Archive for Acer

Review: Acer Nitro XV271 Z 27″ Gaming Monitor

Posted in Products with tags on December 20, 2021 by itnerd

During my Desk Setup review, I noted that I was looking for a new monitor. The challenge that I had was that my 16″ MacBook Pro had a display that was so good, it destroyed almost any other external monitor that is currently available including Apple’s infamous Pro Display XDR which is their $5000 USD monitor that you have to spend an extra $1000 USD on top of that to get a stand that should really come with the monitor. So as a result, I made a conscious decision balance what features that were important to me with price. So the feature set that I settled on was:

  • 120 Hz or higher refresh rate. Because once you experience 120 Hz like I have on my 16″ MacBook Pro, you’ll never go back to 60 Hz.
  • HDR support
  • 24″ – 27″ widescreen
  • Full HD (1080p) resolution

So one trip to my local computer store and some consultation, I was able to put my money down on the Acer Nitro XV271 Z 27″ Gaming Monitor.

This is a 27″ full HD monitor that supports a refresh rate of 280 Hz which is insane. But on top of that it satisfies all the things that I was looking for in a monitor. But adds a few extras such as:

  • Support for AMD FreeSync Premium
  • 1 ms response time
  • Built In Speakers

Let’s start with the design. I really like the fact that it is not like other gaming monitors with lots of flashing lights, or having over the top graphics. It’s understated which means that it fits into more environments than a typical gaming monitor would. I also like the fact that top, left and right bezels are slim. That fits in with my MacBook Pro which has very slim bezels. Then there’s the stand:

The entire stand swivels so that you can get the right position that works for you. I should also mention that the monitor adjust up and down and tilts as well to aid in that. Though in my case, to get it to where I wanted it, I still had to use the monitor stand that you see in this picture. Finally, if you want to run the monitor in portrait mode, you can do that by rotating the monitor into that position.

One thing that I appreciated is that the back of the stand has a clip that allows you to make your cables neat and tidy.

On the right side are all the controls for the monitor. Including a handy joystick that makes it easy to navigate through menus and to make quick changes.

Overall, the build quality is great. It doesn’t feel cheap in any way.

From an input perspective, you get DisplayPort, HDMI, and audio out. And what’s cool is that you get both the DisplayPort and HDMI cables in the box. Though I will admit that I used my own HDMI cable because I wanted a shorter one to make cable management on my desk neater. I also used a much longer power cable to accommodate my FlexiSpot Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk as that raises and lowers.

For my use case, I plugged it into my 16″ MacBook Pro via HDMI and turned on HDR support for the monitor as well as enabling it on the MacBook Pro. I also set the refresh rate to 120 Hz so that it matched the MacBook Pro’s display. I then ran it for a couple of days to get my impressions. The net result what that I was impressed to a point. Here’s the highlights:

  • I will get the speakers out of the way first. They sound flat with very little if any definition to any audio that you wish to play through them. In short, they won’t impress anyone. Acer might have been better off leaving them out of this monitor.
  • The display is rated for HDR400 which means the maximum brightness that it will display while running HDR content is 400 nits. While that’s not competitive with OLED screens or mini LED screens like the one in the 16″ MacBook Pro, it actually doesn’t do a bad job of displaying HDR content. So if you want to consume HDR media, or have better visuals for games, this monitor is capable of doing just that. Having said that, this monitor lacks P3 wide color gamut support which would really help with HDR content. Instead it has BT.709 color gamut support which has a slightly narrower range of color reproduction.
  • Like most IPS panels, it offers good viewing angles, but at the cost of a mediocre contrast ratio. Which is less than ideal for dark room viewing. 
  • It has an excellent low input lag and outstanding response time, resulting in clear motion, and there is very little motion blur.
  • I did not notice any flickering during testing and it was very easy to look at. I am assuming that this is due to a blue light filter that this monitor has as part of the deal.
  • Often in large monitors that do full HD, pixel density is lacking. What I mean is that text for example doesn’t look as sharp as it should. In the case of this Acer, it has decent pixel density as I did a number of articles and this review on that monitor and I didn’t have any complaints.
  • From the “edge case” department, I did notice that this monitor supports Apple’s True Tone feature. The net result is that the color temperature of the Acer monitor was almost exactly the same as the built in display of the MacBook Pro. Though I will note that it is driven by the ambient light sensor in the MacBook Pro. Which implies that If I use the MacBook Pro in clamshell mode with an external keyboard connected to this Acer monitor, I will lose this feature.
  • The anti-glare coating works really well in my environment.

The only thing that I didn’t try was gaming as I am not a gamer. Which is ironic given that this is a gaming monitor. But the main reason why I didn’t bother testing this is that any game that I have been known to play is on the Steam platform and the Steam client is still an Intel App. Which means that due to the emulation required to have it work on my M1 Pro based MacBook Pro, any game I play wouldn’t really push the monitor to its limits so that I can get an idea of what it is like as a gaming monitor. I may do a follow up on this if games start to appear that are native to Apple Silicon. But you don’t buy Macs to play games on, and game makers tend to ignore the Mac platform, so I am not holding my breath on that front.

