everything was so crystal clear. It was a close battle, but I would have to say that the Acer monitor looked slightly better than the BenQ's offering. Also, the Acer has a 2ms response time, while the BenQ has a 6ms response time. I couldn't tell a difference between the two, but it's good to know that the Acer has one of the fastest response times on the market.

 

 

 

Video:

One of the coolest movies that I have ever seen is "Face Off", starring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta. I hadn't seen this movie in a long, long time, so I decided to pop it in and watch it. I was amazed at how clear the movie looked on the Acer! It was definitely better looking than my 52" Mitsubishi TV - looks like I now have no use for my huge TV! I honestly could not tell any difference between the two monitors during the video test.

 

Applications:

I constantly use Adobe Photoshop CS3 to edit my pictures for reviews, so it is a must that I have the most vibrant colors, and a crystal clear display that can show me every detail of my pictures that I would miss on smaller monitors. Another application that I use a lot is Microsoft Office Word 2007, and when I ran it with both monitors, I was amazed at how much more clear and sharp the letters were on the Acer. I also would like to mention that Microsoft Windows Vista looks absolutely spectacular on this Acer monitor - even better than the BenQ monitor. Vista is known to have a lot of eye candy, but with this monitor, I was really blown away by how good everything looks. If you use Vista, you need to see how good it looks on the Acer P243W 24" monitor!

Conclusion:

Overall, I was very impressed with how the Acer P243W 24" Widescreen monitor displayed my games, video, OS, and applications. Everything was so crystal clear, and the colors were all very vibrant and sharp. I cannot even begin to describe how phenomenal Windows Vista looks on this monitor. The new OS looks so clear, and now it's evident to me why this unit boasts about being Windows Vista Certified. No operating system, even Windows Vista, has looked this clear on any other monitor that I've ever owned. At first, 24 inches did seem a little bit large, but after using it for a while, I definitely have become accustomed to the big screen and I certainly will never downgrade. One specification that gamers look for in a monitor is the response time, and lower numbers are more desired. This particular monitor has a 2ms response time, which is the fastest response time on any monitor that I've ever owned! A while back, I did some research and found that a lot of the larger monitors have higher response times due to their size. This Acer P243W is one of four monitors on Newegg to have a 24" screen, and a response time of 2ms! Now that I've used a widescreen monitor, I'm never going back - everything from gaming to videos looks so much better, and I have really become a fan widescreen monitors since using this one. One of the only downsides that I can think of for this monitor is that the included software disc includes no software that allows you to modify the monitor's settings. Also, this monitor doesn't have a headphone jack or any speakers on it, so for some people, that could be a con. If you are looking to really spice up your gaming, enjoy all the eye candy that Windows Vista offers, or just enjoy your videos more - do yourself a favor and pick up the Acer P243W 24" Widescreen monitor, because you will be blown away by everything this crystal-clear beauty has to offer.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: