If you're looking for a gaming-friendly monitor, the 24-inch Acer G24, available for around £380, could be just the ticket. Thanks to its high-gloss TN+Film panel, colours on the G24 look vibrant and smooth, and high-speed games feel responsive and accurate. The £400 Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP makes for a better all-around monitor, given its lower black level, S-PVA panel and multitude of connections, but, when it comes to displaying games, the G24 is a clear winner.
The G24 has a bright, glossy, reflective screen, and a smooth, bright orange bezel. The bottom of the bezel sits 64mm above the desktop. It measures 28mm on the left and right sides, bringing the full panel width to 22.5 inches -- slightly wider than the 2408WFP's 22 inches. The base panel depth measures 46mm -- about the same as the 2408WFP's -- but it extends back another 33mm to house the ventilation system, bringing its full panel depth to 79mm -- slightly more than that of the 2408WFP.
The display has a 25° backward tilt -- its sole ergonomic perk. Screen height adjustment, panel swivelling and pivoting capability are nowhere to be seen. Connection options include DVI, HDMI and VGA, all supporting a 16:10 aspect ratio and 1,920x1,200-pixel native resolution. They're located on the back right-hand side of the panel, next to the neck, and are easy to access, except for the HDMI slot, which is too close to the neck for comfort -- our fingers often rubbed against it.
The footstand has a sleek, space-age look, with two 178mm long 'toes' that extend out from the neck at a 45° angle. The full width of the stand is 361mm. Knocking the display from the sides results in minimal wobbling, as the monitor's wide stand and its 7.3kg weight keep it well grounded. The footstand is removable and the back of the panel includes four screw holes for VESA wall mounting.
The blue LED light in the bottom right-hand corner indicates the status of the power button located directly underneath it. The five buttons to the left comprise the on-screen display array. There are left and right arrow buttons, a menu button, an 'auto' button and an 'e' button. Pressing the e button displays the available presets, including 'user' (custom), 'text', 'standard', 'graphics' and 'movie'. Selecting different presets alters the brightness and sometimes colour temperature of the display. For example, the text preset lowers the brightness and adds a cool colour temperature, making reading text on a white background more comfortable. The rest of the OSD includes controls for colour temperature, brightness and contrast.
Unfortunately, navigating the OSD is often an exercise in frustration. The interface is archaic, illogical and frustrating, especially considering how well-designed other OSDs are -- like the latest from Dell.
We tested the G24 with its DVI connection right next to our gaming powerhouse the 2408WFP. The G24 posted a composite score of 89 in our DisplayMate-based performance tests, compared with the 2408WFP's 90. Both displays scored high marks in our greyscale tests, but the G24 faltered slightly in some of our colour tests. This was mostly because of the high-gloss TN+Film panel, which makes viewing colour accurately on the monitor difficult if your line of sight is not at the optimal level. Also, in the black-screen test, we saw obvious backlight bleeding on the top and bottom edges.
The G24's DVD movie performance triumphed over the 2408WFP's in one area. While the 2408WFP has a lower black level (thanks to minimal backlight bleeding), the G24 achieved an outstanding performance in our ghosting test, using the scene from the Kill Bill: Vol. 1 DVD that shows a close-up of Uma Thurman's big toe. While the 2408WFP had apparent ghosting, the G24's was minimal in comparison.