I got an email the other day with a bargain offer for the Acer AL2216WBD 22 inch LCD Monitor. By the time I got around to checking it out it had expired, but this monitor is currently offered at a variety of places for what seem to be really low prices (e.g. Amazon: $239.99 or less, NewEgg: $249.99) so I thought I would see what you can get for so little. The AL2216WBD specs are at first glance pretty startling:
There are a few flies in the ointment though as the reviews at CNET, NewEgg, and Amazon point out. First the monitor stand/case lacks speakers or a USB port or any of the other accessories that the monitor makers throw in on pricier models. More importantly the stand seems a little flimsy and worse has very limited adjustability – no swivel and very little tilt. Since I don’t adjust my monitor position very much out of a straight ahead configuration, this isn’t a deal breaker for me, but there are some image issues too:
These problems are common to all inexpensive 22 inch LCD monitors which achieve their low price point by using TN (twisted neumatic) panels and you can’t do too much about them other than pay more for the monitor. However, the vast majority of users writing reviews don’t feel these artifacts to be a problem on what is otherwise a big beautiful monitor.
One final observation is that if you want to get full value from this monitor, your graphics card must support the native resolution of 1680 x 1050. Not all do including the older ATI card on the system for which I was considering buying this so that ended up being the deal breaker for me. However, many newer graphics cards do support that resolution since it is pretty much a standard now for 20″ and 22″ LCDs. Note that given a choice of a 20 inch or 22 inch monitor with the same resolution, you will want the 22″ for the bigger image if the price delta isn’t too large.
Net: If you want a 22 inch monitor for more screen real estate for ordinary business or development use, the Acer AL2216WBD is a bargain. If you do graphic design or other graphics intensive work, you probably want to invest in a more expensive monitor.