There are certain things you look for when purchasing a gaming monitor. Size is important. And even though bigger is usually better, you also need to consider the resolution. Current gaming still performs best at 1080p even though 4K is already available. About 24 inches is the sweet spot for FHD.
But if you want great monitor specs, this is all going to come at a high cost, isn’t it?
What if there was an affordable gaming monitor that ticked all these boxes? We take an in-depth look at a seemingly viable competitor in our Acer GN246HL review to see if it stacks up.
Design And Connectivity
Acer has constructed this monitor from predominantly hard plastic, finished in a glossy black on the front, and stand. There are some orange copper accents on the inside area of the X-shaped stand. It’s sturdy with no signs of wobbling.
The rear is more of a matt black finish with a decent sized Acer logo displayed on the top left corner. The connection ports are located in the bottom right corner. Noticeably lacking, though, is a cable management system.
Connectivity includes one VGA port in case your PC still supports these. There is also a single Dual-Link DVI port, which is what you will need to use if you want to take full advantage of the 144Hz refresh rate. Thankfully a cable is included in the box.
Finally, there is one HDMI port that has a maximum of 60Hz. Technically there is enough bandwidth available to supply the full 144Hz, but Acer has elected to restrict it. This still would be handy if you plan to use a console with this monitor.
Finding the right angles…
The only maneuverability the screen has is a tilt function between -5° and 15°. The stand is removable, so it can also be replaced with a more flexible option if you wish. You could also wall-mount it thanks to the 100 x 100 mm VESA pattern on the display’s rear.
With one of the stand-out features being the 144Hz refresh rate, let’s see how this actually translates into real-world performance. Input lag is ~10 ms. Professional gamers expect below 6.94 ms. However, most won’t even notice it.
The other selling point is the 1 ms response time. This does a great job of reducing any trailing during fast-paced video games or action movies and sports. We did notice some pixel overshoot, though, causing slight ghosting.
The color calibration is not the best upon first start-up. It can, however, be improved quite easily by making some manual adjustments through the on-screen menu. We managed a rather noticeable difference very quickly, without much effort.
Being a budget monitor that is based on an older design now, there is some technology missing. You miss out on Flicker-Free and a Low-Blue Light Filter. Without these, it can cause some eye strain or headaches if used for a long time.
The main feature of this monitor is now outdated and most likely will never be used. However, if you happen to have the GPU that supports it, this monitor is capable of 3D gaming with those active shutter glasses.
There are some fancy 3D technologies included. Such as LightBoost, which increases the brightness. Also included is BFI (black frame insertion) that works by adding a single black frame between the GPU created frames. Both of these do assist with immersion if you want to give the 3D a go.
Keeping things basic…
The OSD (on-screen display) system is easy to navigate with a decent display for the menu. However, functions are basic with brightness, contrast, color, temperature, aspect ratio, and input source. There are also five picture presets being: user, standard, ECO, graphics, and movie.
There are no additional gaming features included like some other monitors, but those monitors also cost a lot more. Perhaps if they did an update without the now outdated 3D and replaced it with some gaming-specific features?
Acer uses a TN panel for this monitor. Gamers generally prefer TN in favor of IPS and VA panels due to their ability to provide super-fast response times and low latency. Viewing angles do get affected, but then you’re normally sitting directly in front when gaming anyway.
The panel covers 95% of the sRGB color gamut using an 8-bit color depth with dithering. We found the picture to be crisp and bright but not particularly vibrant. However, the Acer GN245HL still manages to remain impressive for a display in this price range.
A perfect match…
With FHD, 1920 x 1080p resolution within a screen size of 24-inches pixel density is right in that sweet spot. You won’t discern individual pixels unless you get right up close to the screen. Even then, you might still have trouble.
We did notice some slight contrast issues in a dark or dimly lit room. Some of the blacks started to appear gray due to a poor contrast ratio. It wasn’t a huge deal but was undoubtedly noticeable.
Pros And Cons Of Acer GN246HL Review
- An affordable gaming monitor.
- 144 Hz refresh rate.
- 1 ms response rate.
- Low input lag.
- No Displayport option.
- HDMI only supports 60 Hz.
- Tilt only stand.
Shopping For Gaming Gear On A Budget?
We’ve got you covered! Check out our dedicated reviews of the Best Gaming Monitor under 300 dollars and the Best Gaming Monitors under 200 dollars you can buy! If you’re on a super tight budget, we even have reviews for the Best Gaming Monitors under 100 dollars currently available.
You may also be interested in our reviews of the Best Budget Gaming Chairs under 200 dollars on the market in 2021.
Or if you’re looking for more gaming monitor model reviews, then take a look at our comprehensive Aorus AD27QD review, our ASUS VG279Q review, our ASUS VG248QE Gaming Monitor review, and our Samsung C32HG70 review!
Back to today’s review…
Acer GN246HL Review Final Thoughts
If you’re searching for a budget gaming monitor that was once at the pinnacle of technology but can still keep up with today’s standards, you’re in luck. Even though it lacks some of the latest gaming features newer monitors have, it can still perform where it counts.
Providing super high frame rates and super low response times that were unheard of at this price not long ago. It’s an excellent opportunity to take advantage of an older model that is still relevant today due to its groundbreaking technology at the time.
You won’t be disappointed with the Acer GN246HL.