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Acer's p191w 19-inch wide-screen LCD is a no-frills display that lacks speakers and HDCP-compliance, however it compensates for the absent features with solid performance. It has a suggested retail price of $270, but with 22-inch wide-screen displays available for only $250 or so online, we'd give this model or any other 19-incher an endorsement only if you can find it for significantly less. At the time of this review, Best Buy had it for about $200. That's not bad, but we'd like to see it even lower. If, for some reason, you're restricted to a 19-inch display, Acer's p191w fares better than NEC's and others' smaller lower-end LCDs.
Similar to HP's w2007 line, the Acer p191w comes with an attractive, glossy black trim. The angular base complements the design nicely, although it doesn't offer more than a basic amount of adjustability. You can only tilt the display up and down, although that's about par for the course for LCDs in this price range.
Acer's onscreen display is a little more inspiring. It's relatively intuitive, and includes the usual contrast and brightness adjustment settings. But like HP and other vendors of more expensive LCDs, Acer includes a dedicated button tied to pre-established screen settings. The four different options, "Text," "Graphics," and so forth, give you a useful degree of tweaking, without requiring you to master the intricacies of color temperature or other monitor geekery.
Pixel-response rate: 5ms
Viewing angles: 160 degrees horizontal, 160 degrees vertical
Contrast ratio: 2000:1
Connectivity: DVI, VGA
Included DVI and VGA cables
With no HDCP-compliance and no speakers, there's little for us to talk about in terms of the Acer p191w's features. It doesn't even come with USB ports. You get standard DVI and VGA inputs, as well as cables for each, which we always appreciate. But as far as extras, there simply isn't much more to this display beyond its expected function.
We're glad to report, then, that the p191w performs its expected function very well. The only display that outpaced it on our overall image quality test was HP w2007, a 20-inch model that costs $260. We found small text readable down to 6.8 points. Our biggest issue was its uniformity, in that we found a few areas susceptible to light bleed as well as some darkening toward the top of the screen, but none of these issues was so irritating that it turned us off of the display. It fared better than the NEC on almost all of our image quality subtests as well, making it the clear winner, unless you really want integrated speakers.
Service and support
The p191W came out in early August, but Acer still hasn't updated its support Web page, or even the main product section of its U.S. Web site, to include this particular model. Still, we're told that it's backed by a three-year parts and labor warranty, and includes toll-free phone support from Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on weekends from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., PT. If Acer ever does add this model to its online Web site, we expect it will be accompanied by the usual array of driver downloads, FAQs, and other help. We have no information, though, as to when or whether that will happen.