At a Glance
Screen looks great on "user" screen mode, and the price is hard to beat. Don't expect many extras, though.
Taking a tour of the low-cost Acer AL2416Wd requires just a few minutes. This sleek, black-and-silver, 24-inch wide-screen monitor employs a simple design with no added accouterments.
The AL2416Wd provides just a few options for screen settings. Tweaking the settings is a simple matter, partly because so few exist: just brightness, contrast, RGB balance, and three preset user modes ("cool," "warm," and "user").
When we jury-tested the AL2416Wd at its default settings, it did not score as well as other recent 23- and 24-inch wide screens. On the other hand, it did best the ViewSonic VP231WB--a former champion--on every test except the group portrait screen. Text looked clear on our Microsoft Excel spreadsheet screen, and acceptable (though less clear) on our Microsoft Word spreadsheet screen. Despite being saddled with a color default that didn't flatter our photo screens, the AL2416Wd didn't wipe out on graphics. It scored well on our grayscale test, and it showed excellent detail in photo screens. Overall, the AL2416 earned a performance rating of Very Good.
For some reason, Acer makes the AL2416Wd's cool screen mode its default setting; this explains our test jurors' complaints of a "blue" or "aqua" screen. These cold tones can be distracting on text, but they become downright unpleasant on flesh tones. When I changed the mode to "user," all of the screens looked markedly better, with more balanced colors.
Like many other large wide-screen monitors, tilt is the only physical adjustment the AL2416Wd offers. The heavy black stand kept the unit from tipping when I adjusted its rather stiff tilt function. Though the silvery cabinet feels a bit flimsy, its beveled shape imparts a nice effect--something like double-matting a photo.
Because the AL2416Wd costs so little ($919 when tested), it's hard to knock it for doing so little. If you're looking for a big screen built to fit a small budget, the AL2416Wd could be the answer.
The AL2416Wd delivers Very Good image quality in a frill-free, low-cost package.