Acer Ferrari F-20
At a Glance
Gorgeous design and excellent image quality set this designer model apart; its dearth of features is its greatest handicap.
Sports cars don't impress me, but Acer's Ferrari F-20 does. This 20-inch-diagonal wide-screen monitor looks gorgeous and sleek, and its display quality is quite high. More impressive still: You get all this for a low price of $470.
The Ferrari F-20 performed well on PC World's text tests, as compared with other 20-inch wide-screens available at testing time. Our jury was particularly pleased with the clean lines on the screens of black-and-white bars, the letters E and M, and multisize fonts. The Ferrari breezed through the graphics tests as well. Our jurors also liked its evenly white screen on our white screen test and its clean delineation of various shades in our gray scale and color scale tests. The Ferrari F-20 nearly equaled the glossy-screened NEC MultiSync 20WMGX's scores on real-world photo test screens of a fruit tart and a group portrait. Acer includes a cleaning cloth to keep the F-20's screen looking its best.
Physically, Acer's Ferrari F-20 resembles the same company's AL1932d. Each of these beauties has a semitransparent bezel that curves backward at the top, bringing sports car analogies to mind. Both monitors have blue LED power indicators and buttons on the right. However, the Ferrari makes a statement with a gutsy black-and-red color combo: Its red buttons and red stand contrast boldly with the glossy black bezel. The Ferrari's red really stands out from the sea of silver, black, and silver-and-black monitors.
On the downside, the Ferrari F-20 shows a few odd design decisions. The DVI input arrives on a separate component that installs--fairly easily, from the looks of it--onto the back of the monitor. (Our review unit arrived with this box already installed, but the accompanying documents make it clear that most users will have to install this themselves.) It's well tailored to the look of the monitor, and it doesn't stick out, but it's an unusual extra step. I'd have liked to see physical adjustments besides just tilt, though. The integrated speakers sounded fine, but they didn't blow me away.
All in all, the Acer Ferrari F-20 is a sweet little machine. Its crisp, colorful screen images and its design panache would be tempting even at a higher price--but as of 5/18/06, it sold for a competitive price of $470. At that price, this 20-inch wide-screen is likely to find a parking spot on many a desk.