Most low-cost monitors are pretty basic and cut corners in one or more places but the Acer ED242QR is more fully-featured than most.
Its high refresh rate of 144Hz gives gamers a way of playing video games at higher frame rates than on most budget screens, which tend to have slower 60Hz panels and, therefore, put a cap on frame rates.
If that wasn’t enough, the monitor delivers solid colour performance and usability, plus it even looks nice with a subtle curve ensuring more of the panel is at the perfect distance from your eyes.
What do you get for the money?
Aside from the luxury of the 144Hz refresh rate and curved panel, this is a pretty standard budget monitor. It measures 24in from corner to corner and the resolution is 1,920 x 1,080.
As with most cheap monitors, the Acer ED242QR is also barebones in terms of its physical design. Its slender stand offers no kind of height adjustment or rotational capability. You can tilt it back and forth but that’s your lot. The ED242QR doesn’t even have VESA mounting points, so you can’t upgrade it with a stand of your own choosing at a later date.
The stand itself comes as a separate section in the box, which you have to attach yourself to get the monitor up and running. This isn’t as straightforward as with most monitors because you need a screwdriver (Phillips or flat head will do). Assuming you do, though: assembling the monitor is as simple as slotting the stand in place and securing the screw.
The monitor is powered by an external power brick, rather than an internal power supply, which is another thing to find a space for on or under your desk. It’s all basic stuff.
What type of connections does it have?
Video input provision is pretty good, though. On the rear of the screen are HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort connectors as well as a 3.5mm audio input for the monitor’s rather weedy integrated speaker. There’s no USB-C input or old-school VGA, though, so bear that in mind
That’s pretty good for the money, although there are a couple of major omissions here: the lack of USB-C port means hooking up some slimline modern laptops will require the assistance of an adapter. And there’s no kind of USB hub, either – that’s another thing you’ll have to find room on your desk for.
How good is the image quality?
Normally, budget monitors – especially those with gaming aspirations – exhibit some compromises when it comes to image quality but the Acer ED242QR does well to keep the worst problems at bay. It’s not hugely bright and there are some issues with colour accuracy but this isn’t a monitor intended for professional-level photo editing and, elsewhere, it does remarkably well.
The monitor’s sRGB mode is excellent at matching the sRGB colour space. Its coverage of that colour space was 98.9% although the panel actually delivers slightly wider gamut than sRGB at 111.2%. That means colours look nice and vibrant but colour accuracy isn’t quite as impressive.
Peak brightness isn’t particularly amazing at 260cd/m2 so I’d advise against using it in particularly bright rooms or facing it towards a window, but for most situations, it will be fine. Since it uses a VA panel, viewing angles are decent and contrast ratio is exceptional at 2,020:1, lending onscreen images plenty of punch and solidity.
|Colour accuracy (average Delta E - lower is better)||2.4||Good|
What’s most impressive about the ED242QR, however, is that it manages to produce solid image quality while also offering a high refresh rate of 144Hz. If your PC or laptop is powerful enough, that means games will play at higher frame rates than 60fps all the way up to 144fps.
Another feature worth noting is that it supports AMD FreeSync for tear-free gaming for those with AMD GPUs and Vsync for those with GPUs from other manufacturers. Either way, I didn’t spot any tearing problems while using this monitor.
Anything else worth knowing about?
As with many of Acer’s monitors, the ED242QR comes with some other useful features. There’s a blue light mode which aims to help you get better sleep after gaming late into the night. It’s also pretty easy to use, with a clickable joystick located in the lower right side of the monitor’s rear, making accessing settings a doddle.
The other thing to note is that there are two versions of the ED242QR floating around. The white one found on Amazon has fewer inputs and lacks the 144Hz panel of this model.
Both models are, unfortunately, currently out of stock in most places thanks to the rush on working at home equipment during lockdown.
Should I buy it?
If you’re looking for a gaming monitor on the cheap and you can find this screen in stock, absolutely. You won’t find a cheaper 144Hz monitor anywhere and the fact that it manages to combine those gaming capabilities with solid image quality is very impressive indeed.
If you have only £180 to spend and high frame rates are a priority then the Acer ED242QR is a very good choice indeed.
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