In its imposing rectilinear chassis with large 27in display, multiple inputs and built-in speakers, the Acer V273HL is a great general-purpose display with the emphasis on functionality rather than style.
Acer V273HL: Review
As the largest of Acer's V-series of desktop monitors, the 27in Acer V273HL is well-suited to those who want a large, no-nonsense display that's easy to read and comfortable to use. See also: Group test: What's the best flat-panel display
The Acer V273HL comes in a rather hefty-looking yet functionally stylish case. Constructed mainly out of straight lines and sharp corners and presented in a dark-grey matt finish, it's a design aimed at business rather than pandering to the subtleties of your home décor.
That said, gamers will also appreciate the Acer V273HL for its fast 5ms response time and encompassing widescreen visuals.
The Acer V273HL is supported by a very basic snap-on stand which tilts forwards and backwards by 5 degrees. We would very much have liked to see a height-adjustable stand on a business monitor, but omitting it is one way to keep costs down.
The Acer V273HL display features a TN-based panel which performs well, but suffers from the usual problems associated with the technology. In particular it has reduced viewing angles which make it less suitable for tasks such as photo or video editing.
You'll be able to watch full-HD video via the VGA, DVI or HDMI ports and hear sounds via the built-in stereo speakers. However, the digital ports and speakers are optional, so check the precise specification before buying, especially if the price seems too good to be true.
A row of proper mechanical control buttons sits at the bottom right of the screen. It's almost impossible to read the legends without squinting and perhaps using a torch, but it's simple enough to navigate them by feel and the on-screen menu is kept as simple as possible, presenting only those options applicable to the mode you're in.
You can choose easily from a selection of five standard modes, including ECO, Standard, Graphics, Movie and User. The last of these enables all of the advanced configuration options.
Acer V273HL: Performance results
The Acer V273HL is a bright display which achieves good contrast levels even without activating the dynamic contrast feature.
Rated at 300cd/m2, we measured a maximum brightness slightly higher, at 314.8cd/m2. The unforgiving but realistic checkerboard contrast test measured a ratio of 850:1.
Colour was measured as 98% of sRGB and 76% of Adobe RGB, with an average deltaE colour error of 0.94.
We're not a fan of massively high dynamic contrast specifications, so the V273HL's claimed dynamic contrast ratio of 100,000,000:1 caused plenty of eyebrow raising.
The simple fact that the default mode for Acer's Dynamic Contrast Management setting is “off” should be enough to highlight the fact that this feature is nothing to get too excited about.
We enabled it in order to watch some movie clips and it did make a bit of a difference, but most of the time it's pretty subtle and not really worth bothering with.
Viewing angles are often an issue with TN-based panels, especially larger ones. However, while there's certainly a sweet-spot from where the best overall viewing experience is achieved, this display performs relatively well.
If you're sitting back to watch full-screen video you'll find the picture looks good from all sensible horizontal viewing angles. Vertical angles do remain an issue and if your work often causes you to move your head to peer more closely at a section of the screen, you'll probably notice shifts in brightness as a result. The V273HL is therefore not suited to critical photographic or design work.
However, overall colour accuracy is good and reproduced uniformly across the surface of the screen and text is clear and sharp.
Considering its large 27in panel size, power consumption was quite low, at 24W for maximum brightness and just 14W when set to 120cd/m2.
Acer V273HL: lab results
Measured Black point luminance (calibrated): 0.37 cd/m2
Maximum measured brightness (calibrated): 314.8 cd/m2
Maximum checkerboard contrast: 850:1
Percentage of Adobe gamut: 76%
Percentage of sRGB gamut: 98%
Measured native white point: 6500K
Colour error (min/avg/max) 0.16 / 0.94 / 5.28 deltaE
Power consumption at maximum brightness: 24W
Power consumption at 120 cd/ m2 : 14W