Acer AL2021 Panel
Very rarely am I given the chance to give a ‘long term test’ to a piece of kit. I thank Acer for the chance and also their confidence that it would perform during a long test period.
44x36cm are the screen surround dimensions, 41x31cm the screen dimensions giving the just over 20inch diagonal measurement. It is both 44cm high and wide on its base and it comfortable fits within the 19cm depth footprint. There is around 20 degrees of tilt available. On the occasions that it services another PC it is simple enough to move.
There are five buttons on the front bottom edge with LED lights that show their use. I can say that since my initial ‘fiddle’ with them six months ago I have never needed to use them as the initial ‘auto’ works perfectly well – even when attached to a different PC. The unit boasts a 170% viewing angle and 600:1 contrast ratio. Under the bottom edge are a pair of small yet good sounding speakers and it is easy to forget that the sound emanates from them rather than from conventional units.
I use a KVM switch to control two PC’s and their tower units sit with the Acer 20 inch panel in between. On my main machine I have 1600x1200 resolution and my test machine I keep at 1280x1024 and when both are in use together that is quite a lot of sometimes rapid screen changes when I am taking information from one to another. The Acer panel always swaps resolution seamlessly and without a flicker.
A problem that used to manifest itself with CRT monitors was that the screen grew or contracted during a long period of use and anything maximised often lost the ‘x’ at the top right or in one case the last digit of the clock in the tray. During the whole of the six months of the test with the Acer AL2021 no screen size change have taken place, not first thing on a cold morning or towards the end of a long hot day, or anytime in between, simply the image has always been crisp, sharp and uniformly bright over the whole screen.
A lot of panels tend to have patches and some have a tendency to be brighter at the top or bottom on the screen, this has been totally uniform. The majority of my work is writing in Word or writing or answering emails. But I do have the chance of occasions to view the odd movie or three. On occasions people send video clips and all these are handled without problems.
Most of my software and other reviews are conducted on my test machine and while I do from time to time change the screen resolution on this machine it is normally set at 1280x1024 that is the maximum resolution available for even 19inch panels. It is amazing how many more working processes can by toggled or overlapped in the difference between 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 you may be cynical and say it’s only one inch and that’s only 320x176 difference but when you work with that extra difference for only a few days I am sure you would never want to switch back.
Neither machines graphics are anything special in fact my ‘test’ machine although it has a lot faster processor than my ‘work’ machine has only onboard graphics.
The Acer AL2021 is not overly expensive in comparison to some better known panel names. I certainly wholeheartedly recommend this 20inch panel and think the 5x5 award is well and truly earned. Likely price for ‘Acer Office Line’ mid price unit around £380.
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