Since I'm not going out for shows, I've been spending a lot of time indoors and playing video games and catching up on old television shows.
On the computer side, I have recently gave myself a Christmas gift with a $199 Acer - 27" LED HD Monitor (S271HL DBID). This is a slight upgrade over my old 23" HANNspree, which I paid about $140. The HANNspree is now an exclusive screen for my old PS3 now (it previously shared a connection with my PS4 on my television).
The 27" monitor is part of Acer's S1 Series monitors, which were designed to save space and energy-saving in mind. Some people might not love the weird giant transparent blue-lit power button, but believe it or not, I love it. Since I'm in a dark room, I can instinctively turn on the monitor, just by feeling for the bump. I've used monitors with a poor designs, for example on the PS3 3D monitor, the power button is on the back!
Setting up the Acer monitor was really easy, especially because the two very large screws were already in place and only required a flathead screwdriver to tighten in the screws to the stand. They really designed this to be idiot proof, as the stand will not fit in unless it is facing the correct way (so you can't place it backward by accident... which I have done putting together a television stand).
I am also going to document its various features at the bottom of this post (as the internet tend to forgets and I would like to go back to see what this monitor offers). The big minus on the monitor is that there are no speakers, but that is perfectly okay since speakers built into budget monitors are usually pretty awful. The other minus is that there is only one HDMI input, which, again, for a budget monitor, is acceptable. Otherwise the screen looks great, no noticeable screen tears (for gaming) and text/pixels looks fine.
Before I settled on the Acer, I did look at other similar-sized (and price) and read customer's reviews. The reviews can really deter a purchase for me. For example, I read that the AOC monitors suffered from random dead pixels (eventually all LED monitors may have this problem, but AOC seems to get reported on the most). Or that the PS3 3D monitor suffered from the blinking red light of death (which I've experienced and cannot recommend buying this monitor). One negative review is one thing... but when you see ten or more negative reviews on the same issue, then you know it's a bad sign.
Acer vs Shaun of the Dead
The "100,000,000:1" contrast ratio sounds pretty good. I know it's important to get a high number, but seriously, does anyone care if it's only a thousand to one or one million to one? The only thing I can think of is that in the daytime, the monitor with a smaller contrast ratio will look too bright/washed out. The limited time I spent with my new Acer monitor, it looked fine in daylight.
They also list "6ms" as a good thing, but I have seen faster monitors (1ms, 5ms, etc), so 6ms seems typical, or even slower, than most monitors of this class.
Also as a bonus, Acer packaged in three cables (VGA Cable, DVI Cable, and a HDMI Cable), which definitely was not needed for the pricing, but I love it. I have a million VGA cables, but I could always use another HDMI cable.
Anyway, the way I see it, literally, is that I spend a lot of time staring at the screen, so it's important for me to enjoy looking at the best possible screen I can afford. I'd love to get a 4k monitor, but, of course, that's really out of my price range.
If you're in the market for a big monitor, definitely check out this Acer monitor. If you want to spend a little more (and have Windows 8), for a little more money, Acer's touch screen T2 Series monitors fixed all the complaints I have for the S1 monitor, mainly giving you an extra HDMI port, four extra USB 3.0, and 2W speakers. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the new monitor.