I don't buy a lot of LCD monitors, I usually get one and use it until it starts dying, toss it, and buy another, which means about once every three years or so. The last monitor I bought was a little over a year ago, when I built the third permanent rig that resides in my house. I do spend time looking at new ones , though it's a little depressing to me to shop stuff I know I can't afford and don't really need. I like to keep on top of what's new and exciting, such as the high-end 24" monitors that are hitting the stores.
I'm not a hardcore gamer, the highest resolutions, refresh rates, and response times haven't been that important to me. When I do buy, I usually don't buy the cheapest but close to it, up to this point I have generally seen a monitor more as a utilitarian item, kind of the way I look at optical drives. Something you gotta have, but not so much a spec-driven purchase like a CPU or system memory. I'm more of a bang-for-the-buck kind of guy, I pick my budget, then find the best specs for that price. In monitors that usually means the lower response rate monitor with DVI at that price point. To be honest, I've never owned a nicer monitor, but I have spent a lot of time at the monitor wall at Best Buy slobbering over them. That is usually the only reason I ever enter a retail electronics store, except to pick up the occasional game.
The last monitor I bought was a 19" widescreen, I chose it because it was a little cheaper than the others. It's on one of the kids' computers, so I really don't look at it much, only when I am doing some clean-up to the rig. My personal monitor is of standard dimensions, so at this time that is what I prefer.
Today I will be looking at the Acer AL2016WB 20" Widescreen LCD Monitor, a budget-minded upgrade to the 19" standard-dimension monitor. Besides being my own first widescreen monitor, it will also be my first display over 19". Will this monitor sell me on widescreen? Read on to see.
Acer monitors are very popular, one of the more popular brands on the market, due to the wide availability of their economy models in retail outlet chains. Though I owned a few Acer CRT monitors, this is my first Acer LCD.
Screen Size: 20-inch Widescreen
1680 x 1050 max. resolution
600:1 Contrast Ratio
8 ms Response Time
300 cd/m2 Brightness
VESA Wall Mountable
15-pin VGA connector
Power Rating: 100 - 240V 50/60 Hz
The AL2016WB came well packaged in this huge box. At first I thought that there would be another box within, but there was just a lot of padding. The large box was due to the fact that the monitor was already assembled. The monitor inside appeared to be well protected and should be able to withstand a drop from a short height.