Acer AL1715 SMD 17″ DVI LCD Monitor Review

April 14, 2005

I recently decided to leave the DVI KVM switches alone for awhile, and add a second LCD monitor for the Windows system I use for testing.

What I was looking for was a 17” LCD (large enough to be useful for other purposes too), DVI input, decent display characteristics, and a price in the same neighborhood as the switch I would have bought otherwise.

What I ended up with was the Acer AL1715 SMD, and I’m quite pleased with it.

The AL1715D offers decent brightness (300 cd/m²), nice contrast (500:1), and a respectable response time (12ms), for around $220 (Amazon—$218, free shipping).

The full specifications are as follows:

Display Type – LCD Active Matrix TFT
Viewable Screen Size- 17 inches
Display Area – 337.92mm x 270.336mm
Display Colors – 262K
Vertical Refresh Rate – 49 ~ 75Hz
Horizontal Frequency – 24 ~ 80kHz
Input Video Signal – Analog RGB 0.7Vp-p / Digital DVI-D
Sync Polarities – Positive and Negative
Video Interface – 15 pin D-Sub / DVI-D (digital)
Contrast Ratio – 500:1
Brightness – 300 cd/m²
Response Time – 12 ms
Recommended Resolution – 1280 x 1024

Note—some online vendors (and Acer’s web site) show this monitor (with this exact model number) as being VGA only, but the unit I received definitely supports DVI-D.  I suspect there may be some spec sheets for older versions still up on some sites.

Packaging—the monitor comes in a typically small box, and includes both VGA and DVI cables, a power cord, a base for the stand, and a manual.  Unlike some LCD monitors, this unit does not require an external transformer (a “power brick” or a “wall-wart” transformer); a normal computer AC cord plugs directly in the back.

I’m not a serious gamer, so my requirements for a display are not terribly extreme.  I played back several DVDs on the display, and noticed no ghosting however.  Contrast and brightness were fine.

Controls are acceptable, and include the usual range of contrast, brightness, and color adjustment.  There are built in color settings for “warm” and “cool”, plus a user defined setting. 

Physically, the monitor is nothing much to write home about—the stand offers limited tilting ability, and no up-down or swivel adjustments.  The only dislike I had was the lack of strain relief on the cables—the DVI and VGA cables plug in vertically, so any dependant weight on the cable is directly on the connection.  This isn’t much of a problem if you tighten the screws on the connector, but getting them started and tightened is somewhat difficult with the cord hanging underneath.  If you can lay the monitor flat on it’s face (on a soft surface, of course) while attaching the cables, it’ll be much easier.

The monitor includes two built-in one-watt speakers, which I didn’t test, due to my assumption that they sound like one-watt speakers 🙂

All in all, a pretty acceptable package for the price.  No special features to write home about, but a lot of bang for the buck, particularly in a world of cheaply made low-end monitors.

Acer AL1715SMD 17: LCD Monitor $218, Free Shipping

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