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Lifewire / Todd Braylor
Minimal 'zero-frame' design
Great viewing angles
Good color gamut for the price
Stand height cannot be adjusted
No VESA mount option
Limited damage/malfunction warranty coverage
The Acer R240HY bidx 23.8-inch monitor has really good picture quality and viewing angles for a budget-priced LCD monitor, but its non-adjustable stand might literally come up short for your workstation needs.
The 23.8-inch Acer R240HY bidx monitor is an affordable LCD monitor from Acer that is a real pleasure to view. The 4ms response time and standard 60hz refresh speed make the R240HY perform smoothly for video editing, streaming, and watching movies. The full HD resolution of 1920 x1080 pixels produces great picture quality in the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. This, in combination with Acer's 'zero-frame' design and minimal stand, make the R240HY a special consideration for those looking for a space-saving 24-inch monitor.
The R240HY bidx is a 2015 release of Acer's R0 series and will be referred to often in this review as simply the “R240HY”. Please note that there is a 2016 version of the R240HY with almost identical specs that is priced differently due to its upgraded specs and the inclusion of a USB-C port. In this review, “R240HY” refers to the 2015 bidx version that we tested, unless stated otherwise.
The color production of the R240HY is what we consider more mid-tier for LCD monitors. This Acer has vibrant colors with pretty good contrast ratio and relatively deep blacks for an IPS monitor. For its price range, this monitor has sharp, crisp picture quality and is great for displaying all your favorite media.
The wide 178-degree viewing angles of the IPS panel also means it will look really good from just about anywhere, so when you’re watching a movie with friends, every seat in the house is a good one.
The R240HY is designed as a sleek and minimal panel. On the back of the monitor housing are the power supply, singular HDMI, VGA, and DVI-D ports.
The R240HY features what Acer calls its 'zero-frame' design. The terminology can be a little misleading. This does not mean that multiple panels can be arranged with ‘zero’ edge or empty space between them when placed side by side. The 'zero-frame' term instead refers to a very thin bezel design paired with a floating stand design. These elements make the panel appear as if it is perched on top of its sleek ring-style stand without any significant components to take up physical and visual space.
The side and top bezels each measure about 1/16th of an inch and lie flush with the screen, so they practically disappear when viewing the picture. The bottom bezel is the only prominent edge of the screen and measures about 3/4 of an inch. The visual weight of this bottom edge helps support the screen above and makes for an overall attractive viewing experience. These elements make the R240HY really feel like it is almost all screen and creates the illusion that it’s floating above its base.
But the design is really a blessing and a curse this way. The Acer 240HY can't really be used any other way than how it is oriented on its base. It has no VESA mount holes, meaning you cannot use this monitor on a different stand or attach it to a wall with widely available VESA mounting units without extra adapters.
The screen can tilt vertically from -5 degrees to 15 degrees, but that is about it. The stand also has no height adjustment or rotation capabilities.
Aside from the adjustability issues (which we will address more later on), the R240HY is an attractive and elegant monitor. The appealing elements of the panel's minimal shiny black plastic housing and low profile design can make it the perfect dorm room, bedroom, or small office monitor.
During the assembly process of the R240HY, it was a little confusing to try to secure the monitor panel to the base.
The bottom edge of the LCD panel attaches to a small upright bracket on the circular stand, and although this bracket is tiltable—allowing you to adjust the vertical viewing angle—the stand was a little finicky to get attached. We had to carefully hold and turn the panel upside down several times to get a good look at the attachment mechanism. It seemed like it should be simple enough, but it just didn't snap into place as we expected.
The most frustrating part of this was the lack of directions. There are no assembly instructions included in the printed materials in the box, so we had to look up an online manual for the R240HY that we found on the product's Amazon page. Those instructions described “locking the monitor to the base’s stand arm”. But this simple process had us wondering “Is this just us, or … ?”
Although we finally settled the unit onto stand arm, there was never any click to let us know the bracket was securely attached. Titling the unit felt fragile, and we were afraid of pushing too hard on the panel trying to attach it to the base.
Despite this second-guessing, the panel did feel pretty stable and stood level once left alone. Nevertheless, this didn't stop us from being a little cautious and holding it very carefully when moving it around.
In terms of setting up the R240HY in your workstation, the stand’s lack of adjustability makes this a little trickier. The monitor is only 16 inches tall, so if you want to use it as an external display for your laptop, you may need to prop it up on something—the stand is short enough that an open laptop will block the bottom of the monitor screen.
The stand height might be a significant downside for long work hours, especially if you want to adjust your viewing angle for ergonomic reasons. Having said this, it’s not inherently uncomfortable to view the R240HY's display when it's sitting on a desk. We used this monitor while editing video and streaming content and didn’t have any major qualms about the slight downward viewing angle. It all comes down to your workstation and display height preferences.
The R240HY bidx gives you the specs of a middle-tier LCD panel for a bottom-tier price.
The color, brightness, and contrast of the R240HY are really good for an IPS panel in this price range. The color display is crisp and very detailed from any angle, with little to no distortions thanks to the in-plane switching (IPS) technology.
IPS panels have wider viewing angles than other LCD screens—178 degrees in this case—so you can more accurately view and experience the monitor’s display without visible distortions. There weren’t any washed out colors or serious blurring when viewing the R240HY from sharp angles.
The R240HY features a 72% NTSC color gamut, which translates to about 99% sRGB. Color gamut, or color range coverage, refers to a monitor’s ability to accurately recreate all the color data within an image or moving image file. This color data adheres to standards of color mapping called color spaces (such as the NTSC and sRGB models mentioned). The higher the coverage percentage, the more color variations the panel can display.
