Unlike most people who got new LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors with their next computer purchases, I however was stuck with a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) longer then everybody else, cause I built my own computer. When I built my latest machine, a 22" LCD monitor still cost around $400.00, and I was not ready to shell out that much money for a monitor!
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However, prices on monitors have fallen dramatically since then. Also since then, a new major player has come into town called Acer America. They first started making monitors when they weren't that well known yet. Then they began making laptops, and have quickly raised through the ranks.
I have had the pleasure to be able to experience two of their monitors over the years, a 17" and a 19". While most LCD monitors at the time came with at least 1-dead pixel, if not 5, Acer monitors have never came with a dead pixel! And while they seemed like a no name brand, they had the quality of a name brand such as Samsung.
Besides quality, one of the other major things I like about Acer monitors, is how cheep they are. Even when their 22" monitor first cost $400.00, brands like Samsung or Viewsonic cost double that amount! I was able to purchase my new 22" monitor for only $150.00! I also purchased a 2-year extended warrantee protection plan through Newegg.com
FEATURES: Black 22" LCD Screen. 1680 X 1050 Native Resolution. 170 Degree Viewing Angle! 16.7 Million Display Colors. 250 CD/M2 Brightness. 50000 1 (1000: 1) contrast ratio. 5MS Response Time. 30 - 80KHZ Horizontal Refresh Rate. 55 - 75HZ Vertical Refresh Rate. Analog, RGB, Digital, Input Compatibility. D-Sub, DVI Connectors. 100V-240V Power Supply, Energy Star Compliant. Tilt Stand Adjustment. 2 X 1W Built In Speakers. VESA Wall Mounting 100X100mm.
WARRANTY: Manufacture Warranty parts and labor 3-years limited.
PACKAGING: I found that Acer packages their monitors very well! So well in fact, that there was such a tight fit between the Styrofoam and the box, that I had to wiggle it back in forth, in order to get it out of the box! Its all molded very well so, that they can supply you with all the needed cable hardware, without bulging out of the package.
ASSEMBLY: Assembly was pretty straight forward, but there is a few things you should know. When you go to place the monitor onto the stand, you must press the tab inwards first, before you can push it down onto the stand. Once it clicked into place, it was nice and solid. Also keep in mind that this monitor supports both VGA and DVI connections.
What I like, is that Acer supplies you with all the needed hardware, to get you started right out of the box. I wanted to go completely digital with my new monitor, for a better viewing experience, so I decided to hook it up via DVI connection. Then all I had to do, was plug in the power cable, and I was good to go!
BUILT IN SPEAKERS: This monitor is a bit unique, as it contains two 1-watt built in speakers. If you are planning to use these speakers for your computer, Ipod, or other form of sound producing equipment, you can use the supplied audio cable to get you going. The speakers are very small, basically they are tweeters. Which means, you get a lot of crisp treble, but no bass what so ever, so don't count on being impressed.
OPERATION: Using this monitor is very simply. The power button is located at the very bottom right of the monitor screen. Once turned on, a pretty blue LED will be lit. I like the LED, as it is not too bright, and is very calming in a way. To the left of the power button are the < and > buttons, which you use to make selections in the menu system.
To the left of them, is the menu button, press it once to activate the menu system, once again to make it go away. To the left of the menu button is the auto button. When you press the auto button, the monitor will automatically, size, focus, brighten the monitor, and set the refresh rate for the resolution. To the left of that is the monitor brightness preset button. Use this to select a preset instantly.
MENU SYSTEM: You can make many adjustments in the menu system such as, brightness, contrast, color temperature, sizing, onscreen display, language, and input mode. You can also view information on your monitor, as well as the current firmware. If you use the < and > buttons by themselves, you can adjust the built in speakers volume, default set at 50%.
SCREEN: As you know, this screen is a liquid crystal display. But unlike the LCD screens of the past, these do not come with dead pixels, and have a wider viewing angle, 170 degrees. I have to actually stand or sit at the side of the monitor, before it becomes difficult to read. This monitor's native resolution is 1680 x 1050, I actually have it set at this very resolution, as it is recommended to get the most out of this monitor.
SOFTWARE: The included software disk, includes the user guide, warranty information, and a wizard utility for helping you setup your monitor. I actually ran through this utility, and I found it to be quite handy that I am keeping it on my PC for future use. It helps you to setup your brightness, contrast, resolution, etc.
EXPERIENCE: First I would like to mention that I find Newegg's service to be unmatched by online standard. The fact that they have the best prices, and you can pay ground shipping, and get your package in 3 days, is just awesome! So I highly recommend them, if you are planning to buy computer hardware.