The price that I paid for this monitor was $329 CDN. Given the feature set and nothing to really complain about other than the quality of the speakers, that’s a fair price. And it works in my use case. Thus my recommendation is simple. If you ignore the gaming monitor part, this is a monitor that is worth looking at if you need a monitor that has good viewing angles, some degree of HDR support, and a high refresh rate, and you don’t want to spend four digits on. Just ignore the speakers and you’ll be good to go.

Computer Maker Acer Gets Pwned…. Data Held Ransom

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 20, 2021 by itnerd

According to Bleeping Computer, a group of hackers known as REvil has gained access to Acer private company network and is holding sensitive data hostage for $50 million USD. REvil announced the attack on the dark web earlier this week that the group had compromised Acer, and even posted a few images for proof. 

Acer is one of the world’s top PC makers so this needless to say is not good to say the least. It is entirely possible that this attack may have been orchestrated by exploiting one of the four Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities that Microsoft recently publicized the existence of and also released patches for. Acer has until March 28 to pay the ransom before REvil leaks all the data it stole online. So this is in short, extortion. As for what Acer has to say, they only said this:

When asked about the In response to BleepingComputer’s inquiries, Acer did not provide a clear answer regarding whether they suffered a REvil ransomware attack, saying instead that they “reported recent abnormal situations” to relevant LEAs and DPAs., Acer wouldn’t admit that it was a ransomware attack, only telling Bleeping Computer in a statement that it has “reported recent abnormal situations observed to the relevant law enforcement and data protection authorities in multiple countries.”

That my friends pretty much confirms that they were pwned. The question is, will they pay up. They shouldn’t. But companies do all the time. Which is why these attacks work.

Less Windows, More Android and Chromebooks: Acer

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on August 9, 2013 by itnerd

Microsoft employees in Redmond Washington might want to ensure that they aren’t hit by any flying chairs from CEO Steve Ballmer. That’s because if he hasn’t hit the roof over Acer’s decision to focus less on Windows and more on Android and Chromebook, he will shortly. This is what Acer President Jim Wang had to say on a con-call:

We are trying to grow our non-Windows business as soon as possible. Android is very popular in smartphones and dominant in tablets…I also see a new market there for Chromebooks.

That sucks if you’re Microsoft but makes sense if you’re Acer. The Windows market is stagnant at best, shrinking at worst. While Android and Chromebooks are growing markets. One wonders how Microsoft stock will react once the market opens. It’s down slightly in pre-market trading. But news like this from one of their biggest partners is unlikely to go unnoticed.

Acer President Defends Windows 8… Then Bashes It…. WTF?

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on January 7, 2013 by itnerd

Windows 8 isn’t really having a good run at the moment. After being trashed by Fujitsu, it seems that Acer had to ride to the rescue. Here’s what Acer President Jim Wong had to say just before the new year:

Windows 8 is a major milestone for 2012, but it is also a new system that consumers must learn and the learning process will prevent the operating system from taking off quickly,

Sounds good right? Hold on for a moment. Here’s what the same dude said today:

The promotion of the product is really focused on the keyboard, and the users really don’t know how to maximize the touch experience

Strange isn’t it? It doesn’t end there. Here’s what their top marketing guy had to say:

Acer’s chief marketing officer, Michael Birkin, echoed this. “There was just a lot of messaging coming out at the same time: Windows 8, Surface, RT,” he said.

Sounds like neither one of them like what Microsoft is doing to promote Windows 8.

You can pretty much expect that these comments will result in Steve Ballmer having chairs at the ready with their names on them. Meanwhile, Tim Cook is laughing his head off.

Review: Acer Liquid MT Smartphone – The Wrap Up

Posted in Products with tags on March 27, 2011 by itnerd

So I’ve spent the last week with the Acer Liquid MT smartphone (click here to read my previous reports) and here are my final thoughts. This is a nice phone that has a nice feel to it, not to mention that it has a decent suite of software installed on it. The web browser has Flash support which gives you a great web browsing experience. The camera is pretty decent for still and video as well. The screen is visually impressive, but the audio quality of the phone is only average at best.

So would I buy it? I think it would make my list of phones to consider. But whether I would buy it or not really depends on what it has to compete against. Some of the Sony Xperia phones for example may come out ahead of this phone. That doesn’t mean that this is a bad phone. It’s not.

Bottom line. Those in the market for an Android phone should put this phone on their shopping list.

Review: Acer Liquid MT Smartphone – Part 3

Posted in Products with tags on March 26, 2011 by itnerd

So how well does the camera on this smartphone work? Below is a sample picture that I took from the balcony of my condo (click the picture to see it in full resolution):

The results aren’t bad considering it’s 5 megapixels.