The sRGB color space (based upon the combination of red, green and blue light) is one of the most widely-used color models for most applications, including web browsers. The R240HY’s 99% sRGB color gamut is pretty extensive for a monitor in this price tier. Other IPS panels in this range typically can only feature about 72% sRGB coverage.
The Acer R240HY is a backlit-LED panel, which uses LED diodes to project light through its layer of liquid crystal, thus creating the liquid crystal display (LCD). A downside to this type of technology is moderate light bleed, which looks like a glow of whitish light at the monitor’s corners.
While reviewing the R240HY, we tested for light bleed by viewing a variety of video, film and image content in a blacked-out room. We found the R240HY to have an expected low to moderate light bleed with a relatively even distribution. No harsh edge light was seen from any one corner. The presence of some edge bleed is inevitable, and we would consider this model to be one of the more ideal IPS monitors for watching a film in a dark environment.
The R240HY also has a Movie Mode which helps mitigate light bleed by adjusting the brightness without killing too much contrast. It’s not a drastic change, but it’s effective enough for using the monitor as a TV.
Within the classification of LED LCD monitors, IPS panels are known to have the best color and viewing angles, but often at the sacrifice of contrast. As mentioned above, the R240HY has decent on-screen contrast even in dark rooms, but it claims to have a dynamic contrast ratio of 100,000,000:1.
There’s actually no standard way of measuring dynamic contrast ratio, which basically just refers to the way the monitor adjusts overall brightness based on the color and value contrast in an image. So the more useful spec is the panel’s native contrast ratio, also sometimes called static contrast ratio. This is simply how bright the LED diodes can get. The vast majority of IPS panels have a 1000:1 contrast ratio and this Acer has the same 1000:1 typical contrast.
The color, brightness, and contrast of the R240HY are really good for an IPS panel in this price range.
The visual sharpness of the Acer R240HY is really good and almost makes it look like there are more pixels compared to other budget LCD monitors. The standard viewing distance or visual acuity distance—where pixels no longer become discernible and blend to create a seamless image field—is about two feet from the screen.
The R240HY retains a visual clarity when viewed close up that is noticeable compared to other 1080 IPS monitors we have tested, and edges look a little more defined on the R240HY than they do on other budget IPS panels. This model uses 24-bit color which can reproduce a total of 16.7 million colors, so the picture appears clear, crisp, and deluxe.
The Acer R240HY has no built-in speakers, but it does have an auxiliary audio pass-through output on the back. If you plan to use the monitor as a TV, for example, you will need to consider headphones or a separate speaker system, which you can connect via a standard AUX cable.
The R240HY has some basic software functionality limited to its on-screen display (OSD). You can adjust the contrast, saturation, and brightness, for example, within the OSD menu by using the small buttons on the bottom right edge of the display panel.
When the OSD menu is brought up, no picture will be available on the screen. If, after adjusting the settings, you wish you to reset the contrast or ratio to the default settings, just choose the 'maximum' option.
The R240HY bidx is part of Acer's R0 series of mid-priced LCD monitors that originally retailed for $229.99 when they were released in 2015. (The R240HY bidx is not to be confused with a newer generation of R240HY monitors from 2016, which do not have the 'bidx' in their name).
The 2015 bidx version is currently listed at a reduced price from most major retailers, making the R240HY bidx is a really great deal. Selling for around $100 at the time of this writing, the R240HY bidx gives you the specs of a middle-tier LCD panel for a bottom-tier price.
The Acer R240HY bidx may be an excellent deal for its class of LCD monitors, but there are other similarly-priced monitors out there that have very close if not the same quality panel. The Dell 24 Series, with its backlit-LED LCD monitors, is a direct competitor to the R0 Series from Acer.
The Dell SE2419Hx 23.8-inch IPS monitor ($199.99 MSRP) is extremely similar to the Acer R240HY bidx, but is a newer release from 2018 and usually sell for about $20 to $30 more. Both monitors have IPS panels and feature the same 178 degrees of viewing angles. They also both lack VESA holes for mounting.
The similarities continue with the SE2419Hx’s compact base design, which is also non-adjustable. Both Acer and Dell also have blue light filtering features that help reduce eye strain—Dell calls this ComfortView whereas Acer has the same function as part of their Acer Flicker-less technology.
The SE2419Hx features the same native 1920x1080 at 60Hz resolution, as well as the same 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and 16.7 million color display as the R240HY. And though we’ve addressed the dubiousness of dynamic contrast ration, Dell has rated their monitor at 8,000,000:1, though the visual difference between this and Acer’s exaggerated 100,000,000:1 dynamic ratio is not going to be as drastic as it may sound (if you can even see any noticeable difference at all).
Subtle differences aside, the most significant disparity between these two models is a dedicated Gaming Mode on the Dell SE2419Hx, and software called Dell Easy Arrange which allows you to display multiple applications on the screen. The Acer R240HY bidx does not have either of these.
Lastly, the Dell ships with an HDMI cable included, whereas the Acer we tested came with a VGA cable. Both models feature singular HDMI and VGA ports.
Barring subtle differences in the adaptive but not-as-fancy-as-it-sounds circuit features of dynamic contrast, these monitors are super similar and come down to a minor difference in price. The best choice for you depends on whether you want to save a few extra bucks on the Acer, or pay for a few newer features like screen-splitting and game mode capabilities on the Dell model.
Excellent visuals for watching your favorite media, and at a fantastic price.
The visuals of the Acer R240HY bidx will be very hard to beat at this price point. We had some gripes with the stand’s short height and lack of adjustability, which may make it less than ideal for productivity work. But if you plan to use the monitor primarily for media, the crisp and vibrant picture quality overshadow the stand’s limitations.