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.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)