Acer D240H review: Acer D240H

Acer D240H

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin

Senior Managing Editor / Mobile

Eric Franklin leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco as managing editor. A 20-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, at the movies, or at the edge of his couch with a game controller in his hands.

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The Acer D240H shares its design with the H243H. Other than a couple of feature differences and their prices, the monitors' designs are identical. The D240H includes two USB ports, a Compact Flash reader, and a SD card reader; none of which the H243H has. Both monitors include not only DVI, VGA, and HDMI, but also have the required cables for each connection. The displays have built-in speakers and perform well when playing games and watching movies. The D240H can cost as low as $290; about $50 more than the H243H. However, the D240H's $50 price difference is a bit much considering the only extras it has are the USB ports and card readers. Still, though the D240H's performance isn't in quite the same league as the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370, it matches the performance of the H243H and H233H. If you're looking for a good-performing monitor with a large screen and useful extras at a price that--though not ideal--won't break the bank, look no further than the Acer D240H.


Acer D240H

The Good

The Acer D240H has good overall performance, a satisfying assortment of connection options and cables, built-in speakers, two memory card readers, and PC-free digital photo frame support.

The Bad

The Acer D240H lacks ergonomic features and has copious backlight bleed-through.

The Bottom Line

The Acer D240H is a good-performing general-purpose monitor, with useful extras and a welcome number of connections.

Design and features
The 24-inch Acer D240H is a 16:9 aspect ratio monitor with a glossy, black bezel and foot stand. The oval-shaped foot stand is 10.6 inches wide and 7 inches deep. The distance from the bottom of the bezel to the desktop is about 2.6 inches. The back of the panel is a smooth, black matte and is relatively flat. The panel measures 1 inch thick with its connection options and ventilation system adding another 1.5 inches of thickness, bring the full thickness to 2.5 inches. The panel's full width measures 22.6 inches. The angular bezel measures 0.8 inch wide on the sides and the screen has a slightly frosty matte finish. Unfortunately, the D240H's screen height isn't adjustable and there isn't a screen rotation or pivot option for portrait mode. Its capability to tilt back 15 degrees is its only ergonomic feature.

The D240H's connection options include one HDMI, one DVI, and a single VGA port. In a rare move by a monitor vendor, Acer includes cables for all three connections as well as an audio cable for the built-in speakers. All of the monitors connections sit on the back right of the panel and are easily accessible, as they aren't tucked into the monitor too far. On the left side of the panel are a USB downstream port, an SD card reader, and a Compact Flash card slot. On the back of the H243H are four holes for mounting the display to a wall, VESA-style.

The onscreen display button array is aligned horizontally in the lower right hand corner of the bezel and includes the power button, a left and right button--which double as volume control--as well as a menu, Auto, and preset shortcut button. Each button emits a white light from an internal LED, which is great if you are calibrating the monitor in a dark room. To the left of the OSD array is the power button that emits the same light.

The OSD includes five presets: User, Text, Standard, Graphics, and Movie. It also includes controls for brightness, contrast, color temperature, and the capability to change the color temperature and the red, green, and blue values individually. Navigating the OSD has a short learning curve; however, it's not quite as easy to use as Dell's OSD is.

The Acer D240H can also be used as a digital photo frame. By connecting an external drive or card, slideshows can be viewed directly from the external device or transferred over to the 1GB of storage included on the monitor. This feature can be used with the monitor connected to a PC or not.

The Acer D240H's display has a 16:9 aspect ratio and supports a "Full HD" 1,920x1,080-pixel native resolution. This continues the trend of monitor vendors moving toward 16:9 from 16:10 because high-definition content--in particular 1080p movies--can fit onto a 1,920x1,080-pixel screen in full-screen mode without stretching the image.

Manufacturer's specifications:
Resolution: 1,920x1,080 pixels
Pixel-response rate: 2ms
Contrast ratio: Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 80,000:1
Connectivity: HDMI, DVI, VGA
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? HDMI, DVI, VGA
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Backlight: CCFL
Panel Type: TN

We tested the Acer D240H connected to a computer via its DVI connection. On CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests, the D240H earns a composite score of 88, coming in much lower than the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370's score of 96, but performs slightly better than the H234H with its 87 score. The D240H has a good DisplayMate performance overall, and like the H243H, it had no trouble displaying dark gray. However, the D240H's poor performance in the Dark Screen test mirrored the H243H's performance. During this test--a plain, black screen--clouding or backlight bleeding was obvious and overt.

The D240H achieved a brightness score of 239 candelas per square meter (cd/m2) and has a pretty good contrast ratio of 876:1. In comparison, the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 has a brightness score of 344 cd/m2 and contrast ratio of 1,008:1, and the Acer H234H has a brightness score of 290 cd/m2 and a 885:1 contrast ratio.

We used the D240H's Movie preset to check out "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" on DVD as well as several 1080p movie files from Microsoft's WMV HD Showcase. We also looked at the same movies on Samsung's XL2370 and the Acer H243H. In both "Kill Bill" and the 1080p movies, we found that the D240H had more accurate color than the H243H had, which had an overall green tint to its images. All three monitors delivered fairly deep colors and didn't oversaturate too many of them in bright scenes. For example, one scene includes an abundance of clouds that each monitor displayed brightly while retaining the clouds' detail. On the XL2370, the clouds were noticeably brighter than they were on the H234H and the D240H, thanks to the XL2370's high maximum brightness levels.

We looked at World of Warcraft and Unreal Tournament 3 on the D240H didn't see signs of input lag, streaking, or ghosting during fast movement. The Acer D240H's colors in games on looked nearly as full and vibrant as what we saw on the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 and we didn't see the color oversaturation problem we noticed on the H243H in the Graphics preset. Still, we recommend using the default User preset for playing games.

The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors and gamma correction as they were intended. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when viewed from nonoptimal angles. The Acer D240H uses a TN panel, and when viewed from the side or bottom, we perceived the screen to darken about 6 inches off from center. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.

At their highest volume, sound from the monitor's built-in speakers was tinny, harsh, and sounded as if it lacked enough bass to balance the sound. The speakers are on the top-back of the monitor, which makes them prone to sounding muffled. The speakers don't deliver great sound by any stretch, but it's OK after some getting used to.

Juice box
Acer D240H Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 37.26
On (max luminance) 41.5
On (min luminance) 21.47
Sleep 0.78
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 38.25
Annual power consumption cost $11.66
Score Fair

In power consumption tests, the Acer D240H had an average on/Default power draw of 37.26 watts; which is four points lower than the smaller Acer H243H, but more than seven points higher than the LED-based Samsung SyncMaster XL2370's 30.09 watts. However, when turned to their maximum respective brightness levels, the Samsung stays put at 30.09 watts, the Acer D240H climbs to 41.5 watts, and the H243H hits 38.6 watts. The D240H's standby power draw is a fairly low 0.78 watt, mirroring the H243H, and the Samsung's is higher at 1.42 watts, and the H233H's hits 1.09 watts. According to our <="" a="" rel="follow">, the annual power consumption cost of the D240H would be higher than the Samsung's $9.96 cost, totaling $11.66 with the H243H coming in at $10.57.

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Acer D240H

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Acer H243H
Acer D240H
Acer H233H
Dell SP2309W

DisplayMate performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Acer backs the D240H with a three-year limited parts and labor warranty that covers the backlight; this is standard coverage compared with other monitor vendors. Acer provides e-mail support via a form on its Web site as well as provides drivers for the display there as well.


Acer D240H

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Performance 7Support 8Setup 0