"The Acer ConceptD CM2 balances its small stature with astonishing color accuracy."
Unsurpassed color accuracy
Aspect ratio 16:10
Decent game screen
Creative people have to be choosy when choosing a monitor. The higher the resolution, the better and more accurate colors are a must.
But Acer believes there is a population out there that wants it in a smaller package. The new series of ConceptD monitors, which is primarily aimed at creative specialists, includes a 24-inch panel with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200. The Acer ConceptD CM2 offers an aspect ratio of 16:10, which is refreshing in a world where monitors seem to be getting wider and wider.
Despite the likeable aspect ratio, it's far from the 4K 32-inch giants out there. The Acer ConceptD CM2 is priced at $ 400 and has to prove a lot if it wants to win over the creative professionals it targets. Does the ConceptD CM2 do the trick?
When it comes to the design of the Acer ConceptD CM2, I really like what Acer did. When you take the display out of the packaging, you will immediately notice the weighty stand with an imitation wood base and an anodized neck. The neck of the display is simply screwed into the base from below. Then you can simply snap on the panel.
You will then be confronted with a display that has height adjustments and inclination functions, can be rotated in portrait format and can even be rotated from side to side. Regardless of the arrangement of your desk, you can adapt the display to suit your ergonomic needs. A VESA mount is available for those who want to use their own monitor arms, but you will lose the charm of the ConceptD CM2.
Artists who prefer a tidy Zen workspace will appreciate the calm, natural design.
However, it is not perfect. The "ConceptD" text on the base and the grain in the wood effect do not perfectly match the plate. It is very close and it is just a small complaint that could be unique to our sample. Because the base rotates with the plate, we couldn't align the two even after the neck was reattached to the base.
Once you've ignored this bit, which isn't difficult, it's a nice monitor. The finish is beautiful and it comes with a slim bezel on three sides of the panel to complete the minimalist, almost Scandinavian look. Artists who prefer a tidy Zen workspace will appreciate the calm, natural design of the ConceptD CM2.
Connections and controls
When it comes to connectivity, Acer chose to keep things fairly simple. There is a main connector, two HDMI connections and a DisplayPort input on the rear I / O. Since these offer an entry into the audio channel, two two-watt speakers are also integrated on the display. You can also connect external speakers or headphones via the 3.5 mm audio jack.
As an ad for creative people, it is also nice to see an integrated USB 3.0 hub. A USB-B port handles the upstream connection, and then there is a USB 3.0 port on the bottom I / O and two more on the left side of the monitor.
However, there is a blatant gap: USB-C. I understand that many may not need it, but as a creative monitor, I really expected some kind of USB-C connectivity with power so you could charge your laptop, power your display, play audio, and operate peripherals through one only cable. To be fair, it's a little more unusual for monitors under $ 500. Of course, if you are using this display with an older laptop or desktop, this is not a problem, but it must be considered in the interest of future security.
Take the LG UltraFine 4K display, for example. Though a few tiers higher for the price, it has a Thunderbolt 3 connection and can act as a docking station. It is child's play to ensure all connectivity to the USB-C ports of today's laptops with just a single cable.
The Acer monitor comes standard with factory calibrations for the sRGB, Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color spaces, which can be easily selected via the OSD control panel (on-screen display) in the lower right corner on the back Monitor. Just click on it, click the top button to switch to color modes, and select the profile you want.
There are options for custom calibration profiles (for your own calibrations) in the OSD as well as the usual other options for changing brightness, contrast, gamma, black gain, blue light and more to perfect the image to your liking.
I like that the three most important options – color profiles, brightness and input selection – are available at the push of a button. You don't have to browse deep in the menus.
The ConceptD CM2 has a 24-inch panel with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. That doesn't give you a lot of screen space to work with, but the CM2 deserves its brownie points elsewhere. The panel used is of the IPS type, which is still one of the most respected in terms of color rendering and viewing angle.
The monitor has a listed peak brightness of 350 nits and a static contrast ratio of 1000: 1.
The color accuracy of the ConceptD CM2 blew me away.
During testing, we found that the monitor can exceed its specified maximum brightness and reach up to 392 nits, and approached its specified contrast ratio at 970: 1. As promised, the display also covers 100% of the sRGB color space, 99% of AdobeRGB and 97% of the DCI-P3 space. All of this is very impressive.
The color accuracy of the display blew me away the most. Acer promises a Delta-E of <2, but delivers a lot more. Our tests showed an average Delta-E of 0.45 with a minimum deviation of 0.18 and a maximum of 1.0. These results are better than any monitor we have tested and will certainly make up for the high price of the display.
We calibrated the monitor ourselves to see if we could improve Acer's work, but as predicted, the results weren't much better – in fact, we found a decrease in contrast and slightly poorer color accuracy with a Delta-E of 0 , 62, which is still phenomenally good. Calibrating the display itself increased the AdobeRGB color space coverage by 1% and increased that number to 100%. All in all, however, we recommend using the factory calibration and a brightness suitable for you and leaving the rest untouched.
Although it should be color accurate and nothing more, Acer has equipped the ConceptD CM2 with some extras that also make it good for games. In the OSD, you can jump to the "Performance" tab and find options for overdrive, adaptive synchronization, an FPS counter and a quick response.
So if for any reason you want to play on this display, you can turn on the overdrive for quick responses, as well as adaptive sync to sync your PC's frame rate with the monitor's refresh rate, resulting in smooth, jerky, and ripping results. free gameplay.
Of course, the refresh rate is limited to 75 Hz, but that's an increase over the standard 60 Hz that you'll find on most non-gaming monitors. If you only play casually, this is a very nice experience.
For competitive games, of course, you should focus on a game-oriented display with a high refresh rate like the Razer Raptor 27. However, if you just start a casual title after a long day of work, the ConceptD CM2 can still do the job better than most 60 Hz monitors that don't have adaptive sync technology.
With the ConceptD CM2 from Acer, we scratched our heads at the first reception and wondered why someone would want to pay $ 400 for a 24-inch Full HD monitor. Promises of excellent color accuracy are often not kept, but Acer has proven that the stereotype is wrong. The 24-inch ConceptD CM2 immediately delivers extremely accurate colors, and our own attempt to calibrate the display has brought no improvements. This shows us that you are welcome to buy this display if you are looking for color rendering. Trust the factory calibration for years to come.
4K monitors lack the sharpness, but it's hard to find a $ 400 monitor with such good image quality.
Are there alternatives?
If the focus at this price is on color accuracy, the Acer CM2 is in a league of its own. Hardly any monitor at this price comes close to color accuracy, and we don't see 99% of AdobeRGB for $ 400 every day, but the price you pay is in resolution.
The BenQ SW240 from two years ago is its closest competitor, but it offers a less exciting design and a lower refresh rate at the same price and is becoming increasingly difficult to get.
However, when you're ready to swap part of the gamut and accuracy, the Dell UltraSharp 27 offers higher resolution, better finish, and more connectivity at a similar street price.
How long it will take?
Acer offers a three-year limited warranty on consumer and commercial monitors. This is a very appreciated fallback for an expensive purchase like this. LED backlighting is also unlikely to fail, and color rendering is likely to remain constant over the years, although you may want to recalibrate it after a few years.
The only big problems are the omission of USB-C and the low resolution. So think twice before you no longer want it.
Should I buy it?
Yes. If you are looking for an editing monitor and only care about color accuracy, the answer here is a resounding yes. However, if you want more screen space, more gaming performance, or more value, you may want to look elsewhere for a better balance between features and price.