Following alphabetic order, Acer goes first with its AL1917Nsd model. This multimedia monitor (it has integrated speakers) is a typical representative of the 19-inch class.
There is nothing interesting about the specifications. The AL1917Nsd is based on a TN matrix without response time compensation and with characteristically limited viewing angles. The contrast ratio of 2000:1 is dynamic. The static contrast ratio is not declared but it can hardly be higher than 700:1, the typical value for modern matrixes of this type. Take note that the dynamic contrast mode has reached even the most inexpensive models but, unfortunately, its usefulness is limited to watching movies. It is no good for text-based and image-processing applications as well as for games. Indeed, why would you want to make a dark game scene even darker?
The monitor has a rather boring exterior, just like most other inexpensive products from Acer. The gray plastic case with a simple plastic stand should be just fine for an office environment, but home users may want something more attractive.
The stand allows to adjust the tilt of the screen. This is in fact the only adjustment option that modern entry-level monitors usually offer. Acer has been using this stand for a very long time already, by the way. The stand can be replaced with a VESA-compatible mount using the screw holes in the back panel.
It is good that the monitor offers both analog and digital interfaces. Well, it is high time for all monitors to transition to digital connectors. Every graphics card currently offers a digital interface (and the newest models don’t even have analog D-Sub connectors, offering a universal DVI-I port instead – you can connect a monitor’s analog input to it via an adapter). Integrated graphics cores have acquired digital interfaces, too.
Besides that, there is a power connector and an audio input in the recess of the back panel. There is no headphones socket here.
As is typical of Acer’s monitors, the buttons are grouped below the front panel. They include four controls and a Power button on the right (it is larger than the others and has an integrated green LED). The button labels are pressed out in the plastic and rather hard to read.
Quick access is provided to the sound volume setting, to the Empowering technology (the name of a few quickly selectable image presets), and to the automatic adjustment feature (evoked by a long press on the Empowering button).
The menu follows Acer’s traditional style, too. It is not particularly pretty or user-friendly. It just does its job of helping you control the monitor. The menu doesn’t remember the item you opened last but always opens up on the preset selection screen. This is not logical because you can select an image preset by means of the dedicated quick button.
By default, the monitor has 77% brightness and 50% contrast. I reduced the brightness setting to 70% in order to achieve a 100nit level of white. Color gradients are reproduced with barely visible banding. Lights and darks are both distinguishable at any level of contrast. The monitor regulates its brightness by means of pulse-width modulation of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 388Hz.
The average nonuniformity of white brightness is 4.1% with a maximum deflection of 12.3%. The results are worse for black brightness: 6.4% and 23.0%, respectively. There are conspicuously brighter areas along the top and bottom of the screen.