The first thing I noticed when I got the monitor out of the box, is that its got some heft to it. Sure its so much lighter then a CRT, but yet, you still want to lift this with two hands, otherwise you might drop it! I was also amazed at how big it was for a 22". See, I keep forgetting, beings that I was on a 4:3 CRT, that 16:9 ratio wide-screens like this 22" are just big in nature!
It was a bit tricky for me at first to get the monitor on the stand, as I first didn't realize that there was a clip/tab there, that I had to push in first. Once I figured that out, in snapped right into place no problem. I hooked up the cables, powered it up, and instantly my new monitor was displaying the boot up sequence. Imagine to my surprise, that my new Acer 22" monitor, had already automatically adjusted itself for my previous screen resolution. SWEET!
The first thing I did was install the software that came with the disk, I had no problems doing this, or running the utility. I felt it was very user-friendly, anybody can do this! And within a few minutes, I already had my monitor setup for gaming, web browsing, and writing, and I didn't even have to go through the onscreen menu system of the monitor itself!
One of the reasons to get a monitor like this one, is so that I can view HD in true HD! I was immediately impressed, when I loaded up an HD video. The colors were so beautiful and crisp, I could literally see every detail in HD, with no blurriness to speak of.
The thing I always hated about CRT screens, is that they never were that crisp, and if you wanted them focused more, you would have to physically get in there with a screwdriver, and risk getting electrocuted, just so you could view things more crisper!
GHOSTING: A classic thing that the older LCD screens had was called ghosting. Ghosting is when an image passes by really fast on a dark background, and you can see a ghostly image of it left behind. This is usually caused by the fact that the response time is so high, typically 8MS or higher found in older LCD's. This monitor has no ghosting issues, because its response time is 5MS.
GAMING: WOW, this is incredible! If you have ever been an FPS gamer, then you know that, one of the hardest things, is to get head-shots with a smaller CRT screen. I am laughing my butt off right now, cause I remember I was just playing some Battlefield 2. And well, lets just say my new monitor, coupled with my extremely precise Logitech MX1000 laser gaming mouse, allowed me to own a few unsuspecting soldiers, who thought they were hot stuff since they could shoot a pistol in rapid fire.
To test this monitors richness, I loaded up the game called Crysis. This is a game that has some of the most beautiful environments that I have ever seen. The lush green tropical grounds with the surrounding oceans, really put this monitor to the test. I was absolutely blown away running at the 1680 x 1050 resolution. I couldn't believe all the detail I was missing before! I feel like I have stepped out of the darkness and into the light, its almost like a religious thing.
WORD & WEB: I also like to serf the net, and write stories, poems, and reviews. This monitor is also great, cause it gives me so much more screen area to do my work. I remember how I used to scroll all the time, scrolling has now become a thing of the past. The only reason I have to scroll now, is if I am viewing a picture that is larger then 1680 x 1050.
And speaking of pictures, one of the things I also like to do, is to play around with Photoshop. Before, if I was doing some really detailed work, such as removing the background and whatnot, I had to do a lot of scrolling. However, with more screen area, I am able to see more in my screen, which makes it so much easier to work!
MOVIES: Do you like to watch movies, who doesn't? I also had the chance to watch one of my favorite movies called The Matrix. WOW, its like, matrix in high definition wide-screen. When I sit up close to the screen, I feel like I am being sucked into the Matrix myself. I got to say, when it comes to movies, my new Acer 22" LCD monitor, coupled with my Logitech Z-5300 5.1 surround sound system, makes quite the theater experience.
Which is so good to, cause you got to think. How many times have you gone to the theater, and people won't shut up? How many times did those tweekers laugh every time they said Marry Jane in the movie Spyder Man? How many times did you go to the theater, just to overhear somebody give away the ending, or children kicking the back of your seat?
And what bytes my butt the most, is how every time I go to the theater, I feel sick afterwards, cause I just not only spent $15.00 on a movie ticket, but nearly $20.00 for popcorn and soda. Is it really that worth it folks? I say no! I rather stay at home, and experience my new Acer 22" and everything it has to offer.
CONCLUSION: It honestly doesn't matter what kind of work you do, or what form of pleasure you enjoy, as you will be sure to enjoy it on the Acer 22" LCD monitor. After experiencing this monitor first hand, I will never go back to CRT for as long as I live. Did you know those things suck a lot of power too? Yeah, see, now I am saving on my power bill too! I have not had any problems with my new monitor and I gave it a solid, 5 out of 5.
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Amount Paid (US$): 150.00
Operating System: Windows and Macintosh