Acer S273HL review
A unique and attractive design sets the S273HL apart, and its LED backlights help it achieve brilliant contrast and good colour reproduction, but it's far too expensive.
Review Date: 31 Dec 2010
Price when reviewed: £379
Reviewed By: Barry de la Rosa
The 27in Full HD Acer S273HL is a fantastically novel design: the screen itself is incredibly thin, and has no ports or controls on the rear. Instead, it's attached to an L-shaped stand which contains the inputs and menu buttons. It's the sort of monitor that would look great on a receptionist's desk, but the design has little practical use.
In fact, in terms of features it's quite minimalist: there's no swivel or height adjustment, nor is there a USB hub. There are two HDMI inputs, so you could have both your PC and games console or Blu-ray player attached at the same time, and there's a 3.5mm audio input, although it only drives a single, tinny speaker that is only suitable for Windows sounds.
The S273HL's image quality is generally brilliant. Despite its LED backlight, the S273HL's image was darker than its CCFL-backlit rivals. However, as a result we found that colours were more natural and contrast far better, with deeper blacks and more detail in areas dark and light areas.
We loaded the Ambush level in Call of Duty 4 to test gaming performance, and we found the map's brown and dusty landscape looked flat on most monitors, with brown-walled houses and muddy roads blending into each other. On the S273HL, however, subtle differences in colour and detailed textures stood out, creating more depth and realism.
Colours were a bright and vivid, although we did notice a blue cast that Acer seems to have compensated for by setting the colour temperature to Warm by default. The menu system is clear and easy to use, and controlled by four buttons in the front of the stand.
The first item on the menu is Acer's eColor Management, which let you access the image quality presets. We avoided the brash and over-saturated Graphics and Movie modes, while the Text mode simply reduces brightness. Standard mode is fairly normal, and there's also a User mode which lets you save your tweaks. There isn't much to tweak, however, with only basic brightness and contrast, plus Warm, Cool and User colour temperatures.
There's no doubt the S273HL's has great image quality, and the design is novel, but it's far too expensive. The LG E2750V has comparable image quality, a thin design thanks to its LED backlighting, and costs much less.
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