The 24-inch Acer G24 is an LCD computer monitor that costs about $399, with an expected street price of $359. If you're looking for a gaming-friendly monitor, you've come to the right place. Thanks to its high-gloss, TN+Film panel, the colors on the G24 look vibrant and smooth and high-speed games feel responsive and accurate. Competitors such as the $600 Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP make for a better all-around monitor considering the lower black level, S-PVA panel, and multitude of connections, but when it comes to displaying games, the G24 is a clear winner. Unfortunately, the G24 isn't suited for much else beyond games. Its unforgiving viewing angle requires the display to be placed at a specific position to get the most out of it. Also, the severe backlight bleeding means that while movies look vibrant and lack ghosting, their color isn't accurate enough for serious viewing. The Acer won't disappoint when it comes to gaming, but for an all-around 24-inch monitor, we'd recommend the more expensive Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP. If you're not willing to spend that kind of cash, check out the Dell G2410, which, at $300, we highly recommend.
Design and features
The Acer G24 24-inch monitor has a bright, glossy, reflective screen, and a smooth, bright orange bezel. The bottom of the bezel is 2.5 inches above the desktop and measures 1.1 inches on the left and right sides, bringing the full panel width to 22.5 inches; that's slightly wider than the Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP's 22 inches. The base panel depth measures 1.8 inches--about the same as the Dell's--but it extends back another 1.3 inches to house the ventilation system, bringing its full panel depth to 3.1 inches, a hair longer than the Dell's 3-inch panel plus vent.
The display has a 25-degree backward tilt as its sole ergonomic perk. Screen height adjustment, panel swiveling, and pivoting aren't included. Connection options include DVI, HDMI, and VGA, all supporting a 16:10 aspect ratio and 1,920x1,200-pixel native resolution and located on the back right-hand side of the panel, next to the neck. All are easy to access; however, the HDMI slot is too close to the neck for comfort and our fingers rubbed against it often.
The footstand has a sleek space-age look with two 7-inch long "toes" that extent out from the neck each at a 45-degree angle. The full width of the span is 14.2 inches. Knocking the display from the sides yielded minimal wobbling as its wide stand and its 16-pound weight keep it fairly grounded. The footstand is removable and the back of the panel includes four screw holes for VESA wall mounting.
The blue LED light in the bottom right-hand corner represents the power button located directly underneath it. The five buttons to the left comprise the onscreen display array. The buttons include left and right arrows, a menu button, auto, and an "e" button. Pressing the "e" button displays the available presets including User (custom), Text, Standard, Graphics, and Movie. Selecting different presets altered the brightness and sometimes color temperature of the display. For example, the Text preset lowers the brightness and adds a cool color temperature, making reading text on a white background more comfortable. The rest of the OSD includes controls for color temperature--user control included--brightness and contrast control.
Unfortunately, navigating the OSD is often an exercise in frustration. Different categories are represented by symbols. Each symbol--aligned horizontally along two rows, can be navigated to using the arrow keys. For brightness and contrast control, you navigate to the "sun" symbol. Pressing the menu button selects the symbol and brings up another menu. Here, you have to choose one of two options, aligned vertically. Use the arrow key to select the bottom option and press menu. Then use the arrow keys again to select brightness or contrast, which are aligned vertically. Press the menu key when your selection is highlighted and adjust your attribute using the arrow key. Not surprisingly, we found this interface archaic, unintuitive, illogical, and ultimately frustrating, especially considering how well-designed other OSDs--like the latest from Dell--are.
Pixel-response rate: 2ms (gray to gray)
Contrast ratio: 50, 000:1 (Dynamic)
Connectivity: HDMI, DVI, VGA
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? DVI, VGA
Backlight type: CCFL
Panel type: TN+Film
We tested the Acer G24 with its DVI connection right next to our gaming powerhouse the Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP. The Acer posted a composite score of 89 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests, compared with the Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP's 90. Both displays got high marks in our grayscale tests, but the Acer faltered a little in some of our color tests. This was mostly because of the high-gloss TN+Film panel, which makes viewing color accurately on the monitor difficult if your line of site is not at the optimal level. Also, in the Black Screen test, we saw obvious backlight bleed through on the top and bottom edges.
The Acer's DVD movie performance triumphed over the Dell's in at least one area. While the Dell has a lower black level (thanks to minimal backlight bleeding), the Acer achieved an outstanding performance in our ghosting test . To test for ghosting, we use a scene from the "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" DVD that shows a close-up of The Bride's big toe (sound's weird, but it works every time). While the Dell had apparent ghosting, the Acer's was minimal in comparison.
Games are really where the Acer G24 excels, as Unreal Tournament 3 looked great with the display's super-high-gloss screen and high brightness. This high gloss gives added pop to the colors and resulted in a vibrant image, especially compared with the Dell's comparatively dull look. Also, we found that our fragging accuracy was better with the Acer than the Dell. This may have to do with pixel lag being slightly worse on the Dell, but as of yet we don't have a tool to confirm this. Still, playing UT3 on the G24 felt faster and more responsive.
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.