Acer S243HL review

It looks stunning and the two HDMI ports are welcome, but you can get better image quality for less

31 Oct 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT


24in screen size, 1,920x1,080 resolution, DVI: no, VGA: yes, HDMI:

While most monitors look roughly similar, Acer has taken a little time to design the stunning-looking 24in Full HD (1,920x1,080) S243HL. Instead of having ports on the back of the screen, the S243HL's screen is attached to an L-shaped stand that houses all the ports and controls. There are twin HDMI inputs, as well as an analogue VGA input and a 3.5mm audio input. All of these are at the base of the stand for neater cabling.

Acer S243HL rear ports

This design is striking, and would be ideal for a location where it can be shown off, but it has a few limitations. Like most monitors, there's no height adjustment or the ability to swivel the screen into portrait mode, but the S243HL also lacks mounting points for a wall bracket, and there are no Kensington lock lugs if you need to secure the display.

Acer S243HL

Controls for the menu system are set into the front of the stand, and are arranged logically. Image quality settings are minimal, however: you can set brightness, contrast and colour temperature, and the latter is limited to Warm, Cool and User settings. We found the User defaults - red, green and blue set to 80/100 - offered the most natural colours.

There's also a dynamic contrast option called ACM, hidden under the general settings. We generally prefer to avoid dynamic contrast technology, as it can often lead to distracting shifts in luminosity, but the S243HL's implementation seemed subtle enough. We noticed an increase in the depth of blacks and better contrast, but without any noticeable shifts in brightness.

Acer S243HL side

An LED backlight provides illumination, but it's not very even, with obvious dark patches visible in our white-screen test. It's quite bright, but suffers from a slight yellow cast that was most apparent in its effect on reds and greens. Flesh tones suffered as a result, looking paler and bloodless. Colours in general looked a bit less punchy thanks to the matt screen finish, although this cuts down on unwanted reflections as well.

The S243HL's image quality is still good overall, and the monitor's striking design and twin HDMI inputs mean it's flexible, particularly if you want to use it for a games console or Blu-ray player in addition to a PC. However, the Iiyama ProLite E2773HDS is a 27in screen for only a little more, and the LG IPS235V has a superb IPS panel and costs significantly less.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***


Viewable size 24 in
Native resolution 1,920x1,080
Contrast ratio 1,000:1 (12,000,000:1 dynamic)
Brightness 250cd/m²
Horizontal viewing angle 176°
Vertical viewing angle 176°
Response time 2ms
Response time type grey-to-grey
Screen depth 19mm
Base (WxD) 312x189mm
Screen elevation 107mm


Portrait mode no
Wall mount option no
Height adjustable no
Internal speakers yes (2x 2W)
Detachable cables yes
USB hub none
Integrated power supply no
Kensington lock lug no
Display extras 2x HDMI
VGA input yes
DVI input no
S-video input no
Component input no
Composite input no
HDCP support yes
Audio inputs 3.5mm line in


Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption on 28W

Buying Information

Price £203
Warranty three years RTB

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