With a background in biology and electron microscopy, I have a thing for specialist monitors. In fact, anything with a wide colour gamut, smooth greyscales and a native resolution big enough for me to work comfortably in Photoshop, will always grab my attention. Such displays used to be CRTs (and still are for many users), but with continuing advances in LCD TFT technology it looks like the heavy, evacuated glass tube with its power hungry electron guns will eventually die out.
One such LCD looking to usurp the CRT is Eizo’s 22.2in ColorEdge CG220, so naturally I was very interested when the guys from Eizo popped over to drop one off.
When it comes to high-quality, professional displays this is not the first I’ve used and reviewed. The last was NEC’s 19in SpectraView 1980 and before that was ViewSonic’s 22.2in VP2290b. However, both are aimed at different markets. The NEC, with its smaller 19in panel and 1,280 x 1,024 native resolution isn’t really designed for pre-press soft proofing within the CMYK ISO-coated colour space, but rather for keen photographers who want a calibrated monitor to form part of their digital workflow. The ViewSonic on the other hand, is a display for very high resolution work, with applications in satellite imagery and the military.
As for the CG220, this is pitched squarely at those that regard colour accuracy and fidelity as paramount. Places in fact where colour calibration is an everyday term, and the ability to soft proof in a fully digital workflow are key. To this end, Eizo claims that the CG220 covers the entire Adobe RGB colour space, thus encompassing not only the sRGB colour space, but also the ISO-coated and US web-coated CMYK colour spaces used in printing. For those in the know, that’s an impressive claim when you consider that the majority of LCDs are limited to the sRGB colour space where punchy greens, cyans and some yellows are not fully covered.
Before giving you my opinion of the CG220’s picture quality, let’s take a close look at its styling, features and initial setup. Most obvious is its looks. It’s a chunky, solid looking beast with a big fat bezel that measures just over 4.2cm wide down the sides and 4.6cm across the top and bottom. Whether or not the aesthetics work for you is subjective, but I like the industrial, functional design. For instance, the top portion of the bezel can best be described as an elongated metal heat sink that helps dissipate heat generated by the electronics and integrated power supply.
The large circular base provides plenty of stability and the metal plate on which the neck stands rotates 35 degrees both left and right. The neck itself also extends in height raising the widescreen panel through 10cm. To help you pinpoint that perfect viewing position the CG220 also tilts through a 33 degree arc, but there’s no pivoting mechanism to spin the panel around for a portrait orientation.
Traditionally, Eizo screens offer a little something extra when it comes to function, and cable management is one such area the company has considered seriously. Where many monitors just feature a simple set of hooks (or nothing at all), Eizo has fitted two spring loaded flaps that run down both sides of the lower section of the CG220’s neck. Routing the cables couldn’t be simpler, as it's just a case of pushing the cables through the flaps which then shut behind them. Furthermore, the cables are guided to the neck through a hinged wire frame, whereas a couple of swing covers keep everything out of sight.