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To the right of the logo are a row of smart silver buttons. One is for switching inputs, and next to this you have volume and channel buttons for the TV Tuner. There’s also a button for direct access to the on screen menu display (OSD). The power switch is a slightly larger silver button, which glows red when on standby and blue when the display is powered on. To the right of this is the infra-red receiver for the remote control that duplicates all of the functions available on the front panel and adds many more, such as setting up the in-built sleep timer.
So often remotes are poorly thought out, flimsy affairs, but that’s not the case with this one. Powered by two AAA batteries, it feels solid in the hand and looks good too. It’s also not too small, with all the buttons nicely spaced out. A central selection button is surrounded by four buttons for navigating the OSD. There’s also direct buttons for Fast Teletext pages and for switching between the screens six preset brightness and contrast modes, via the larger ‘E’ button. The menu button on either the remote or the front of the panel brings up the OSD, which is clear, and logically laid out. There's also a button that enables you to alter the picture shape to get the most suitable aspect ratio for the programme you are watching.
The panel rests on a curved stand that supports its fairly hefty 17.8Kg weight. It can’t be raised, lowered or titled forward or back but it can be rotated side to side by an angle of 20 degrees. It can also be hung on a wall using the standard VESA mounting screws.
Connectivity wise there’s a decent, though not exhaustive, amount of options. For the PC you’ll find an analogue D-Sub and next to this a DVI connection for a PC or DVD player. Along with the power connector, these are very awkwardly placed and I literally had to tilt the screen forward and balance it on one arm in order to make the hook up.
On the pure video side, you’ll find a composite connector at the front, with accompanying left and right RCA inputs for audio. There’s also a headphone socket should you wish to listen without disturbing anybody. Round the back you’ll find two European style Scart sockets, one accepting RGB,S-Video, and composite signals and the other supporting RGB, S-Video, Composite, and Component. There's no dedicated six-pin S-Video however. Finally, there is a line-in, so you can feed the screen audio from a PC.
The TV tuner offered up an automatic detection routine but it proved to not be as sensitive as the tuner in the Dell, and struggled with the very weak reception we currently have in the TrustedReviews offices, producing a very snowy picture. Use a decent external aerial however, and everything should be fine. The Picture-in-Picture function was very easy to use. Fully controllable from the remote, you can move the screen to the corner you want, and swap round which image is the primary, all at the press of a button.
So what of the quality of the images that the Acer AL2671W produces? I noticed immediately that the screen was impressively bright. The 1,280 x 768 resolution means that it’s acceptable to use for as a PC display – indeed I typed this whole review using the screen, though I had to turn the brightness down as at the standard setting you’ll soon get a headache sitting too close. Using this screen for everyday use would be overkill but it would look fantastic as the display for a Media Center type system.
I started the tests with Display Mate and was immediately impressed by the way it handled colours, - steady and true. The grey scale and colour ramping tests also showed near perfect fades. Viewing angles were also impressive, so those seated to the side will be able to view the action without seeing incorrect colours or hues.