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Acer AT4220: A 42-inch LCD for under a grand

Do you like Coke? Why not give it up and buy the Acer AT4220 -- a sensibly priced 42-inch LCD television that costs around the same as 1,667 cans of the fizzy stuff. Plus it will save your teeth

Are you addicted to Coke? 1,667 cans isn't that many. It's just two cans a day, for two years. Or, if you prefer, one a day for four years. Which means that if you gave up drinking Coke, after four years you could afford the Acer AT4220. Alternatively, you could give up smoking instead. After just 200 days of not smoking 20 a day you would have saved enough to buy this television. Of course, we could have just cut to the point and just told you it costs a meagre £1,000 to buy the Acer AT4220, but where would the fun be in that?

When we arranged for the Acer to be delivered, we weren't sure what to expect. A 42-inch LCD for a grand (or less if you search online) couldn't be that good, could it?

Let's look at the spec. For a start the TV has two HDMI sockets, a component and composite video input, two Scart sockets and a PC input. It has a screen resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, which means it can play 720p material at its native resolution, but will happily downscale 1080i pictures, too. So yes, it really is good.

If you a style aficionado, the Acer might not be for you. It's not ugly, but it isn't pretty either. The case is grey and dark silver, rather than the more traditional combination of black and more silvery silver. It's also pretty chunky, with a thick plastic bezel surrounding the screen.

The only mildly disappointing thing about this television is that it doesn't have a Freeview receiver built in. To get digital TV you'll need to add an external receiver, which isn't a huge problem but we feel Acer has missed an opportunity here, considering how cheap Freeview integration is these days. A built-in receiver is also likely to be of a higher quality than an external one connected via Scart.

Overall, we think this an excellent TV for a bargain price. We've fired it up and checked out some hi-def material on it and were really quite impressed. The screaming girl and the chimp in King Kong looked delightful. Check back soon for a full review. -IM