GCN Lab Review: Acer B223Wbdmr

GCN

The 22-inch widescreen B223Wbdmr is a good monitor for anyone still trying to break into the LCD arena and free themselves from CRTs. It offers mostly above-average quality for a small price. If you are one of the unlucky few who have not made the plunge into LCDs for budget reasons, this $269 widescreen display could be your ticket. It not only performs well overall but also gives you a widescreen configuration that is perfect for operating systems such as Microsoft Windows Vista, in which multiple windows and more screen area could lead to increased efficiency.

A lot of bells and whistles have been stripped from the B223Wbdmr so that it costs less than $300, but it still has good features. The monitor stand adjusts vertically and pivots to change the aspect but, oddly enough, has no left and right adjustments. We suppose you could simply manhandle it into place if needed.

It has one DVI connection which was used for image quality testing and a VGA port. The inclusion of an analog port means you can easily hook up the B223Wbdmr to older systems, further proof that it's designed for entrylevel offices that don't need cutting-edge monitors. You can replace monitors without eliminating older computers.

Image quality was surprisingly good, though nowhere near the top performers in this review. The B223Wbdmr's biggest problem is that it suffers from backlight bleeding along the top and bottom of the panel, the only LCD in the roundup to still have this fault that plagued most early models. Images are washed out along the top and bottom edges of the screen. You could probably live with it ' in fact, you might not notice it when doing standard tasks such as e-mail or word processing.

Discounting the backlight problem, its color accuracy is precise. The B223Wbdmr correctly displays fine differences in colors, even along a 64-step or greater grid. Text is readable at 9-point size, and there is only a 4-lumen difference between the brightness levels at the center of the screen and the corners. However, this increases to 160 ' anything more than 100 is noticeable by the naked eye ' along the edges where the backlight bleeds onto the screen. Although the B223Wbdmr displays darker images well, light ones tend to get washed out a bit.

The B223Wbdmr is designed more for business applications than multimedia. Although you would not want it as the centerpiece of a home theater, it would work great on your desk as an inexpensive LCD that performs well with spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides and other business applications. And the price you pay will prove your business savvy.

Acer America, 800-733-2237, www.acer.com/us

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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