The flagship model in Acer's high-definition series of monitors, the H243H is a stylish, 1080p-capable display that's low on gimmicks but offers a well-chosen selection of premium features. This 24-inch, 16:9-ratio widescreen display is the ideal size for gaming and multimedia use, as well as work applications.
The 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution is a perfect fit for 'Full HD' video content. You can easily hook up a Blu-ray player or HD games console via the supplied HDMI port, leaving the DVI and VGA sockets available for you to connect your PC and laptop simultaneously. The H243H also has an analogue audio input and a pair of modest stereo speakers.
Whereas many of Acer's monitors are rather boxy affairs with straight lines aplenty, the H243H takes a design cue from widescreen TVs, which are designed not only to produce high-quality pictures but also to look good in the home. It comes with a simple tilting stand, which looks tidy but doesn't offer the kind of ergonomic features, such as height and swivel adjustment, required for an office environment.
The H243H's pleasantly thin bezel sports a glossy black finish, with attractive, gently sweeping curves that lend the whole monitor an elegant appearance. Like the main power switch, the touch-sensitive controls on the front of the monitor emit a soft white glow that's much less distracting than the green or piercing blue to which we've become accustomed.
The H243H's on-screen menu system is also very well-considered. This system is one of the clearest and easiest to read that we've seen in a long time. The company has obviously let a designer loose here, as it's a big step up from the tricky little text menus we're used to. ViewSonic, take note.
The main menu appears in the bottom right of the screen, right next to the control buttons, which makes it easy to see what you're doing. A second, smaller menu of icons pops up when you press the dedicated 'e' button, giving you quick access to the functions you may actually want to alter during your working day. You're presented with a row of icons from which any of five display presets can be selected, including bright, bold ones for games and movies, and a dimmer one for increased comfort when you're working in front of the screen for long periods. You also get a user-defined preset that you can set up however you like.
In our tests, the H243H turned in a better-than-average performance in most respects. Colour reproduction and contrast are both reasonably good -- we've seen many more monitors perform worse in this regard than we've seen perform better. Minimal backlight bleeding is present at the top and bottom of the screen, but you have to go looking for it. Overall, the H243H delivers a good picture that will satisfy all but the fussiest of users.
If you want a large, good-quality monitor that doesn't just look like a slab of IT hardware, the Acer H243H will be worth investigating. It's a very good-looking monitor that's also easy to use, and it offers just the right balance of features to help you get the most out of it. Price-wise, the H243H is rather on the expensive side, though.
Edited by Charles Kloet