Acer GN246HL Review
Most affordable 144Hz monitor
Comes with 3-year limited warranty
Comes ready for 3D gaming
Some felt the screen is too bright
Acer GN246HL: 144Hz Gaming Monitor Under $200
If you play on a $1,000 gaming PC with a $80 monitor, you’re not getting the best experience possible. While choosing a cheaper screen is a good way to save money while you’re building your system, you’ll want to upgrade this piece of hardware as soon as possible.
The Acer GN246HL is a solid performer in every area the typical gamer will be interested in, including a fast response time, fluid movement, excellent contrast, the availability of several input options, vibrant color, 3D gaming, and, of course, a 144Hz refresh rate. If you compare what you get with how much you pay, this model stands out among its competitors.
If you don’t yet have a high refresh rate, 3D-capable screen, this model is certainly worth a look. If you’re a serious or even competitive gamer who doesn’t have piles of cash to spend, it might be worth looking at twice.
For more top gaming monitors, check out our monitor buyer’s guide.
Acer GN246HL Tech Specs
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Viewing Angle||170° (H) / 160° (V)|
|Display Colors||16.7 Million|
|Ports||D-Sub, DVI, HDMI|
|Tilt||-5 to 15 degree|
This company has been in the game of making computers and peripherals for forty years now, so they have a bit of experience when it comes to making reliable, affordable gear. Manufacturing everything from tablets to projectors, they also have a huge knowledge pool to draw on. While Acer is mostly associated with laptops and desktops, they do have an extensive list of computer monitors in their arsenal.
In recent years, Acer has shifted its focus from manufacturing to design. Nowadays, third parties have begun to produce most products sold under the Acer brand. While this might be expected to lead to quality concerns, the reality is that thanks to maintaining production of high-quality products, it is a non-issue.
Main Positives of the Acer GN246HL Monitor
While there are plenty of monitors available in the same price range, the GN246HL compares well to most of them. At 24 inches and 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, it offers a dot pitch of 0.276 mm (0.011 inches).
While something better than this is desirable for working with text, gamers who like to sit some distance back and view the action without straining their eyes will find this quite adequate. The size adds to the FPS experience especially.
Also of great significance to gamers is the astounding 144 Hz refresh rate. You might not think that the 2D motion you see on your current monitor looks jerky, but you would be surprised to see the difference a higher frame rate can make.
On the other hand, a one millisecond response time is only average for a gaming monitor, though this amount of time isn’t perceptible except with certain graphics effects. Although it comes equipped with VGA, HDMI as well as DVI ports, be aware that you won’t get the benefit of the superb refresh rate with anything other than dual DVI and a fast graphics adapter – other video standards aren’t meant for drawing that fast.
Unlike watching movies or most other things computers can be used for, gaming often requires displaying scenes with both very light and very dark elements, and you’ll want to see fine levels of detail in both.
With a 100 million to one contrast ratio thanks to Acer Adaptive Contrast Management, you’ll be able to enjoy superior in-game visuals.
Although it uses a TN (Twisted Nematic) panel instead of an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel, the difference isn’t too significant.
The image remains clearly visible at angles up to 170 degrees, so there will be no need for everyone to crowd the center of the sofa when watching movies.
This feature also makes it suitable for installation (using the standard 100mm VESA mount) in a public space. You will, unfortunately, notice a slight shift in colors and black levels, but nothing that will lead to tears.
Regarding 3D, the monitor offers NVIDIA Vision and NVIDIA 3D Lightboost enhancements, resulting in a brighter and more defined full-HD 3D experience.
It should be noted, though, that if you want to use the monitor’s 3D capabilities, you’ll have to use DVI-DL to get the full benefit.
This Acer monitor is likely to meet your needs for the next several years. With 3D capability, a variety of input options, a proper size for gaming, reasonable image clarity (expect a little bit of ghosting, but nothing disastrous), and smooth motion in either multimedia or gaming applications, the Acer GN246HL can be counted on to keep up with advances in gaming graphics for the foreseeable future.
If you’re still using a refresh rate of 60 Hz, you are handicapping yourself unnecessarily.
While lower refresh rates will probably still receive support by games some time to come, think about how the developers and testers will be working on them. You can be sure that they don’t use low-quality displays.
Other Things to Consider for the Acer GN246HL Gaming Monitor
If you’re still wondering whether or not the Acer GN246HL is worth buying, there are a few more features and considerations you should be aware of before you make your decision.
For starters, the range of input options means that you are not limited to using this monitor with a PC; tablets, game consoles, and smartphones can also be hooked up. Though integrating it with TV signals will require a separate unit, this can be the one monitor you use for every task.
The monitor comes ready to use for gaming right out of the box. For instance, the overdrive feature is enabled by default.
Overdrive is a technology intended to simulate faster response times. Depending on the particular monitor and graphics setup, this can either eliminate or cause artifacts (unwanted display objects, like “ghost” trails behind moving objects, or “coronas” surrounding objects with a haze).
