When building my new computer a few months ago, I was told that a computer can have limiting factors to performance. If a part is too old or obsolete, it can bottleneck a graphics card's performance, or vice versa perhaps. I decided to upgrade from my old 15 inch Sony LCD monitor that I had purchased back in April of 2005. The monitor still worked perfectly, but I thought I needed a change and wanted to exploit the full capabilities of my new video card. I did not have a specific size or brand in mind since many LCD monitors did not seem to differ that much in terms of visuals. I had heard Samsung, Sony, and Dell were some of the top manufacturers, but the Samsung and Sony monitors were a bit more expensive than other generic brands. Back in November 2008, I was going to buy a 19 inch Dell LCD monitor for around $130.00, but then I saw a deal for an Acer monitor for $99.99 that had the same size, resolution, and response time as the Dell one. Assuming they could perform about the same, I bought the cheaper alternative, the Acer X193Wb Black.
The monitor has a maximum resolution of 1440x900, which is much larger than my previous resolution of 1024x768. It has a 16:10 widescreen ratio, which can be an important fact since there are 16:10 and 16:9 ratios for LCD monitors; be careful if you are looking for a specific one. The monitor also has a menu button that you can use to change the language, set the position of your screen, and other options. I have left most of the settings as is, but feel free to utilize it if necessary.
There are several drawbacks to the Acer monitor. First of all, I do not believe that hardware drivers (software) comes with the monitor. There is a CD included that I thought had the software, but when I put it in the CD tray, all I got was a menu that redirected me to the Acer website. I searched the disc for something to install, but there was nothing. Confused, I searched the Internet for an answer.
My last monitor had an ICC color profile that one could install. I have tried looking for the same thing for the Acer, but my attempt has been a little futile. I have found multiple files that purportedly are either drivers for a 19 inch Acer monitor or ICC (color) profiles for a 19 inch monitor. I use the word 'a' because the files may or may not be labeled correctly.
To clarify, the monitor that I bought was designated an Acer X193Wb on the receipt, but the writing on the monitor frame only says X193w. There is more than one version of the 19 inch Acer monitor, so even one wrong letter can mean that I am downloading the wrong drivers. I have found numerous files that claim to be the correct drivers for my monitor, yet they differ in file size; some are labeled for use with Vista in the title (which is my operating system), while others are only labeled with the name of the monitor. Windows Update is not really helpful since they suggest that I download E151 drivers, which is software for a completely different monitor.
To be fair, the monitor can function without the software, but I am a bit annoyed that I could not find it. The downside is that my computer cannot identify my monitor in the device manager and labels it as a "generic PNP (plug and play) monitor."
As for the picture quality, it works generally well except for one minor detail. When viewing webpages that have a black background, I can sometimes see horizontal, shimmering lines that resemble a television screen that is receiving a bad signal when I look up close. This effect is not visible on other colored backgrounds, and I do not always notice it, but I have seen it from time to time. I believe it might have something to do with refresh rates, but I am not certain. It could be an unchecked quality point since I have never experienced this on my Sony LCD monitor.
For the price, this 19 inch monitor was a fairly good buy. I have only seen cheaper prices a couple times in the last few months for other monitors of that same size. Personally, I would wait until a Dell or Samsung monitor dropped to a low price and buy one of those. I have seen several deals on Dell monitors that are close to $100.00-$120.00, so it is only a matter of time. If you do decide to buy an Acer, determine whether or not the cost/ performance ratio is to your liking beforehand. I will be keeping mine for a while, so long as the shimmering effect of the monitor is minimal.