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Acer AL1931 review: Acer AL1931

This 19-inch LCD has extras such as multimedia inputs, but it lacks basic features such as adjustability. The decent image quality and the reasonable price make it a good choice for someone on a budget.

Kristina Blachere
3 min read
Acer AL1931
Apple, IBM, and sometimes Samsung aside, display manufacturers seem to put little effort into making the most of an LCD's style potential. We think design is important, especially in an LCD that does double duty as a computer and a home-entertainment display. Acer's AL1931 is no Cinema Display, but it has decent design and image quality and multimedia capability, and it's not terribly expensive. If silver plastic matches your office or home-theater setup and you don't need adjustability, picture-in-picture function, or an HDTV-compatible display, the AL1931 is a good choice.

The AL1931 has a few distinguishing physical characteristics. Its slim, 1-inch bezel is made of pale silver plastic, a discreet cluster of round chrome-colored buttons sits on the bottom bezel, and the power button glows a cool, soothing blue. Unlike most LCDs, its base and neck are made of metal, which adds about a pound to its weight, and its cables are made of braided silver rope encased in clear PVC. It's not austere Apple white, but at least Acer's trying.


Acer AL1931

The Good

Decent image quality; includes video and audio inputs; stylish.

The Bad

Not HDTV compatible; no PIP function; few adjustability options; stiff tilt function; DVD playback is a mixed bag.

The Bottom Line

This reasonably priced LCD has decent image quality and some nice extras, but it sacrifices some basics, such as adjustability. It could be a good purchase for someone on a budget.

The display has both digital and analog signal ports, conveniently arranged one on top of the other on the back panel and situated well clear of the neck, making them very easy to get to. Between the neck and the back panel are S-Video and composite-video inputs, left and right audio-in jacks, and a jack for connecting the built-in speakers to your computer. Unlike many larger multimedia LCDs, the AL1931 is not HDTV ready and has no picture-in-picture function. If you want the full range of video options plus more adjustability, check out the HP L2035.

The AL1931 has a solid neck with no cable feed system, but the panel sits a mere 2 inches from the base and has no telescope function, so cable dangle isn't an issue. However, most people will need to put it on a riser. You can neither swivel the display from left to right nor pivot it between Portrait and Landscape modes. The only adjustment you can make is to tilt the panel forward and back through a 25-degree range, but the hinge between the neck and the panel is so stiff that you have to grab it with both hands and use a good amount of force to tilt the display. The AL1931 is compatible with VESA mounts.

Acer's onscreen menu handles all the usual adjustment options, such as brightness, contrast, and color temperature. What we love most about the onscreen menu are its unusual yet easy to navigate layout and its cheerful color scheme.

We tested the Acer AL1931 at its native resolution of 1,280x1,024 with a 60Hz refresh rate. It displays bright colors, though these had the somewhat digitally enhanced look one usually sees with LCDs; plus it showed good details in Web images and crisp, sharply contrasted text. The display exhibited some compression in the extreme dark and light ends of CNET's DisplayMate-based grayscale test screens, but hue shifting was minimal (meaning that grays stayed gray in the progression from black to white). Its screen uniformity was pretty good, with little variation in brightness from top to bottom and nominal backlight leak-through at the sides and the corners. DVD playback in our tests suffered from significant streaking and ghosting, but colors, especially flesh tones, were realistic and the display captured details well. Not surprisingly, the 1-watt speakers were quite faint, but the sound quality was decent and not too trebly. We counted seven stuck (or permanently on) pixels on our review unit, so we checked Acer's stuck/dead-pixel policy: it turns out the company replaces only a display that has eight or more stuck pixels--not great in our opinion.

Acer backs the AL1931 with a three-year warranty on parts, labor, and the backlight. Phone tech support is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT. Further support options, including user manuals, driver downloads, e-mail support, and a searchable database, are available via Acer's Web site.

CNET Labs DisplayMate tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Brightness in cd/m2


Acer AL1931

Score Breakdown

Design 5Features 8Performance 7Support 6Setup 7