Acer – AL1951 review

good 19-inch LCD monitor
Photo of Acer – AL1951
£240 + VAT

19-inch LCD monitors are rapidly becoming the standard for serious office or graphics professional use. Acer’s latest device in this category, the AL1951, is a no-frills device at a good price, rather than a high-end screen with all the bells and whistles.

It’s decked out smartly, with the screen surround in black and the good-looking stand in silver. The stand enables the screen to tilt, but doesn’t offer any swivel from side to side, nor height adjustment. It does, sensibly, include all the sockets for video and audio connections in the back of its base, though, with control buttons at the front.

Sockets include nine-pin analogue, a DVI digital input and a jack socket for sound. It’s useful having twin video inputs, but you should use the digital option if your graphics card supports it, as this will normally give you better picture quality.

As with most 19-inch monitors, the maximum resolution is 1,280 x 1,024 pixels, which gives plenty of room on a typical Windows desktop. The display is bright and clear and under the basic DisplayMate tests, we saw good colour rendition and a full range of greyscale tones.

The only distraction from the screen was an over-vigorous backlight on the left-hand side, so you could see a slight white glow when the background of the screen was dark. The screen’s response time is 8ms, which is more than quick enough to remove any ghosting or jittering in even fast-moving DVD films.

There are twin speakers set into the monitor and, although these are capable of 1.1W output each, it’s the sound quality and particularly the bass response that is always a problem with LCD monitor speakers. Acer’s are no worse than others of the type, but sound still has a restricted frequency band, much like what you’d hear from a notebook PC.

External power supplies are convenient for manufacturers who sell globally, because they can just drop a different power block into the box for each country. From the customer’s perspective, though, they’re at least an annoyance and probably an eyesore too. Manufacturers can fit universal power supplies internally, which cope with all world’s different voltages and frequencies, but they’re expensive and here, Acer goes the external route.

The screen has a full, back to dealer, three-year warranty; this is a good period, given typical business depreciation of computer equipment.

Company: Acer

Contact: 0870 853 1005


Verdict
This is a good, general-purpose, 19-inch LCD monitor. It's easy to set-up and use, with all sockets and buttons on the base of the stand. Although the sample we saw had some annoying backlight bleed, this is probably an issue with this one unit. At the price, it offers fair value for money.