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Acer AL2416Ws

The AL2416Ws is not the newest model from Acer, but it’s interesting for being in fact the first inexpensive 24” monitor. Generally speaking, every technology follows the same development cycle. First there appear expensive products that offer the fullest functionality possible, but their price begins to go down after a while. Finally, the manufacturers come to the conclusion that the market is ready to be treated as a mass market and it’s not reasonable to develop it with only expensive products. So, they begin to seek for ways to make their products cheaper by stripping them of certain functions.

There are several ways to make a monitor cheaper: installing a TN matrix, using a simpler case, reducing the number of inputs. The AL2416Ws represents the two latter techniques. It has a very simple stand and comes with only one, analog, input, which seems a questionable solution for a 24” monitor with a native resolution of 1920x1200 pixels.

The AL2416Ws doesn’t differ from other products in the same category: a PVA matrix, good viewing angles, and Response Time Compensation.

It is hardly attractive externally. The monitor’s got a plain light-silver case with a rather large (even in contrast with the 24” screen) rough bezel and a square black stand.

The stand allows to adjust the tilt of the screen only. If you need anything else, you have to replace the native stand with a VESA-compatible mount (using the appropriate fasteners) or buy another monitor.

The monitor’s back panel looks empty. The few connectors you find here are simply lost on such a large background. There is a mains connector for the integrated power adapter and a D-Sub input for analog video connection. Digital connection is only available on the more expensive AL2416Wd.

The control buttons are grouped on a small ledge at the bottom of the case. The Power button is placed separately and is sized and shaped differently from the other controls. It is highlighted with a green LED at work.

The standard menu from Acer offers a standard selection of setup options you can find in any other inexpensive monitor: brightness, contrast, color temperature, automatic adjustment, and settings that regulate the display of the menu itself. These are the options you have in any low-end 19-incher. There are no options to adjust the image to non-native resolutions (including non-widescreen ones; the image will always be stretched out to 16:10).

The monitor has 100% brightness and 50% contrast by default. To achieve a 100nit brightness of white I reduced both to 25%. The brightness is regulated by means of pulse-width modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of about 210Hz.

Color gradients are reproduced correctly. There appears slight banding in them at certain values of contrast, but that’s a trifle really.

I connected the AL2416Ws to a Sapphire Radeon X600 graphics card using the cable included with the monitor. The card worked well at 1920x1200 and the picture seemed quite sharp to me after the automatic adjustment. Below is a photo of a fragment of the image on the screen of the AL2416Ws at its native resolution.

The image didn’t call for a manual adjustment, but I had to run the automatic adjustment procedure (with a press of the appropriate button) almost each time I turned the PC on. On entering Windows – when the screen resolution was changed to 1920x1200 – the monitor would run it automatically, but its result would often call for improvement on the low-contrast Windows wallpaper. So I had to open some high-contrast black-and-white image (a page of text or an Explorer window with a large number of files) and run the auto-adjustment once again so it could “catch” the signal properly.

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