Now for the video capabilities of the camera. I took two 720P videos. One in low light and one in daylight. First the low light video (go to full screen and choose 720P):

Now the daylight video (go to full screen and choose 720P):

The quality seems decent and while this won’t replace your camcorder, it will do in a pinch for any video you might want to shoot.

One other thing that I should touch on is the actual phone capabilities. The audio was kind of average and at times lacked some volume and clarity. My BlackBerry is much better in this department. I also tried to have a speakerphone conversation in my car and found it difficult to hear what was being said. I would lay the blame at the feet of the speaker that’s on the back of the phone. Again, my BlackBerry wins in this department.

One thing that I didn’t test is the built in FM radio. It’s a nice touch to have on a phone just in case you want to listen to some news or some tunes that you don’t have in MP3 format.

I’ll wrap this review up tomorrow with my closing thoughts.

Review: Acer Liquid MT Smartphone – Part 2

Posted in Products with tags on March 24, 2011 by itnerd

I’ve used this smartphone for the last couple of days and the apps that it comes with are pretty interesting. The web browser for one gives you a complete web browsing experience. That includes pages with Flash. Nothing that I threw at it seemed to cause the web browser any problems. I tried the music player and it has an interesting feature called Shake Control which allows you to shuffle sounds by shaking the device. Personally I don’t know if I want to shake a smart phone worth a few hundred dollars to mix up my tunes. But the feature is there if you want to use it. One thing to note is that this phone has a Dolby Mobile equalizer, but I couldn’t really hear a difference. Oh yeah, there’s a app called Spinlets which provides media streaming content and the Media Server app allows you to share your media with family and friends. Cool.

Other apps include the Social Jogger app allows for instant toggling between Facebook and Twitter feeds, posts, photos, and updates. The email app has IMAP, POP3, and Exchange support along with support for Gmail and Talk. It also comes preloaded with a Rogers supplied backup app called MobileBack, Facebook, Twitter, Documents,  Navigation, Latitude, Places, and a Barcode Scanner among other things. Oh yeah, you’ve got a YouTube app too. I tried playing some videos and they play just fine. Just don’t try any HQ ones as they tend to bog the phone down. The sound is decent from the built in speaker. But if you’re an audiophile, you’ll want to use headphones.

So it really seems that this smartphone is loaded with apps. If you feel something is missing, there’s always the Android market as they likely have what you’re looking for.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about the phone capabilities as well as try out the camera and I’ll be posting some examples of the latter.

Review: Acer Liquid MT Smartphone – Part 1

Posted in Products with tags on March 23, 2011 by itnerd

I’ve been supplied an Acer Liquid MT smartphone running Android Froyo which includes Flash support for me to review this week.  The first thing that you notice about it is that it has a 3.61” capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels WVGA which is visually impressive. You get proximity, and light sensors as well as a multi-touch interface. The next thing that you notice is that the case which is a black plastic with chrome trim attracts fingerprints like politicians are attracted to bribes. Be prepared to wipe the phone clean frequently. The right side of the phone has volume and camera controls. The top has a power/lock button and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The bottom of the device houses a small opening for the microphone, and a microUSB port for charging/PC connectivity. In terms of wireless access, you get HSPA 14.4Mbps, Bluetooth and WiFi (802.11n). There’s a camera that does video (720P) and still photos (5 MP). You’ll need storage for videos and pictures, so you get a microSD port underneath the back panel that will take up to a 32GB card.

I’ve been playing with it for the last day or so and it seems to be an interesting phone so far. I’ll post my impressions of it in the days to come.

Stay tuned.

 

 

Couple Sues Acer….. Says 1GB For Vista Isn’t Enough

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on March 30, 2009 by itnerd

A couple in Ohio has sued Acer America claiming that it deceived buyers by offering laptops with 1GB of RAM with Windows Vista on it:

“Acer’s defective notebooks are inherently defective in that they do not contain enough RAM to properly run Vista Premium despite being promoted and sold as a bundled product of both a notebook computer and a premium operating system,” the Wolphs’ lawsuit alleged. “As a result, the defective notebooks experience serious problems, including, but not limited to, freezing during use, crashing, requiring frequent restarts and experiencing slow load times.”

The Wolphs said they had to upgrade the Aspire to 2GB of RAM at an out-of-pocket cost of $157 to make the notebook usable.

Though this might sound weird, they do have a point…. Sort of. Vista only really starts to run decently if you throw 1.5GB of RAM or more at it from my experience. I will give them that. But even I wouldn’t call the machine defective because it only came with a gig of RAM. I think that to be a bit over the top considering that most computer companies that play at the $1000 or less end of the price spectrum put a barely passable amount of RAM in the computer to keep the price low. Besides, even when I purchased my MacBook Pro two years ago (which is hardly a low end computer), I bumped the RAM up to 4GB from the 2GB it came with in rather short order. In my experience, the stock amount of RAM is never enough.

I would expect this lawsuit to be dismissed rather quickly…. Although these days you never know.