The Apple iPhone popularized multi-touch to the extent that it's now a must-have feature on phones and is gaining prominence on PCs too. Ever since the launch of the excellent Microsoft Windows 7 every PC can potentially accept touch input – all that's necessary is the physical means. If you're buying a new system you can just go for something like the Acer Aspire 5738PG or multi-touch equivalent of the Asus EeeTop ET2203T, but if you want a desktop system you're down to two options: either the Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch tablet or a touch-screen monitor, such as the Acer T230H we're looking at today.
While we've already caught glimpses of other Full HD multi-touch displays, including the 21.5in Dell SX2210T and 22in Iiyama ProLite T2250MTS, Acer beats these options soundly with a screen size of 23 inches. Not only that, but it would also appear to have quite an edge when it comes to adjustability. Of course, it needs all the advantages it can get to justify a price tag of nearly £300.
Opening the unusually large box up, first impressions are good. Acer's generous cable provision includes VGA, HDMI, USB A to B, and 3.5mm audio. DVI is the only absentee, though the connection is included on the monitor. The T230H itself arrives in two parts. The screen with attached leg turns into the base, and after tightening a thumb-ring screw you're done. While not quite as simple as the click-in and go system utilized by Dell's superb UltraSharp U2410, it's easily up there with the best of the rest.
Once assembled, it's not only heavier but also more flexible than many other monitors. In fact the stand is eerily similar to that used on the older Dell UltraSharp 2408, which is certainly no bad thing. The V-shaped base is solid glossy black plastic over a metal frame, with not a hint of creak or flex. The monitor's neck is a slim two-tone metallic silver and matte black affair. It doesn't feel quite as solid but is well-built nonetheless, and more importantly offers a good range of adjustments.
After releasing a locking mechanism the Acer T230H offers 110mm of height adjustment, a decent amount of swivel and 20 degrees of tilt. Only pivot is missing from this list, but thankfully that's the least-used of the lot and is never ideal on a TN due to the technology's inherent limited viewing angles. Adjustments are fairly easy to make, though if you push the monitor to its lowest (about 5.5cm off the desk) you have to unlock it again.
Unusually aggressive angles combine to give the T230H a very distinctive design that matches the aesthetics of Acer's Predator gaming machines. Personally I think it's an attractive choice despite giving the monitor a slightly bulky appearance, the latter of which is not helped by a wide matte bezel of up to four centimetres. Only the rectangular blue power LED spoils things a little by looking rather cheap.