Introduction, Design and Specs

Windows 8 has brought about its shift in how we use our computers and its focus on having a more unified experience for phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop PCs. As those first two systems are primarily touch-oriented, desktop computers are suddenly seeing a large number of touch displays appearing. In an environment that is used to a keyboard and mouse for input, how well is touch going to fit into that setting?

The availability of touchscreens has rapidly increased with the launch of Windows 8 last year. Where touchscreens were rare or expensive before, now they are much easier to find with the availability of a mainstream, touch-oriented operating system. The first one that I have had a chance to use for an extended period is the T232HL from Acer, a 23” 1080p display with an IPS panel and a glossy screen finish.

There is a kickstand in the back to adjust the angle of the screen, but no other ergonomic adjustments are available. On my review sample the kickstand was too tight and I had to remove the cover to loosen the mechanism, but this might not happen on the shipping units. There are 100mm VESA mounting holes, if you wish to have more adjustments or get the display off your desk.

The inputs are limited to HDMI, DVI, and DSub, with no DisplayPort to be found. With DisplayPort being more and more common now, and the Acer selling for around $500, I think adding a DP input would be appropriate. There is also a 3.5mm audio input for the internal speakers, and a USB 3.0 hub with three ports on the left side of the display. It also uses an exterior power brick, a big pet peeve of mine.

Being an IPS panel, the viewing angles are very good on the Acer T232HL. The problematic issue is the glossy finish of the screen that reflects a lot of light. The glossy finish might help to hide fingerprints from using the touch features, or it might be necessary due to the touch sensors, but it makes that angle adjustment even more important as you try to eliminate reflections. You can see the reflection that is present in the lower-angle shot, as for all the other shots I worked hard to find an angle where reflections were less visible.

I mistakenly forgot to capture images of the on-screen display before returning the display to Acer, so unfortunately I had to resort to pulling images of the OSD from the manual to provide examples of how it works. Screen controls are mounted to the right side of the display, with an OSD that pops up once you press a button. This sort of arrangement has been my favorite from Dell, but in that case the buttons are mounted right beside the screen and it is clear which label applies to which button. In this case with them hidden to the side, I often hit the wrong button when making an adjustment.

Acer T232HL
Video Inputs HDMI, DVI, Dsub
Panel Type IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.265 mm
Colors 16.7 million
Brightness 250 nits
Contrast Ratio 1000:1 Typical
Response Time 5ms GTG
Viewable Size 23"
Resolution 1920x1080
Viewing Angle (H/V) 178/178
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) 25 Watts
Power Consumption (standby) 0.5 Watts
Screen Treatment Glossy
Height-Adjustable No
Tilt Yes, 8-60 degrees
Pivot No
Swivel No
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 21.5" x 17.9" x 1.9"
Weight 12.6 lbs.
Additional Features 10-point Touch, 3 Port USB 3.0 Hub, Stereo Speakers
Limited Warranty 3 Years
Accessories DVI cable, HDMI cable, Dsub cable, 3.5mm cable, USB cable
Price $500 (2/05/2013)

The specifications on the Acer are in line with most 23” IPS displays, except for the additional touch features. How does Windows 8 perform at home with a touch-screen monitor then?

Windows 8 and a Touch Screen in Daily Use
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  • zero2dash - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    Horrible decision.
    That thing will be filthy in hours.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    You can't have a touchscreen with a matte finish, the two features have to go together. If you don't like it you can always get a matte non-touchscreen there are lots of those on the market.
  • JanieMartin - Thursday, February 7, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)
  • Beaver M. - Thursday, February 7, 2013 - link

    Funny, I have one of those right here. Works fine. Given it is also transflexive, but it is matte.
  • Beaver M. - Thursday, February 7, 2013 - link

    Transflective of course.
  • shtldr - Thursday, February 7, 2013 - link

    I've seen a matte touch desktop display about 7 years ago. It was probably the resistive type as one had to use some force.

    Not sure if they're still being produced with all this tablet/smartphone glass capacitive fad of late, but they can be had.
  • Tams80 - Friday, February 8, 2013 - link

    Absolute rubbish! I'm using a Tablet PC with a matte touchscreen right now.
  • roberto.tomas - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Is that true for proj. capacitive as well as optical? 2-point multitouch systems should probably need glossy, because they are optical. But 10-point is usually more expensive projective capacitive (and I didn't know if they needed matted too).

    My take on the monitor: horrible, disturbingly bad color gamut for a monitor that is glossy. The sRGB % for this thing is as low as a $60 commodity 11.6" laptop matte from AUO. But; full 10-point multitouch in the sub-$1 grand range, good range of pivot, and not entirely small 23". I'm lukewarm to the thing, if it went onf half off sale I might pick one up ... maybe.
  • Homeles - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    Read the article, genius:

    "I worried a lot about fingerprints and smudges with the glossy finish, but I didn’t find myself having to clean it that often, and typically they were hidden away well."
  • zero2dash - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - link

    When you grow up, have sex, and have kids, you'll realize that glossy screens get fingerprints all over them.

    Maybe this monitor works for 1 person who cleans their hands every five minutes.

    In a normal household with more than 1 person and normal use, the thing would be filthy in no more than 24 hours. I have fingerprints on all my monitors, flat screens, and every other glossy screen device in our house...and half of those devices aren't even touch screens.

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