Acer is a name that should be familiar to anyone that has been around the computer industry for a long time. Originally founded in 1976, they have been providing PCs, laptops, servers, displays, and other computer electronics equipment for a long time - a few of us here at AnandTech can recall running Acer PCs back in the glory days of the 286 and 386! Acer currently ranks as one of the world's more recognizable PC brands, with expertise in manufacturing, IT services, as well as consumer products.

We have looked at several high-end LCDs recently, and perhaps not surprisingly we found that the 24" and larger LCDs have all been good offerings overall. However, not everyone is interested in spending a lot of money on a high-quality LCD. Acer manufacturers a lot of LCDs, and they tend to be more value oriented offerings. Today, we take a look at their 22" AL2216W (AL2216Wbd is the full model name) and we will see where it does well along with some of its shortcomings.

22" LCDs are a more recent introduction to the display market, and the AL2216W is one of the first (if not the very first) such models. These displays strike an interesting balance between size, resolution, and cost that should appeal to a large number of users. Like the 20" widescreen LCDs, they have a native resolution of 1680x1050. As they are 10% larger in viewable area that means the pixels aren't quite as small. Depending on your perspective, that can be either a good thing or a bad thing. Those with exceptional eyesight would probably prefer a higher resolution, while others are going to be happy with a larger display and a lower native resolution.

The resolution also has a few other benefits, however; specifically, gamers might like the slightly lower resolution as it will allow some of the slower GPUs to be able to drive the LCD at its native resolution. Not surprisingly, quite a few graphics cards struggle to provide acceptable frame rates at 1920x1200, so the net result is you get a larger display that may prove more acceptable for gaming, especially in the midrange sector. Perhaps price is the most attractive aspect of these displays, as they typically don't cost much more - and sometimes less - than 20" models and they are about half as expensive as the cheapest 24" LCDs. Be forewarned that to reach this lower price point some other amenities have been trimmed, and whether or not you desire these extras may determine whether or not you would be happy with something like the Acer AL2216W.

We have also been working on refining our LCD reviews over the past several weeks. With the help of user feedback, we have made a few more changes to the way we review LCDs. Specifically, we're going to be doing some additional testing and provide results that will hopefully answer any remaining questions. If you have read the previous reviews of the Gateway FPD2485W and Dell 2407WFP and 3007WFP, we will be looking at those displays yet again on the new tests.

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  • anandtech02148 - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    That viewing angle thing makes me proud of my 2yr old investment on the dell 2405fpw.
    Jarred when are they gonna give you a Dell 27inc 2707wfp to play?
    27inc seems to be the right viewing angle for my future upgrade when price drop to 700usd or so.
  • BigDDesign - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    Great LCD reviews. Could you test some of the monitors that cater to graphic pros or photo pros like the Lacie 321 or NEC monitors. I currently am using a Lacie Electron Blue 22" and a Viewsonic 2050 LCDTV 20" for my workstation area. Every day I pray that my CRT will last forever. I know that someday that I'm going to have to replace my CRT with a LCD. Perfect color is top priority for some of us, over response times. With digital photography so mainstream, good color is very important to many. Perfect color is what I need.
  • kmmatney - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    NewEgg has a new interesting monitor for sale, which I believe is an IPS panel, for $350. The link is here. Would be nice to review a monitor in the same price range which ay perform a lot better (with a slightly smaller screen and 4:3 aspect ratio).">
  • Bana - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    I'm glad to see that you tested the input lag (buffering) of the monitors this time around. I am unfortunate enough to be able to see and feel the difference on my mom's 2405fwp (hence why I haven't bought an LCD for myself). It would have been nice to see the monitors compared to a better baseline ie: a CRT monitor to get a more repeatable measurement. It'd also be nice to see get an actual response lag range like">BeHardware does.

    Thanks again Anandtech. :)
  • Chadder007 - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    On the color gradients....I don't understand how its supposed to look. It is supposed to look smooth throughout the colors going from dark to lighter? Or is it supposed to have a blocked look to the colors in sections?...or is that what is called banding?
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 11, 2007 - link

    It should be smooth, so the blocks are indeed banding. Without calibration, the banding tends to be a lot worse on some of the displays (particularly the Gateway FPD2485W).
  • Den - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    What is interesting to me is that if you are not willing to spend an extra $200 on a color calibration device, the cheap Acer has FAR better colors than any of the more expensive panels that have been reviewed here so far. Indeed, since 99% plus of people don't have a calibration device, I think this should be weighed far more heavily than the calibrated values. (Obviously, professionals who do have a device will reverse this weighting, but for the rest of us...) Also, could AnandTech make their calibrated color profiles available for the rest of us to download? I realize there is some panel to panel variation so it would not be perfect for every owner of the same display, but for most I think it would be far better than the factory default.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    I agree that the uncalibrated results are important, but at the same time I think most people will be okay with even Delta E of 6.0 if they don't know any better. Your eyes and brain are generally happy with what they see, whether or not it's 100% accurate. I've used a Dell 2405FPW for a long time without proper calibration and it never bothered me; now that I have a colorimeter, I suppose I'm seeing more "true" colors, but if I were to just walk up to a display and try to judge it it would be hard to say how it performs. For image professionals, a colorimeter should be standard equipment; for everyone else... unless the display is *really* bad, other aspects probably carry at least as much weight. The viewing angles, for example, normally don't bother us much, but the Acer panel clearly has a much narrower viewing arc.

    And since you asked, here's a link to the <a href=""> profiles</a> for all of the monitors, including both the print and standard profiles. The settings used for calibration are listed in the file names. Obviously, these are targeted at the panels we have, but as a baseline others may find them somewhat helpful. Cheers.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    Let me try that link again. :)">Downloadable Color Profiles
  • anandtech02148 - Wednesday, April 4, 2007 - link

    This is very helpful Jarred, these files save us some time if we plan to invest in these monitors, it's already obnoxious to spend 600buxs on a monitor and another 1-2hr calibrating, such little details is mind boggling, and manufacture reset is not that great. Maybe they should hire a professional calibrator like yourself.

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