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Acer G225HQ review: Acer G225HQ

The G225HQ is nothing special, but it'll likely appeal to twitch gamers with next to zero input lag, its aggressive styling and affordable price. It's just a shame it's a gloss screen.

Craig Simms Special to CNET News
Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.
Craig Simms
6 min read

Taking design cues from Acer's own Predator gaming desktop, the G225HQ looks like it would be at home on Batman's desk, the striking angular design and mixed gloss with matte black adding up to one serious-looking monitor.


Acer G225HQ

The Good

Aggressive styling. What's an input lag?. Attractive price.

The Bad

Horizontal viewing angle is 10° less than TN usually gives. Glossy screen. Limited control in the OSD. Bottom-mounted buttons.

The Bottom Line

The G225HQ is nothing special, but it'll likely appeal to twitch gamers with next to zero input lag, its aggressive styling and affordable price. It's just a shame it's a gloss screen.

With such a gaming-oriented design then, it's interesting that Acer has opted for a gloss screen over a matte, which although looks pretty on a shelf it does tend to reflect an awful lot. The G225HQ is no different — if the screen is showing something dark, you can clearly see yourself.

At first glance the G225HQ offers nothing outstanding apart from its looks — but let's see if we can find something else under the gothic exterior.

Acer G225HQ front

Villain: "Who are you?" Acer: "I'm Bat monitor!" (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Specs at a glance

Size 21.5 inches
Resolution 1920x1080
Aspect ratio 16:9
Pixel pitch 0.248
Panel technology TN
Viewing angles
(10:1 contrast)
H: 160°
V: 160°
Response time 5ms G2G
Max vertical refresh 60Hz
Connections DVI, VGA
Accessories DVI, VGA, power cables

Stand and ergonomics

At first we got excited that the G225HQ might have swivel capabilities thanks to the circular section in the middle of the base; this wasn't to be. The stand supports tilt only.

Acer G225HQ stand

No matter how much we wished, it wouldn't swivel. It does tilt, however.
(Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)


Buttons and on-screen display (OSD)

The only thing more evil than side buttons are buttons under a monitor, and that's exactly what Acer has done here. Thankfully, you can hit any button and it will call up the menu, which in turn will display context-sensitive menus. The theory is sound; however, the experience is clunky and inconvenient, due to the positioning of the menu items, the iconography involved and the location of the buttons themselves.

Acer G225HQ buttons

Bottom-mounted buttons. The evolutionary retrograde of side-mounted buttons, the evolutionary retrograde of front-mounted buttons. Those dots aren't lights, by the way, so the buttons are completely invisible with the lights out. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Once you wrap your fingers around navigation, Acer's OSD is reasonably simple to follow, in part due to its lack of options. All the staples are there, from brightness to contrast, user colour, pointless display presets ("User", "Text", "Standard", "Graphics" and "Movie", all under the "eColor Management" heading) — but seemingly nothing to differentiate it from any other panel. The only OSD option, for example, is the time-out, with nary an opacity option in sight.

Acer G225HQ OSD

The G225HQ's OSD is clean, through virtue of only containing basic level options. (Screenshot by Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Acer offers two scaling modes: "Full" and "Aspect". You'll find no 1:1 setting here.


Lagom.nl LCD tests
After calibrating to a target brightness of 140cd/m² with an
X-Rite i1Display 2, Eye-One Match 3 and tweaking with HCFR, the G225HQ was run through the Lagom.nl LCD tests.

Image tests
Contrast Sharpness Gamma Black level White saturation Gradient
Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Small amount of purple discolouration
Inversion pixel walk tests
Test 1 Test 2a Test 2b Test 3 Test 4a Test 4b Test 5 Test 6a Test 6b Test 7a Test 7b
Pass Pass Flicker Pass Upwards rolling motion Flicker Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass

Input lag
Measured against a Samsung SyncMaster 975p CRT, and using a Canon 40D set to a shutter speed of 1/320, an average of over 60 photographs were taken using Virtual Stopwatch Pro. The average result over DVI came in as 2.53ms, meaning almost no input lag. The largest difference measured between the two screens was 29ms, although the vast majority were simply zeroes.

