A recent price cut fortunately brought Acer’s S273HL just under our $599 price limit. That was good timing, as this is a stylish and versatile widescreen display that will particularly appeal to home users.
The S273HL impresses as soon as you lift it out of the box. It has a sturdy and distinctive metallic stand that not only supports the large 27in screen, but also has a set of control buttons that allow you to activate the onscreen menu options. Acer has clearly thought hard about the little details here, as the stand even has its own built-in backlight to illuminate the control buttons. And when you turn it around you’ll find that all the video and audio connectors are built into the base of the stand for easy access too.
The decision to include two HDMI interfaces makes it a great fit with Mac models such as the new HDMI-equipped Mac mini. It also allows you to connect an AppleTV, iPad or DVD player at the same time too. There’s no DVI interface, though, so owners of older Mac models with DVI video interfaces will need to spend a bit extra on a DVI-to-HDMI adaptor.
Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels makes the S273HL ideal for watching high-definition video, and its LED backlighting produces a bright and vivid image. Acer’s claim that the monitor provides 12,000,000: 1 contrast ratio seems a bit exaggerated, but we had no complaints when watching HD programmes from the BBC iPlayer using our laptop.
The 27in widescreen display also provides plenty of room for running conventional applications, easily fitting a web browser alongside Microsoft Word as we typed up some notes.
Macworld Australia’s Buying Advice
Our only minor complaints about the Acer S273HL are that there’s no headphone socket built into the monitor, and that it doesn’t quite live up to its claim of providing a 170-degree viewing angle. Even so, the strong image quality, stylish design, and twin HDMI connectors make it a good choice for anyone who needs a versatile monitor as part of their home entertainment system.