Acer has gone to town with the styling of the S243HLAbmii and the result is unlike anything we have seen before.

The headline figure is the claimed panel thickness of just 15mm and if you look at the screen from the side, you'll see the panel is indeed very thin. This tiny form factor is thanks in part to the use of LED backlight technology, but there's no avoiding the fact that a fair amount of hardware has been shifted from the main panel to the stand.

The stand is a bulky affair that houses the dual HDMI and single VGA connectors, but no DVI input. The OSD control buttons are arranged vertically up the front of the stand. They work well enough, but are overshadowed by the panel, so you will be hard-pressed to see the legends next to the controls in low light conditions.

Acer has included profiles called Text, Graphics and Movies as alternatives to the standard profile. Text is darker than standard, while Graphics and Movies boosts the intensity of the colours, but frankly we found they look much the same as each other.

For some reason Acer has offset the stand to one side in an L-shape with the main support shifted to the right-hand side. If you give the display a knock it shakes around alarmingly and this arrangement offers no obvious benefit.

We were mystified to see that Acer has chosen a mono 2-Watt speaker rather than stereo audio.

The Acer has tilt adjustment, but the pivoting joint between the panel and the base has been turned into a piece of industrial art and the function suffers as a result. In use we found the panel doesn't tilt back far enough to give a comfortable viewing angle.

The Acer is a triumph of style over substance and, while the panel does a competent job, you would have to be rather shallow to be lured by its cosmetic appeal.

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