By default, the monitor has 77% brightness and 50% contrast (these settings correspond to the Standard mode in the list of the factory-set modes). I reduced them both to 35% to achieve a 100nit white. You should not increase the contrast setting above 50% because it leads to a loss of light halftones. The brightness is regulated by modulating the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 271Hz.
The monitor’s color gamut is exactly what you can expect from a monitor with ordinary backlight lamps: coinciding with sRGB in blues, smaller in reds, and larger in greens.
The average brightness uniformity on white is 4.4% with a maximum deflection of 12.8%. That’s a good result. Alas, the backlight is more irregular on black – 8.4% on average and 26.7% at the maximum – with a bright area along the bottom of the screen.
The gamma curves don’t look good at the default settings. The gamma value is obviously too high for the blue curve, which goes much lower than the theoretical one.
The curves improve at the reduced brightness and contrast – they don’t differ that much from each other now.
The monitor’s average response is 13.3 milliseconds GtG, which is quite a normal value for RTC-less TN matrixes. Of course, it cannot compete with RTC-enabled monitors while the pretty-looking specified number of 5 milliseconds is arrived at by using the ISO 13406-2 measurement method which counts in the time it takes to switch between black and white only, which is actually the quickest transition on TN matrixes. To remind you, the Gray-to-Gray method calculates the average value of all transitions, not only between black and white but also between halftones. That’s why the GtG method is more indicative of the monitor’s real-life performance.
The color temperature setup is surprisingly good. The difference between the temperatures of different levels of gray is within 360K. The only downside is the lack of really warm modes (the Warm mode is not actually warm, providing a color temperature of about 7000K), but this is not crucial for most users.
The monitor’s maximum brightness is sufficient for any applications, including games and movies. The contrast ratio is good, over 450:1 in one of the test modes.
As I wrote above, the AL2017Asd offers factory-set modes called Empowering Technology. The user cannot edit them but can quickly switch between them. It is very handy if you want to switch from working in a text editor to a game or movie – just a couple of taps on the buttons and the monitor’s brightness is increased right to the necessary level. And after you’ve finished playing the game or watching the movie, you can quickly return to the previous brightness level.
There are four such modes here, except for a user-defined mode. Alas, the brightness is too high for working with text in the Text mode. It is rather suitable for games and movies under mild ambient lighting. For text applications, the monitor should be set up manually for about half that brightness. The Standard mode ensures an even higher level of brightness, which corresponds to the monitor’s default settings, by the way.
Like with the AL2016WBsd, the first two modes do not distort the gamma curves and thus do not affect the reproduction of colors, but the Graphics and Movies modes are configured sloppily.
The contrast is set too high in the Graphics mode, making the three curves reach saturation in the top right of the diagram. In practice, it means a loss of light halftones. For example, viewing a photograph of a bright sky, you’ll see a solid-color smudge instead of barely visible thin clouds against a blue background.
The Movie mode is somewhat better, but still no good. The red and green curves are saturated in lights.
Thus, I recommend you to use Empowering Technology in the following way. You should configure the monitor manually to achieve a comfortable brightness for office applications and switch into the Text or Standard mode for playing a game or watching a movie. The Graphics and Movie modes should be ignored due to the color distortions they provoke.
So, the AL2017Asd may be interesting for people who want to buy an inexpensive monitor with a big pixel pitch but larger than 19” models in terms of screen diagonal and native resolution. If the pixel pitch in the models with a native resolution of 1680x1050 pixels suits you just fine, you should consider them instead because the prices are roughly similar.
- Low Price
- Good color reproduction setup
- Plain exterior design
- Slow matrix
- Irregular backlight on black
- Text-based applications (documents, spreadsheets, Internet), mainly for people who want a monitor with a large pixel pitch