LCD monitors aren't just displays anymore--they often come with a full suite of extras such as speakers, USB ports, and yes, even an iPod dock. While the extras are nice, they have a habit of driving the price of the display up and if you already have PC speakers and plenty of USB ports, just a plain monitor may be all you need. That's where the Acer AL2216W (also sometimes called the AL221Wbd) fits in, offering 22 inches of screen real estate with a list price of $330--although we've seen it going for as low as $280 online. That's a heck of a deal, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that the AL2216W did pretty well in our testing as well. Sure, the lightweight styling might strike some as cheap, but we actually liked it. In all, the price is right on the AL2216W, and its basic feature set will suit many people who just need a monitor.
As we mentioned, the first thing you might notice about the AL2216W is that there aren't any extra features, just the power plug, VGA, and DVI ports around back. The stand itself is extremely light and slim, and it almost felt like it was a "fake" monitor. While its lack of weight may make it feel cheap to some, it didn't bother us, and we liked being able to easily move it. What did bother us was that there was very little ability to adjust it--absolutely no swivel and a small amount of backward and forward tilt. On the other hand, we didn't have any problems with the onscreen display controls and found them easy to use.
- Resolution: 1680x1050
- Dot pitch: .28mm
- Pixel-response rate: 5ms
- Contrast ratio: 700:1
- Viewing angle: 170 degrees horizontal, 160 degrees vertical
- Connectivity: DVI, VGA
- HDCP compliant
- Included VGA and DVI cables
Anytime you see a 22-inch display at this price, you begin to become a bit suspect of how it will perform. Well, for the most part, you can lose those suspicions as we found the AL2216W to perform fairly well--especially for the price. Overall, it scored a 72 on the CNET Labs' benchmark test, which puts it in good standing versus similar displays. We didn't see any evidence of ghosting or streaking in our gaming tests, and DVDs looked pretty good. Sure, we've seen stronger performance on games and DVDs from more expensive displays, but it's perfectly fine for the vast majority of people who will just do everyday computing. Text was readable at 7.5 font size, although stepping down 6.8 made it very hard to read.