The AL1951B's five-button control panel is well placed and simple to use. The two middle buttons control speaker volume and double as scrolling arrows when you're using the onscreen menu (OSM). The easy-to-use OSM lets you control the basic brightness and contrast settings as well as color temperature.
The Acer AL1951B turned in an average performance on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based LCD performance tests. The dark-black text looked crisp and legible, even in small-size fonts. Thanks in part to the AL1951B's CrystalBrite screen coating, colors appeared bright and vivid; however, color scales didn't show much differentiation between shades, especially at the dark end. The AL1951B displayed attractive grayscales, but some tests showed slightly pink and green tints. Uniformity tests revealed the AL1951B's screen to be darker at the top than the bottom.
The Acer AL1951B did pretty well on our DVD-playback and gaming tests. Colors looked bright and bold, and images were nicely detailed. Unfortunately, we noticed areas of distortion, especially in backgrounds, and the black bars on letterboxed movies were full of distracting reflections.
The Acer AL1951B comes with an industry-standard three-year limited parts-and-labor warranty. Toll-free tech support is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. If you call after-hours and leave a detailed message, including your name and phone number, the serial number of your display, and a brief description of the problem, tech support will return your call, often within the hour. Acer's support Web site also offers driver downloads and links to e-mail support.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)