Acer T272HL review

The Acer T272HL is s striking 27-inch touch-screen monitor offering very accurate colors and responsive 10-point touch technology.
Photo of Acer T272HL

If you’re finally taking the Windows 8 plunge and want to make the most of its user interface, it’s time to upgrade to a touch-screen monitor. With the Acer T272HL ($699.99 list) you get a gorgeous 27-inch VA (Vertical Alignment) display with 10-point capacitive touch technology that delivers excellent color quality and a bright (300-nit) picture. It also boasts a three-port USB 3.0 hub and full HD (1,920-by-1,080) resolution. Its viewing angle performance is mediocre, however, and it’s not cheap.

Design and Features

The T272HL uses the same stylish design as its smaller sibling, the Acer T232HL. A single sheet of edge-to-edge glass protects the 27-inch VA panel and offers plenty of room for swiping and other touch gestures. The glossy coating helps punch up colors, but it is very reflective. The display is bordered by wide black bezels that are also under glass, and there’s a lightly tinted 2.4-inch high piece of plastic trim attached to the bottom bezel that gives the monitor some height.

As with the Acer T232HL, the T272HL uses a silver picture frame-type stand that resembles a bicycle kickstand. It allows up to 60 degrees of backward tilt and folds flush to the back of the cabinet if you decide to use the four VESA mounting holes to hang the monitor on a wall. There are six buttons, including the power switch, on the right side of the cabinet and three USB 3.0 ports on the left side. At the rear of the 1.9-inch thick cabinet are HDMI, DVI, and VGA video inputs, a USB 3.0 upstream port, an audio input, and the power jack. The internal speakers are adequate, but they don’t get very loud and could use a bass boost.

Acer’s menu system is a pleasure to navigate, although picture settings are limited. Pressing any button activates on-screen labels for each button. The main menu starts with Acer’s eColor Management, or picture modes. There are four presets (standard, movie, eco, graphics) and a user mode to choose from. Other settings include brightness, contrast, color temperature, and ACM (Adaptive Contrast Management). When using an analog signal you can use the auto-adjust button or manually adjust clock, phase, and position settings. There are also volume control and an input select buttons.

Acer covers the T272HL with a three-year limited warranty and includes HDMI, VGA, and USB cables in the box.

Performance
The T272HL is an impressive performer. Its out-of-the-box color accuracy was as good as it gets. As shown on the CIE chromaticity chart below, red, green, and blue colors (represented by the dots) are all perfectly positioned in their ideal color zones (represented by the boxes) as defined by the International Committee on Illumination (CIE). Moreover, color quality was outstanding while displaying scenes from the movie 2012 on Blu ray, and the panel’s 5-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response handled fast action video with aplomb.

The panel had no trouble displaying every shade of gray on the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test, and small text on the Scaled Fonts test was clear and easy to read. Viewing angle performance was good, but not stellar; there was some color fade when viewed from around 45 degrees off center.

The 10-point touch screen worked liked a charm. Swiping, pinching, and zooming gestures were executed flawlessly and using the Windows 8 on-screen keyboard was smooth and easy, especially with the panel tilted all the way back to avoid wrist fatigue.

The T272HL is a power miser, averaging 26 watts of power during testing while set to standard mode. In Eco mode power usage dropped to 17 watts without becoming too dim. In comparison the Dell P2714T used 17 watts, and the HP Envy 27 used 30 watts.

The Acer T272HL is a solid choice for a big-screen, touch-screen monitor. It’s a bit expensive, but no more expensive than most other 27 inch touch screen monitors. Its VA panel delivers spot-on color accuracy, and its 10-point capacitive touch screen makes it easy to navigate Windows 8 using gesture commands. The panel’s viewing angle performance isn’t ideal, but it’s not terrible either. If you require more I/O options, including a DisplayPort input and a few more USB ports, check out our current Editors’ Choice for big-screen, touch-screen monitors, the Dell P2714T.

Specifications
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Supported Video Formats 1080p
PC Interfaces Analog VGA, Digital (DVI-D), HDMI
Video Inputs DVI, HDMI
Diagonal Screen Size 27 inches
Widescreen Yes
Aspect Ratio 16

Verdict
The Acer T272HL is a striking 27-inch touch-screen monitor offering very accurate colors and responsive 10-point touch technology. It's a generally solid performer, but it loses some color fidelity when viewed from an angle, and it has a reflective coating.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
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