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Three touchscreen displays that bring Windows 8 to life

James Galbraith | April 4, 2013
You don't necessarily need a touchscreen monitor to use Windows 8, but swiping your finger to invoke the Charms bar is a lot more fun than holding down the Windows key and pressing C. I'll admit that initially I had to force myself to use the new touch gestures, but after a short time with the OS I found myself reaching out to touch even my MacBook Pro's screen.

While no one would confuse the T232HL with a Retina display, text was legible even at small point sizes. We also watched test clips of HD video, and the action played smoothly without any obvious artifacts. The built-in speakers are okay, if a little tinny. The speakers are located in the back of the display, and they sound like it.

As for touchscreen performance, the T232HL was responsive and accurate. We didn't have any issues using the gestures, closing open windows, or selecting menu items. The stand's ability to lean back to a 45-degree angle made the touch features--especially the on-screen keyboard--easier to use for extended periods of time.

Despite a little trouble in our initial setup, the Acer T232HL is a nice display that uses high-quality components. It performed admirably in our text, motion, color, and uniformity tests, and it would definitely be worth considering even without its 10-point touch capabilities.

Acer T232HL, $549 (street price)

Pros:

10-point touchscreen

Wide viewing angle

Accurate colors

Smooth gradients

Cons:

Stand is difficult to set up and offers no height adjustment

Bottom line:

This is a terrific display, but we do wish it allowed height adjustments.

4 stars

LG Flatron 23ET83V-W

The LG Flatron 23ET83V-W is based on a high-quality IPS panel with 1920 by 1080 resolution and an LED backlight. Sporting a white plastic case with a thin black bezel, this glossy-screened monitor connects to your PC via HDMI or VGA.


LG's Flatron 23ET83V-W doesn't offer the great off-axis viewing experience we've come to expect from IPS displays.

A red light illuminates a thin, translucent, crescent-shaped plastic tab on the bottom edge of the screen that reflects off the desktop. The tab is not a button, but it sits just below the buttonless touch power control. Although the absence of physical buttons might make for a cleaner, simpler-looking design, we prefer the tactile response of a button. Maybe we'd get used to the menu system over time, but we found ourselves frequently hitting the wrong buttons and having to exit and reenter the menus.

Aside from a few degrees of tilt, the LG display's stand offers little ergonomic flexibility. You can't adjust the height, pivot it into portrait mode, or swivel the screen from left to right. Other touchscreen monitors we've looked at can lean back farther, making it easier to use touch gestures without having shoulder fatigue setting in immediately.

A quick note about the setup: When attached to an AMD graphics card, the display would boot up underscanned, with about an inch of black space around the screen. The LG's on-screen menus have an Overscan setting, but turning that from its default off position to on did not fully correct the problem. We had to turn off overscanning on the display and then go to the AMD Catalyst Control panel's advanced settings and move the overscanning slider to zero. In addition to the unwanted space, the screen was blurry in this underscanned mode, and that affected calibration. When we attached the monitor to a system with an Nvidia-based graphics card, the proper resolution came up automatically and the image filled the screen as expected.

 

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