AS FAR as LCD monitors go, this one is as thin as a pancake.
|Acer S243HL 24-inch LCD monitor
|» Price: $499 until Jan 24 (usual price: $599)
» Available: From Sim Lim Square
Viewed from the side, Acer's S243HL LCD monitor is just 15mm thin.
In fact, so thin is the 24-inch monitor that it flexed when I picked it up out of the box.
LED (light emitting diode) bulbs make the incredible slimness possible.
However, the positioning of the leg stand is odd. Instead of being at the centre, the stand is fixed a third of the way from the right, with an L-shaped base that extends to the left providing the balance.
Button controls for power, contrast, brightness and setup are arranged vertically at the front of the base stand while the input connections are situated behind. The inputs include two HDMI and one VGA, audio and USB ports, which are sufficient for connecting your computer, Blu-ray player or notebook PC.
Another oddity is the fact that the DVI connector, usually used for desktop computer connections, is absent. Acer makes up for this by including a DVI-to-HDMI cable.
When connected to an XBox 360 or Sony PS3, the HDMI cable carries the audio to the built-in speaker. While this does not make for ideal stereo sound, it is good enough for simple puzzle games.
It would have been nice for Acer to split the audio and pass it through an additional connector so that more powerful speakers or home entertainment sound systems can be hooked up. Instead, an audio input jack is included and that provides basic sound quality when connected to a computer.
What is nice about the monitor is that it maintains the aspect ratio of the screen resolution. This is important because stretching the image to fit the screen would make the graphics ugly and blocky.
The native resolution is 1,920 by 1,080 pixels. This is especially useful when gamers need this specific resolution to maximise the frame rate for the smoothest gameplay.
Performance was not disappointing: fast action scenes in movies and games, whether played on a computer or game console, showed little ghosting. This is possible because of the fast two-millisecond refresh rate.
As it is, 24-inch LED monitors with multiple inputs are hard to come by. And with a price tag more commonly found on 23-inch models, choosing this big screen is easy.
By Chester Chen, a freelance writer
This story was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life.
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