Acer S242HL 24″ LED LCD Monitor Review
The competition for the $200 monitor market is one of the hardest to be successful. For manufacturers when designing a monitor, not only they will need high-end specifications, but also able to maintain an affordable product. The Acer S242HL (UM.FS2AA.C01) 24” TFT LCD LED-backlit Monitor is a good balance of good quality components and design, that we are quite surprised by the Taiwanese manufacturer’s $200 price tag.
For a $200 price tag, Acer has provided a 24” Monitor that’s worth quite a value. You get a 24” Full HD monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The bezel looks great thanks to the Ultra-slim TN panel with a glossy black finish. Just like other glossy monitors, the S242HL is very susceptible to picking up fingerprints. It features an adjustable Display Angle which viewers can watch up to 170° horizontal and 160° vertical viewing angles respectively. The panel is a LCD with LED backlight type with a 250cd/m² brightness. Given its $200 price tag, there are many monitors in the market with a much better brightness level. The outputs available are VGA, DVI and HDMI. Unfortunately the S242HL does not comes with built-in speakers or a headphone jack, making it hard to setup audio that comes via the HDMI cable when you connect the monitor to a gaming consoles or other devices.
The video performance of the S242HL looks quite good on paper. It features a 100,000,000:1 contrast ratio, a 2ms response time and a 60Hz refresh rate. However, until we test it out on some gaming sessions, we are disappointed with the results. Firstly, the S242HL suffers from severe reverse ghosting. This means that viewers can see ghost images trailing behind fast moving objects. Even though the panel features a 2ms response time, it performs quite poorly in artificially boost the responsiveness of the monitor. You can use it as a daily monitor for emails and web browsing. However, gamers should look elsewhere for better alternatives.
Another issue we have with the monitor is the color. Even though it supports 16.7 million colors, the S242HL’s display is mediocre at best. With the factory setting, the monitor suffers from a strong blue tinge and an uneven distribution of luminance across different shades or gamma. A good example would be the Facebook logo; it should be blue instead of a purple-ish color we get from the S242HL. So accurate colors are a big issue, unfortunately there’s no way to improve the settings using the onscreen menu.
So the S242HL is a product with mixed results; it features a big 24” LED backlight panel with full HD resolution, on the other hand it suffers from poor color reproduction and severe reverse ghosting. It is a trade-off we believe is quite acceptable because of the price tag. For $200, the Acer S242HL is a good budget monitor for office work and web browsing. If you are not picky about your colors and display quality.