Acer makes WQHD affordable to everyone with their new 29” and 27” LED monitors

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Acer T272HUL

Acer T272HUL

Nowadays, everyone is talking about 4K TVs and monitors but the truth is that we’re still quite far away from having those on every desk, especially when it comes to the monitors. The main reason is that they’re really expensive and for most purposes, even the current standard Full HD is more than enough. But once you go over 24 inches (because bigger is always better!), you simply need a higher resolution so you don’t stare at a screen door made of pixels.

That’s where WQHD resolution comes in – it’s the perfect choice for a sub-32 inch display, but until recently, you could only get the standard TFT panels at an affordable price, and those don’t have the best colors or viewing angles. And unless you want to play the roulette on one of those South Korean displays (with rejected Apple panels), there really isn’t that much choice.

Thankfully, Acer saw the opportunity and released a pair of nice 27” and 29” IPS monitors with a WQHD resolution at an unprecedented price. We’re talking about the B276HUL and B296CL specifically, as there’s another model, T272HUL, which has a touch screen, is aimed at home users and costs way too much for what it offers.

Design

The B276HUL and B296CL (doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it?) look pretty much the same – the only difference is in their size and aspect ratio – the former is a standard 16:9 27” monitor with a 2560×1440 resolution, while the latter is an ultra-wide 21:9 format 29” display with a 2560×1080 pixels resolution.

Acer B276HUL

Acer B276HUL

This difference makes the 27” more desirable for professionals and people who need high quality color reproduction and a large height for text, graphics, video and other work, while the 29” model is more suited towards movies and gaming.

Both monitors offer a great range of adjustments that easily rivals that of the more expensive Dell UltraSharp displays, with the panels sitting nicely on a large sturdy stand and being capable of 90 degree pivoting for portrait mode, adjustable vertical and horizontal tilt, as well as adjustable height – no matter what desk you have, you’ll definitely be able to set them up in the perfect position.

Some would say the monitors are not pretty – the straight edges, matte black color and 90 degree angles don’t make much of an impression – but I think they look very classy, like real work monitors should. The “borderless” design pioneered by AOC means that you only get a ~1cm bezel (it’s actually the LCD panel itself) around the screen, so the whole monitor is quite small, although not as thin as it could be because of the internal power supply. That does keep the whole housing sturdy, though.

Hardware features and performance

The hardware features on Acer’s new B276HUL and B296CL are quite extensive and rather impressive considering the price. The monitors use LG’s latest AH-IPS panels, which provide great viewing angles, excellent contrast and accurate color reproduction (you’ll definitely want to calibrate them with a hardware calibrator for the best results, though). Their only drawback is the yellow/blue glow that is visible on a black background when looking at an angle – that’s what sets them apart from the much more expensive S-IPS and P-IPS panels.

The monitors have a light 3H antiglare coating that makes them useable in any light conditions and scratch resistive – but at the same time the picture can appear somewhat grainy if you look at it from a close distance or have very sensitive eyes.

Acer B296CL  29”

Acer B296CL 29”

The B276HUL and B296CL have plenty of ports for any needs: there are 2x HDMI ports, 1x DVI port, 1x DisplayPort and a 3.5mm analog audio jack to drive the built in stereo speakers. There’s also an output DisplayPort (for daisy chaining multiple monitors) and a USB hub (1x input port and 2x output ports) with its own power supply, so you can charge any devices even with your computer powered off or disconnected.

The monitors are rated for 38 Watts of power usage, and although that’s most likely in Eco mode, they should not use more than 45-50 Watts even at the highest brightness, which is quite impressive considering their size.

Technical specifications

 

Specifications Acer B276HUL – 27” Acer B296CL – 29”
Panel specifications 27 inches, 16:9 wide aspect ratio, IPS LCD, 178-degrees viewing angles, 6ms response time, 350 nit brightness 29 inches, 21:9 ultra-wide aspect ratio, IPS LCD, 178-degrees viewing angles, 8ms response time, 300 nit brightness
Resolution 2560 x 1440 pixels 2560 x 1080 pixels
Ergonomics Adjustable height, vertical tilt, 120 degrees horizontal swivel, 90 degrees pivot Adjustable height, vertical tilt, 120 degrees horizontal swivel, 90 degrees pivot
Connectivity Options 2x HDMI ports, 1x DVI port, 1x DisplayPort, 3.5mm audio in jack 2x HDMI ports, 1x DVI port, 1x DisplayPort, 3.5mm audio in jack
Special features Integrated stereo speakers, output DisplayPort for daisy chaining, USB hub (2x USB ports) Integrated stereo speakers, output DisplayPort for daisy chaining, USB hub (2x USB ports)
Power usage rating 38 Watt 38 Watt
Dimensions and weight 114.2 x 50.9 x 12.8 mm, 91.3 grams 114.2 x 50.9 x 12.8 mm, 89.6 grams
Price $599 $599

 

Price and Availability

Both the 27” B276HUL and 29” B296CL have the same $599 price tag, which is very low compared to the current competition – pretty much the only similar competitor is the AOC Q2963PM, which is a 29” monitor that has the same panel as Acer’s B296CL but lacks the adjustability of the stand.

The touch-enabled T272HUL mentioned in the beginning will be selling for $999, which is not worth it considering it’s got no adjustability whatsoever (it has a portrait-like design) and has a touch glass covering the front, which makes the colors and viewing angles worse.

The monitors are coming to stores this month, so if you wanted to get something with accurate color reproduction, great viewing angles, a wide range of adjustability and an affordable price, they are worth a look (just don’t forget to calibrate them before testing, at least by eye).

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