If you're still stuck in the age of ball mice and CRT monitors, maybe it's time to give your PC setup a facelift. Acer's X193W is an affordable 19in LCD display which is suitable for a wide variety of tasks. It offers good image quality, a plain but fairly attractive design and some basic calibration options, making it a decent all-around performer.
The Acer X193W has a resolution of 1440x900, which is large enough to stack two word documents or Web pages side by side without any overlap. We connected it to our desktop PC via DVI and ran our usual imaging tests, which returned some fairly good results.
In our film tests everything looked clear and sharp. There was a little noise evident in some scenes, but it wasn't problematic and more likely stemmed from the DVD rather than the Acer X193W itself. Similarly, we spotted a little ghosting in fast-paced scenes, but it wasn't much of an issue. Contrast was great with good detail in dark areas and no stepping, and colours were bright and vivid.
These results were mirrored in our DisplayMate Video Edition tests. Colours were a little over-saturated, particularly blues and reds, but not overly so which gave the image a vibrant look. Contrast charts were well rendered, with no stepping and only a little loss of detail at extreme ends of the intensity ramps. There was no noise evident on the moire patterns, and uniformity was great across the whole Acer X193W. At times during the sharpness tests there was a little aliasing on diagonal lines but this rarely showed up in our real world testing.
For games the Acer X193W is fairly good. The excellent contrast performance helps greatly in dark, atmospheric titles, and while the ghosting mentioned above did make an unwelcome return, it wasn't much of an issue.
Our main two complaints were with black levels and viewing angles. Black levels could have been a little better; at times they looked pale but they were still adequate for most uses. Meanwhile the Acer X193W only has a 160-degree viewing angle both vertically and horizontally, and thus there is a little colour shift and detail loss when viewing from an angle.
Aestheticaly the Acer X193W is fairly plain. Acer has designed their X series for budget-conscious users, so these models don't come with anything flashy. The bezel is plain matte black although silver is also an option. There are a string of controls running along the base which give you some basic calibration options such as contrast, brightness and colour.
While it doesn't do anything outstanding, the Acer X193W is an affordable and competent 19in monitor that performs quite well whether you're watching films, playing games or just doing general web browsing and desktop publishing.