Acer AL2616Wd 25.5-Inch Wide-Screen LCD Monitor
At a Glance
Best for viewing office documents, this 26-inch (25.5-inch viewable) LCD's weak graphics performance defeats its low price.
At $649 (as of December 10, 2007), the Acer AL2616Wd is part of the company's "Value Line" of monitors and proves that you get what you pay for. Though its performance scores were solid, they were well below average for its class.
Tested for our February 2008 feature "The Wide World of Monitors," the 26-inch wide-screen (25.5-inch viewable area) monitor managed to pull an overall score of Good, but it had some of the lowest graphics and text test performance scores in our recent 26- to 28-inch monitor group. A picture of fruit slices lacked saturation to make the colors vivid. The monitor also lacked the uniformity of brightness that other, better screens exhibited; in fact, a few judges commented on how "dark" the screen looked. Though it did fairly well with office documents, further legibility and sharpness tests produced a mixed bag of results.
The panel's silver bezel is unremarkable and feels like low-quality plastic, especially when compared with other monitors in this size segment. It does sport a solid and heavy black trapezoidal base that's sure to keep this large monitor in its place. You also lose many physical adjustments: the AL2616Wd only comes with a tilt mechanism that goes back 15 degrees and forward 5 degrees. There is no cable management system, though the immovable panel is so close to the base you may not see the cables at all.
I found generally good colors when I viewed the movie Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The dark and light scenes showed good definition, showing adequate detail even though I did notice it was a bit grainy in parts. Nevertheless, it produced rich reds and blues, and textured detailing on clothing was sharp.
The on-screen display (OSD) adjustments are easy enough to access and learn with the aptly labeled buttons located beneath the lower bezel. They include a button for color adjustments, presets for text, graphics, and movie, as well as user-defined settings.
The excellent price of the Acer AL2616Wd notwithstanding, those looking for a big monitor may be better off shelling out more money to get better graphics.