We measured the uniformity of the panel's lighting.
It wasn't any better than on the AL2032W, and not even average for the monitors tested for this article.
Worthy Of The Name?
We measured the panel's actual latency.
Frankly, we weren't impressed. The panel's reactivity wasn't worthy of comparison to a Gran Turismo - far from it. Latency reached a maximum value of 26 ms. The 0-to-255 transition clocked in at 20 ms. Not enough to turn heads on Lakeshore Drive...
Though it may not be all that fast, the F20 is stable, which is a positive point. We noted no inordinate overshoot.
In terms of our new test method, the F20 has an Overdrive of class A - below 0.5 frames.
Provided you lower the brightness, you'll have no problem with office applications on the F20... unless of course you set it next to a window, in which case parasitic reflections on the panel could be a bother. For photo retouching, on the other hand, performance wasn't great. You'd need to push the brightness to get accurate colors and do a lot of manual adjustment to get satisfactory performance.
Gaming is possible with this monitor, but its performance was well short of that of the best 4:3 monitors. If you're a hard-core gamer, forget 16:10 format for now.
Latency was much less perceptible with video applications, but the movies we screened were fairly noisy, with sparkling particularly noticeable in shaded colors. The viewing angles were wide and the filter won't be a problem, provided you watch in darkness.
What was disappointing, however, was the sound reproduction. It's true that 16:10 LCD panels aren't that easy to come by, so monitor makers have to get their panels where they can find them. But you feel you should be able to expect more top-of-the-line sound in this price range! Yet the audio was dull, with very little bass, and cranking up the volume quickly produced distortion. Acer could have scored a point here, but they've missed the mark.
What's our final assessment of the F20? In fact, the difference in performance from the AL2032W, which we tested not that long ago, wasn't significant. So if your budget is a little tight and you're hesitating between the two, you can rule out the Acer F20. Given what you get for the high price, the F20 will probably remain more a showpiece for Acer than anything else. Too bad, really, because the monitor's finish is excellent, as is the concept behind it.