The Acer SB220Q bi is 21.5-inch monitor that fits the bill for value buyers looking for a budget monitor with great color quality for gaming and general productivity. If your professional work doesn’t demand for high color accuracy, this monitor is rightly for you.
- Sleek design
- AMD FreeSync enabled
- Good color quality
- No USB ports
- Middling color and grayscale performance
The 21-inch Acer SB220Q bi is one of the most affordable options to enjoy gaming and productivity in 1080p resolutions. It uses an In-Plane Switching (IPS) to deliver decent color accuracy and good gray-scale performance without pilling on your power bills. Connectivity comes in way of two video inputs and features a sleek bezel-free design, but it doesn’t include USB ports and ergonomic adjustments like most spendy monitors available in the market. At this price point you won’t be getting the same level of detail you get from its high-resolution rivals and our current Editors’ Choice for budget monitors, the ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD.
On design, the SB220Q bi looks awesome. It gets a bezel-less design that’s contained in a black cabinet that measures only half an inch at its thinnest point. The cabinet is supported by a rather small, yet stable base, and an adjoining arm that provides 20 degrees of tilt adjustability, but doesn’t support height, pivot, or swivel adjustment. It also lacks VESA-mount capabilities. Compared, the Asus VG248QZ is another budget gaming monitor that boasts a Lazy Susan swivel mechanism with a telescoping mounting arm with pivot, height, and tilt adjustability and supports VESA mounting.
Apart from the ergonomics, this 1,920-by-1,080-resolution IPS panel has a non-reflective coating and a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz. Adjustment buttons are located on the bottom edge, where you find a thin strip of glossy-black trim that has six function buttons and a Power switch. For the I/O ports, all of them are located around the back, where you find an HDMI port, a DVI port, a VGA port, and a power adapter input. As with many budget monitors, the SB220Q lacks a Displayport input, USB ports and speakers.
The monitor only offers basic picture settings that include Brightness, Contrast, and Blue Light adjustments (along with the usual Position, Focus, and Clock) settings. You won’t find any advanced settings at this price, including 6-Axis and Gamma settings, that you get with the ViewSonic VP2771, that even includes USB-C port.
Budget monitors are often about getting the job done, but the Acer SB220Q bi specs are solid, and the monitor’s performance will certainly exceed your expectations on casual gaming and media consumption. Here, you get superb performance thanks to a short 4-millisecond response rate and 75Hz refresh rate. It supports AMD Radeon FreeSync meaning you won’t be dealing with noticeable blurring or ghosting on game like Crysis 3 (PC) and Grand Theft Auto V (PS4), provided your laptop/desktop pushes a strong signal.
The monitor’s 26ms input lag (the time it takes for the monitor to react to a controller command) isn’t the best around, but value buyers and midrange gamers will appreciate the kind of performance it offers. After all, this monitor isn’t designed for pro-gaming, its one of those displays you buy as you sharpen your skills, the upgrade to a real gaming monitor like the Acer Predator XB281HK, with a better resolution and short 10.2ms input lag.
The Acer SB220Q bi is 21.5-inch monitor that fits the bill for value buyers looking for a budget monitor with great color quality for gaming and general productivity. If your professional work doesn’t demand for high color accuracy, this monitor is rightly for you. It comes with enough gaming features, and bonuses like support for AMD FreeSync. Only lack of USB and built-in speakers hold it from being perfect – but that isn’t a deal breaker whatsoever.
Is there a better alternative?
Simply put? No, there isn’t a much better alternative, especially at this price point. The Acer SB220Q bi sits at the top of the budget category, offering decent image quality and great color reproduction at a very reasonable price. There are plenty of budget gaming monitors in the market, but very few support FreeSync or any other graphics accelerator.
However, if you need a higher resolution for complex professional work and gaming, the 32-inch ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD offers a better 1440p resolution, and all three connectivity options (HDMI, Displayport and Mini Displayport). If you’re not on a very tight budget and need something future-proof for professional work and gaming, the 32-inch LG 34UC80-B is an equally exciting buy.
Should you buy the it?
Yes. The Acer SB220Q bi offers budget buyers a solid feature set that includes a stylish design and good image quality than most sub-$100 monitors available in the market. It even includes AMD FreeSync adaptive sync technology that enthusiast gamers will find invaluable.
Acer SB220Q bi 21.5" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Ultra-Thin Zero Frame Monitor (HDMI & VGA port)
3 used from $89.99