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Acer AL1751W

The Acer AL1751W is a representative of the new class of widescreen monitors. In fact, it only lacks a remote control and a TV-tuner to be called an LCD TV-set (there is an IR-receiver port on the front panel and a TV-tuner bay at the rear panel, but they are covered with plastic gags). The manufacturer declares a good contrast ratio for this model: 600:1.

So, the Acer AL1751W is a widescreen multimedia LCD monitor with a screen ratio of 16:10 in contrast to the traditional 4:3 size. Its multimedia capabilities are realized as two integrated speakers. From a distance, these speakers seem to occupy all of the case’s side pieces, but in fact they have a modest size of several centimeters, while the “acoustic grid” is only a decorative element (it is obvious even in the snapshot). Of course, the quality of this sound cannot match even the simplest standalone speaker systems.

The dark-gray front panel is framed into a silver plastic bezel (yes, that’s plastic, not aluminum as in the Acer AL1731m); the rear panel is black. The base is silvery, too, and it only allows changing the tilt of the screen, but in a wide range. Well, you cannot push the screen backwards by more than 25..30 degrees without an additional fastening – it may just topple over. Overall, this color scheme resembles the Samsung SyncMaster 173MP (see our article called New LCD Monitors from Samsung: Roundup of Five New Models), but the Samsung designer team painted the rear panel black – thanks to that the screen of the 173MP seems larger visually than it is in reality. If necessary, you may use a VESA-compatible corbel instead of the standard base – removing the rectangular cover with a carry handle that occupies its place.

In its inputs the AL1751W is analogous to the above-described AL1731m: analog and digital inputs, S-Video and composite inputs and two audio inputs (one 3.5mm mini-jack for connection to the computer’s audio card; the other consists of RCA connectors for attaching external sound sources; the first input is enabled when the monitors displays a picture from the computer, the second input works when S-Video or the composite input is enabled). The AL1751W uses an external power adapter.

The control buttons are small and circular and located at the top of the monitor, on a small ledge of its rear panel. That’s not a very convenient solution, since you have to grope for the buttons without seeing the buttons themselves or any explanatory labels. The pretty and user-friendly control menu is the same as the AL1731m has, with the same minor drawback – they might have used the Auto button to perform the Exit function.

The menu offers to the user a selection of four color temperature settings: “Cool” (6660K white and 8570K gray colors), “Natural” (5400K white and 6630K gray), “Warm” (4530K white and 5640K gray), and “User” (by default, it corresponds to 5900K white and 8480K gray colors). Thus, the “Natural” setting turns to be the closest to 6500K temperature as required by the sRGB standard.

By default, the brightness and contrast controls are set to 100% and 50%, respectively. Like other video playback oriented models, the AL1751W is very bright, and to reach 100nit screen brightness I dropped the brightness setting to zero and the contrast one to 8%. It means that this model won’t suit people who like to work in a dimly-lit room, although you can decrease the screen brightness further by adjusting the graphics card’s settings.

The response time of the AL1751W exactly matched its specification, and the pixel rise and fall times equaled each other. Well, this is a typical thing with PVA matrixes: the following graph, showing the dependence of the response time on the pixel’s initial and final states, confirms that we deal with that type of the matrix.

Of course, this very high response time results in a strong ghosting effect in dynamic games and movies, but on the other hand PVA matrixes provide significantly wider viewing angles than their faster TN+Film mates – that’s not unimportant at movies playback. The PVA technology also allows for a good deep black color, i.e. a good contrast ratio. Alas, the AL1751W is not the one to show the potential advantage of PVA: its contrast ratio only reached 300:1 – that’s twice below the manufacturer’s claims.

I think there’s only one sensible use for the Acer AL1751W – watching movies. However, there’s a disadvantage here, too. The low contrast ratio makes the monitor display dark-gray instead of black under scarce external lighting (and you usually watch movies in the evening, rather than by day, don’t you?). For any other use, the Acer AL1751W has more deficiencies: the slow MVA matrix is unsuitable for dynamic games and its high screen brightness makes it practically unfit for text-processing tasks.

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