Is the Acer F20 the Ferrari of LCD Monitors?

We recently tested the latest Acer notebook bearing the Ferrari label. Now it's time for LCD monitors to don the mythical red livery of the Italian marque. And Acer has done up this first LCD display with style. No question of choosing a slow 17" panel for a redesign under such prestigious auspices... So the manufacturer looked in their catalogue and found a 20" movie-format panel with an optical filter, remote control, TV tuner, and sound to befit it all. At first glance, it's awfully handsome. But in addition to great looks, the F20 claims to have the stuff where it really counts - under the hood. Let's see about that right now...

Diagonal measurement 20 inches
Native resolution 1680x1050
Contrast 800 : 1
Brightness 300 Nits
Latency 16 ms
Colours 16 M
H/V viewing angles 170° / 170°
Loudspeakers 2x W
Connectivity VGA, DVI, audio in, cinch, TV tuner, remote control
Average price $550

Design And Finish

The design of this monitor is exceptional on more than one level. The idea of an LCD monitor in Ferrari colours is seductive, but once it was out of the box and on the desk, we were already a little sceptical. Not that this monitor is shoddily finished-just the opposite. But you have to realize that Acer is going against the trends now being followed by other designers of IT equipment. Whereas the fashion at Apple, Sony, and Logitech follows elegantly simple lines, Acer has surprised everyone with this flaming-red monitor that's likely to contrast rather intensely with the rest of your office electronics.

But after all, why not? Whatever else you might say, the finish on this baby is remarkable. The red lacquer visible on the base and parts of the chassis is exceptionally well applied, and the gloss-black plastic parts are assembled with great care. The only slight criticism we might make here is the Ferrari logo itself, which is embedded in the lower part of the panel in the speaker bar. The logo is a little cheap-looking, and a better finish on the emblem would have made the product stand out even more.

Just to remind you: We now rate the design of monitors on a scale of 5. The quality of the finish and the care taken in assembly of the panel are taken into account.