The contrast ratio of modern TN+Film matrices is usually average. It’s better than that of the majority of S-IPS ones, but can’t match PVA ones, the leaders in this parameter.
As for the biggest problems of TN+Film technology, these include imprecise color reproduction (especially considering that many modern TN+Film matrices use 6 rather than 8 bits to represent each of the basic colors) and narrow viewing angles. Viewing angles with TN+Film are much worse than with S-IPS as well as with MVA and PVA technologies. This has even made many monitor manufacturers to mislead their customers by using other criteria to measure the viewing angles of TN+Film matrices than they use for the rest of the matrix types. This way they can specify the seemingly good viewing angles of 160 degrees. Fortunately, Acer didn’t follow this doubtable trend and specified “honest” viewing angles of 140 degrees for the AL1912. This number seems small in comparison with 170 degrees you usually have with S-IPS, MVA and PVA matrices, but it is closer to reality and doesn’t leave the user perplexed, “How comes it says 160 degrees, but half the screen gets dark as soon as I look at it just a little from below?”
Alas, but I can’t say anything encouraging about the matrix used in the AL1912. While the narrowness of the viewing degrees is felt only along the vertical (the top of the screen becomes dark if you take a look at the screen a little from below; if you’re looking downwards at the screen, its bottom becomes whitish), the irregular distribution of the backlighting with numerous dark spots around the screen, and the dull, unimpressive colors are perfectly visible from any point of view.
The monitor’s color temperature setup isn’t very accurate, either, although this has nothing to do with the type of the matrix. The temperatures of white and gray proved to be 5720K and 8010K, respectively, by default with the User setting. The Cool setting produced 6710K white and 10,890K gray. The Warm setting yielded 5340K white and 6460K gray. The default setting is Cool, so the onscreen image has a typical bluish hue. You should pay attention to this fact if you’re comparing this monitor with others as a majority of monitors come with the color temperature set to about 6500K, which gives you much warmer colors.
As the color curves show, the level of blue is too high at the monitor’s standard settings, while red and green are absolutely normal:
Blue becomes normal when you reduce the contrast setting in the monitor’s menu:
I am not quite pleased with the response time of this monitor: the graph is typical for average-speed TN+Film matrices but no more than that. The monitor is a little slower than the declared 16 milliseconds on black-white-black transitions of the state of a pixel.
The monitor’s contrast ratio proved to be very good: it was about 400 candelas per sq.m irrespective of the settings, so we’ve got a good black color here.
Alas, but I have to admit that the debut of TN+Film matrices in 19” LCD monitors was a failure. The Acer AL1912 doesn’t boast a record-breaking responsiveness, while it does have irregular backlighting, unassuming color reproduction, and viewing angles which are much worse than with matrices of other types. The low price of the Acer AL1912 is probably its only advantage which makes it appropriate for the role of an inexpensive office monitor for processing text. If you need a monitor with a better color reproduction, for example for working with photos, or a universal monitor, you’d better consider other models.