There is at least one major caveat: although the GN246HL supports a 144 Hz refresh rate, using it at this rate for prolonged periods can lead to bugs cropping up. You don’t want to end up staring at a blank screen in the middle of an intense, challenging game, so you may want to consider running it at 120 Hz if you are planning on using it for long periods of time.
While there are DVI and HDMI connections, this model, unfortunately, has no Displayport. While even newer graphics cards tend to have HDMI and DVI outputs, the lack of a Displayport is a bit disappointing. It’s not a deal breaker, especially at this price, but it would have been better for everyone had it been included.
In addition to the above, you should bear in mind that this monitor is only compatible with NVIDIA’s 3D technology. As such, it is going to work best with NVIDIA graphics cards. This is not to say that other devices aren’t supported, they are, but using NVIDIA-friendly products with NVIDIA GPUs is always the best way to go (and vice-versa for AMD GPUs). This especially comes into play when using features such as LightBoost.
Although this is a great monitor for gaming purposes, it can also be used in a business environment to entertain or inform your customers. It’s easy to attach to a wall, is thin enough to lie flat, and can be viewed from almost any angle.
Design and Warranty
Whether this is good or bad depends entirely on how your desk is set up, but the GN246HL comes with an external power supply. While this allows the actual monitor to be slimmer, it also means more space will be occupied on your power strip.
The X-shaped stand is sturdy enough to shrug off the occasional bump, but make sure you tighten all the screws when installing it, or your monitor will be wobbly. Alternatively, if space is an issue for you, you can mount it on the wall using any 100mm VESA bracket.
At 3.5 kg (7 pounds), it’s unlikely to tear the building down, while the slim profile means that it can be mounted almost flush. It is still not recommended to mount it at shoulder height; you’re probably going to end up running into it sooner or later.
By far the worst feature of the design of this monitor is the limited range of adjustment it offers. You will only be able to tilt it forward to a maximum of 15 degrees, and the height cannot be adjusted at all.
Although it offers a 3.5 mm audio output to simplify your cable organization, there are no speakers included. This is not a huge drawback, as it results in a monitor that’s both cheaper and more space-efficient.
In any case, most monitor speakers aren’t anything to write home about regarding sound quality or volume, so you will need a Dolby 5.1 surround system to provide a truly immersive experience. Even if the games you’re currently playing don’t require better sound, it still can make a big impact on your in-game experience.
The Acer GN246HL generally ships with a three-year limited warranty, which typically means that you can count on speedy repair or replacement as long as you don’t drop or spill liquid on it. The manufacturer and its partners tend to be pretty good about these things, but do make sure you register your warranty on their website as soon as you receive your monitor—this may help prevent problems later on.
Unlike many models that try to differentiate themselves based on appearance, the GN246HL has an elegant and simple design. Devices for the gaming market in particular often include weird LEDs or designs, which typically neither look good nor enhance the user’s experience in any way.
Although this may not be a priority for everyone, Acer takes the environmental impact of its activities seriously. This monitor contains no lead or mercury, is RoHS compliant, can supposedly be recycled, and uses several methods to reduce power consumption (Automatic Contrast Management being one of those ways). While one monitor isn’t exactly going to save the world, every little bit helps in this regard.
Our Final Thoughts: The Acer GN246HL is Perfect for Serious Gamers Who are Working with a Tight Budget
The 144Hz refresh rate on a sub-$200 monitor is insane.
Features on computer hardware generally fall into one of two categories: those you cannot live without, and those you’ll never use. As part of a gaming platform, the GN246HL is packed with the former and encumbered with few of the latter.
Sure, there are cheaper monitors on the market, as well as those that offer higher performance.
However, you’ll have a hard time finding a 24 inch model for under $200 which can give you the same image quality.
If you’ve never tried a monitor offering a 144Hz refresh rate, you literally don’t know what you’re missing.
Many gamers, even technically knowledgeable ones, make the mistake of thinking that graphics performance begins and ends with the graphics adapter. While a good GPU chipset certainly plays a major role, visual quality, in terms of what your eyes actually see, depends on the monitor’s capabilities too.
This is becoming even truer as monitors are increasingly equipped with processors to enhance their input. Spending more on a new graphics card will be a waste if you don’t also pay attention to your screen and its interface.
The more popular a device is, the cheaper it tends to get. This model, in particular, is frequently featured in promotions: shop around, and you might stumble upon a truly amazing bargain.
There are tons of monitors on the market today from brands known and unknown, making for a potentially difficult choice. In this regard, it’s generally best to go with a manufacturer with a track record spanning decades, who’s known for taking customer support seriously.
You can browse online for additional Acer GN246HL review, from the users all over the world. You can see that most of the gamers and business professional post their positive and negative acer gn246hl review. In the end, this product suits any gamer budget and can give you an excellent gaming experience.