Colour accuracy
ΔE is the measurement of how far a measured colour deviates from its expected value, allowing us to determine the colour accuracy of a monitor. While a ΔE value of 1 is considered perceivable, as long as it's less than 3 the shift shouldn't be too obvious. HCFR was used to determine ΔE for the monitor.

In uncalibrated format, the Dell wasn't the worst we'd seen, but it wasn't great either. Note that we turned dynamic contrast ratio off for these tests.

Measured levels
Contrast ratio 1052:1
Black level (cd/m²) 0.27
White level (cd/m²) 284.08
Gamma 2.06
Greyscale ΔE
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
62.0 13.4 12.6 12.1 12.2 12.1 13.3 11.3 10.0 9.2 9.1
Colour ΔE
Red Green Blue Yellow Cyan Magenta
5.7 4.0 9.2 2.2 9.3 13.5

Acer G225HQ CIE chart

The uncalibrated CIE chart. The white triangle is the colour space of the monitor, the dark is the sRGB gamut it's trying to match. (Screenshot by CBS Interactive)

Yep, the greyscale looks more than a little off. Let's see if we can at least correct that, since we don't have the granularity to attack the colours themselves.

Measured levels
Contrast ratio 678:1
Black level (cd/m²) 0.21
White level (cd/m², target 140cd/m²) 142.38
Gamma (target 2.2) 2.21
Greyscale ΔE
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
65.1 12.9 4.5 1.6 0.7 1.2 0.9 1.8 0.7 1.1 0.8
Colour ΔE
Red Green Blue Yellow Cyan Magenta
6.0 8.6 5.0 2.9 8.3 12.6

Acer G225HQ CIE chart

The calibrated CIE chart (Screenshot by CBS Interactive)

Not the worst result we've seen for an entry-level TN screen, but certainly not the best either — the G225HQ continues on its path to be middle of the road.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles were taken with a Canon 40D in spot metering mode, with only shutter time adjusted to obtain a good exposure.

Acer G225HQ viewing angles

Like the Dell SX2210t, colours seem to start inverting a little too early when viewing from below. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Backlight uniformity
Backlight uniformity was measured by placing HCFR into free measure mode, displaying a completely white image and recording the brightness along a 5x3 grid on the screen. This should be considered a guide only, as backlight uniformity is likely to change from unit to unit.

Acer G225HQ backlight uniformity

While these may look like big differences, in subjective use the differences weren't apparent. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Light bleed
With all the lights turned off and a black image shown, there was white glow coming from the top and the bottom of the monitor, as well as a faint glow from the right-hand side. Sadly, this is common among cheaper screens.

It's important to note that the effects of light bleed will likely change from monitor to monitor, regardless of make.

Other issues
The panel itself is quite deeply inset, and the bezel is piano black, meaning that during bright scenes you may notice the screen's reflection on the bezel, which will be distracting for some.

Power consumption
We measured power consumption using a Jaycar mains digital power meter. It's important to note here that due to limitations of the meter, measurements are limited to values of 1W and greater, and are reported in 1W increments.

All measurements, screen brightness and contrast were set to 100 per cent, and a test image displayed.

Juice Box
Maximum power draw 39W
Power-saving mode 7W
Off 7W

That's a pretty heavy max draw — there's definitely more efficient monitors out there.


Acer covers the G225HQ with a three-year pick-up and return warranty. If the user finds any dead pixels seven days after purchase, Acer will arrange a pick up and return repair. We are waiting for Acer's response in regards to its policy after this period ends.


The G225HQ is nothing special, but it'll likely appeal to twitch gamers with next to zero input lag, its aggressive styling and affordable price. It's just a shame it's a gloss screen. Despite its RRP, it can be found for around AU$200 online.