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Acer B6 series... and *new* B236HLymdr mini-review

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Acer B246HYLymdpr, B236HLymdr, B226HQLAymdr monitors (and variants)

edit: title changed because it looks like B226HQLAymdr is MVA...?
edit2: see below for a review! click me

Anybody have any clue about these more than I do? I just saw them on newegg. A search through camelcamelcamel confirms that they're pretty new.

These are 1080p IPS monitors with height/swivel/tilt/rotate adjustment (and a relatively long height adjustment), VESA mounts, integrated speakers (rolleyes.gif), what looks like some kind of USB3 passthrough, targeted at the business or business/consumer market. A model with "dp" somewhere in the product name indicates that they support DisplayPort; the others seem to have only VGA and DVI input, but these things are sub-$200. Anybody cracked the secret code and figured out what their naming convention means?

Seeing as these are new models, I suppose they're based on LG's AH-IPS rather than eIPS? (or possibly Samsung PLS? but unlikely considering price) I don't think any new IPS releases use eIPS? None of these models seem to have antiglare coating as strong as on some of the older IPS models, but is it possible that these do have the heavier antiglare? Or in fact they're semi-matte, semi-glossy, or even glossy? Response times, reverse ghosting, input lag, typical backlight bleeding... who knows? The 21.5" model is rated for 8 ms GTG, the 23" at 6 ms GTG, and the 23.8" at 6 ms GTG, but we all know how little those mean.

Most AH-IPS are supposed to have coating like the BL2411PT here:
overclockers.ru comparison image

Yes, it's Acer, but maybe their track record isn't as bad these days. The older eIPS-based H226HQLbid was reviewed here:

That one was glossy and had no VESA mount or height adjustment but posted pretty decent results on top of having non-PWM and non-broken brightness control. That said, the similar H236HLbid model supposedly did have PWM-controlled backlights. What? That doesn't seem to be what the Q denotes, by the way, but I've no idea on that.

By the way, there are other B6 series models, such as the 27" B276HULymiidprz that's 2560x1440. Also a TN model here and there to confuse us further, e.g. B246HLymdr.
Edited by mikeaj - 9/8/13 at 10:39am
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
I won't bump this again after this.

Mostly I'm just fishing for anybody that knows the secret to the naming scheme.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

I was in the market and curious enough, so I took a plunge with the B236HLymdr ($160). Here's a mini-review. However, I don't have any gear to measure anything, so it'll have to be pretty subjective.

Picture quality
Colors were pretty greenish out of box, but it did gradients pretty well and had great viewing angles. Well, it's nothing that a few software or other controls can't mostly fix. Even after a little messing around, blacks almost all the way down to 0 and whites almost all the way up to 255 (say, to 2 and 253) were distinguishable without squinting really hard in normal lighting conditions. I guess color accuracy would likely be good after calibration. It looked like it did most or all of sRGB coverage to me (not undersaturated like some cheap laptop panels), but of course that's a guess.

edit: on second thought, after changing all the colors to 128 in the service menu (were they really not all at 128 to start with? now I don't remember), suddenly it's not greenish and every color including 1 and 254 can be seen with no adjustments in software, relatively good grays but still noticeably off

Overall, it's an IPS. What can you say? Service menu said LM230WF3-SLK1 (e-IPS 2012 model). Matte coating is fairly heavy, but somehow it seems significantly less grainy than on some other e-IPS and prior IPS models.

It uses PWM-driven LED backlighting. I can't see it myself, and I don't even have a real camera to capture it, but my cellphone can pick up the telltale signs of it.

QC / construction
Overall plastic construction feels solid enough, but it doesn't seem like the panel itself is affixed sturdily. There was some backlight bleeding along the bottom that was slightly better if I pressed on the monitor from behind. It was noticeable on black screens even with brightness turned down, but it wasn't enough to be a nuisance except maybe when watching some dark scenes in movies with the lights off.

I saw no dead pixels in my sample.

Overall look is pretty nice. The bezels are matte and not reflective, which actually makes sense, unlike matte monitors with shiny bezels. Profile is pretty slim, but they stick the power supply inside the unit, so don't worry.

Inputs are DVI, VGA, and 3.5mm TRS for the speakers.

The stand does all the adjustments: tilt / height / rotate (locks at 90 degrees and 0 degrees) / swivel, and it does them pretty smoothly. No complaints with the stand at all. It feels slightly cheaper than say an Ultrasharp or higher-end monitor, but the stand is pretty sturdy and serviceable. There's a VESA mount.

I didn't test the speakers.

USB3 ports seem only to be on the largest model: it wasn't on this one.

Input lag and response time
Uh, pretty much every monitor of this type and size has fairly low input lag that's impossible to really gauge without equipment or spending a lot of time gaming (with someone who is sensitive enough to sub-frame timing, i.e. not me). I didn't notice anything untowards.

But yeah, it's listed at 6 ms GTG, right? WARNING: there are crazy amounts of FRC (pixel overdrive) overshoot on some pixel transitions. For example, on the lagom page here:

for the 96/224 bars chasing test, perceptually there's a black bar trailing the white (gray) ones that's as black as the white ones are white. And in the service menu (you need to turn the monitor off, hold the leftmost button, turn it on, go into the regular menu, and select the F that appeared to access that), there doesn't seem to be an option to turn the overdrive off. Acer's prior 120 Hz monitor(s) and some other IPS monitors had that option to disable that "OD", from what I saw looking around the nets.

Custom resolution / refresh rates seemed to work fine. I tested 72 Hz (with 1920x1080), and that worked, but I forgot to test 75 Hz.

$160 regular price (newegg) for a 23" 1080p IPS monitor that does all the stand adjustments? That's a pretty good deal if that's what you need.

However, the insane pixel overdrive makes the monitor too distracting for use for gaming. It's even too much, or at least noticeable and quite possibly distracting, for some panning shots in TV / movies, though I didn't really test it much in that respect. Not recommended at all for gaming or if you're sensitive to it at all.

Given the price, decent picture quality, and ergonomic adjustments, it should make a good office monitor. In fact, that's the purpose for which I bought the thing, so I'm not going to return it (though I probably would do so if there were no restocking and shipping fees).

Arbitrary rating: 4/5 (2/5 for gaming)
Edited by mikeaj - 9/8/13 at 11:41am
post #4 of 5
Thanks for the review. I am considering this monitor for a colleague's office PC build. Can you rate the speakers? Are they even functional? The reason I am asking is I just bought a similar Acer model, but the 2560x1440 27" version, and the speakers are completely useless. I'm not looking for hi-fi sound, just something that works, and these were actually worse than if I plugged in a couple of ear-buds and placed them on the desk. Seriously.

Just interested if this model has "functional" speakers for every-day office use. Thanks!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I never tried it over HDMI and never tested the speakers. I don't see a reason to expect them to be better than on the last one you tried.

And it's sold / given away to someone else for office use, actually, so it's not on me now. Even for office use, sometimes, the overdrive was just too much. You can't even drag windows without it being a nuisance. I really have to wonder what Acer was thinking. It's still a champ for the price for static images and viewing stuff, though.
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