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Acer SB220Q bi – a nice budget IPS/FreeSync monitor for under $100

Acer SB220Q bi is a simple monitor that offers features for budget gamers that competitors in this price range don’t have. Most notable are the 75Hz refresh rate, IPS panel and FreeSync support (adaptive synchronization technology). These features are already rare separately in sub-$100 monitors, but this monitor has all of them at the same time. Because this monitor costs less than 100 dollars ($89.99 at this moment) Acer had to use some cost saving measures to keep the price low.

The screen diameter of the Acer SB220Q bi is 21.5-inches, which should be the minimum if you are buying a brand new monitor in 2018. The size is normal for IPS monitors in this price range, 23 and 24 inch IPS models cost more than $100. Same with resolution, Full HD (1920 x 1080) is the norm today, 1440p and 4K displays cost 2x as much. This Acer is equipped with an IPS panel, so it should deliver more accurate colors and viewing angles than cheap TN monitors, but TN displays are known for faster response times, 4ms is the response time on this model. One downside of IPS screen technology is “IPS glow” which is most noticeable in dark room watching dark content from the sides. Two most important features for a gamer are the 75Hz refresh rate and FreeSync capability (48-75Hz range) which make gaming smoother than normal 60Hz monitor. 75Hz might not be enough for professional gamers, but you can’t expect more for this low price. Keep in mind you need a supporting AMD Radeon graphics card to make use of FreeSync, NVIDIA cards don’t support it.

Acer SB220Q bi is advertised to have a Zero-Frame Design, but it is not 100% frameless, there are still narrow bezels on top and on sides. Bottom bezel is normal thickness. Overall the monitor is very thin and light, but unfortunately it doesn’t have VESA mount just like most under $100 IPS monitors. The ports are also limited, only one HDMI and VGA. HDMI cable is required for FreeSync and 75Hz refresh rate, you need to buy it separately (only VGA cable is included in the box). There couple more cost saving measures that are common for budget monitors, most people can live without them. For example it has no speakers or USB ports, also the display adjustment options are lacking, there is no height adjustment or pivot.

Conclusion

Acer SB220Q bi is overall a good budget IPS monitor, it offers good value for people who don’t necessarily need all the features like built in speakers, many ports and adjustment options. It pairs well with an entry to mid-level AMD GPU based gaming computer because of the FreeSync, but it doesn’t mean that NVIDIA users should avoid it, 75Hz refresh rate and IPS display are still nice to have.

Pros:

IPS panel

75Hz refresh rate

FreeSync

Slim design

Cons:

Some missing features, as expected

HDMI cable not included