Add an extra dimension to your computer
It does have an alarmingly high price tag but Acer's HN274Hbmiiid flat-panel monitor could still be a good investment for anyone interested in expanding into the third dimension.
For starters, it's very large. Measuring 27in diagonally from corner to corner, the screen is ideal for gaming, movie-watching and other home entertainment, as well as providing plenty of space for standard desktop work.
At 1920 x 1080 pixels, the panel's resolution allows for playback of high-definition videos in the full 1080p resolution, but the resolution isn't so high that icons and text are reduced to unreadably small sizes.
But at £550 this monitor is more than twice as expensive as some other 27in screens. The reason for the difference is that the HN274Hbmiiid also fully supports stereoscopic 3D, so it can display 3D video and games.
This includes videos and games not just from a PC using the computer's graphics card, but also the signals that are output from Blu-ray players, games consoles, camcorders and more, all of which can be plugged directly into one of the monitor's three HDMI sockets.
It's one of only a handful of desktop monitors currently available that can handle 3D from multiple sources. Standard DVI and VGA sockets are also provided, for connection to any computer, and stereo speakers are built in.
The price of the unit also includes a built-in infra-red receiver and a pair of wireless Nvidia active-shutter 3D glasses, effectively negating the need for the Nvidia 3D Vision kit which, on its own, usually sells for around £130. Users of 3D monitors that don't have their own receivers have to shell out for the Nvidia kit.
For PC-based 3D you will need a compatible graphics card (check this full list). We found the 3D performance to be very good across all the various inputs we tested. There was some minor ‘ghosting' in which two versions of the image are displayed, though we have yet to see a 3D display that doesn't suffer from this.
In two dimensions, performance was excellent, with a bright, very sharp, high-contrast image – we had to turn the brightness right down when used under incandescent lighting conditions.
Colours were deep and rich, though we found that we got the best from our review unit by manipulating the colour settings in Windows rather than using the on-screen display, which was basic and somewhat awkward to use.
Clearly, the Acer HN274Hbmiiid will be overkill for many computer users, both in terms of size and features. But if you're looking for an all-in-one 3D-2D display for use with a PC and other 3D-capable devices, the HN274Hbmiiid is well-designed, performs to high standards and – for what it offers – is fairly good value, too.
Read more reviews
The Acer HN274Hbmiiid is a great all-rounder; its size and versatility make it a highly viable alternative to a 3D TV
Large screen; 3D compatible; DVI, VGA and 3x HDMI sockets; comes with all the accessories you need
Expensive; on-screen display is a little awkward
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