Turning to the CG220’s controls, these are splashed across the lower part of the bezel. As mentioned already all nine are touch sensitive so keep grubby hands well away from them. Briefly, the Mode button can scroll through four saved or preset options visible on the left side of the controls (Custom, sRGB, EMU, and CAL). Like the CAL LED the EMU one automatically lights up when an emulation routine has been run and stored. The Custom mode is for complete control of the settings covering brightness, gain, colour temperature, gamma, saturation, hue, and individual adjustment of all six colour levels. If you’re using an analogue connection the auto-adjust function becomes operational along with a settings for phase, clock and position.
On the whole, navigations is relatively simple once you’re familiarised and it wasn’t long before I silenced the beeping. One nice touch though, is the option to switch off all the control lights to keep them from distracting the eye, particularly in a darkened room. And on the subject of darkened rooms, if you haven’t got access to one Eizo supply the next best thing in the shape of an attachable hood – ideal for reducing reflections from ambient lighting.
Now, with the CG220 fully calibrated to a brightness of 120cd/m2, a colour temperature of 6500K, and a gamma of 2.2, I bet you’re wondering what this monitor is like to use and how well it performs under our tests. Well to put it succinctly, it’s the best monitor I’ve used for the kind of work I like doing – editing images. It’s fair to say that it’s not the punchiest, brightest, most vibrant monitor on the block, but you have to remember the CG220 is not trying to woo the gamer or the avid movie watcher. The selectable brightness range of 80-120cd/m2 (with a 200cd/m2 extended maximum), and a 37ms response time will quite simply disappoint that market. The CG220 is trying to emulate real colours. Colours that represent the final printed result so that subtle changes you make on screen, will also be seen on paper. For this the CG220 (at the moment) is pretty much unique, and this is reflected in its pretty unique £3,299 price tag – big money for a big colour gamut…
Anyway, the kind of performance I’m talking about are greyscale gradations which are the smoothest I’ve seen on an LCD to date. DisplayMate’s 256-level greyscale test screens are even, band free, colour-tint free, and almost as wide as some of the best CRTs out there. This means I can see detail in my test images, right into all but the blackest of shadow areas. As for the high intensity end I could even distinguish level 254 from level 255 – impressive. Furthermore, the slight changes in hue across a softly undulating surface in one of my test images really caught my eye. On a typical consumer LCD the same undulations flattened out into a solid hue.
Of course, this finesse is also helped by a fine, 0.249 x 0.249 pixel pitch, whereas working within the 1,920 x 1,200 (16:10 aspect ratio) screen was truly a pleasure and a real aid to productivity. Working on two A-4 sized images side-by-side in Photoshop with both toolbars set to the sides with no overlap was a real blessing. What's more, the viewing angles were admirably wide in all planes with no perceivable colour shift when looking at the screen almost side on.
All in all, there’s little to find at fault. The only small criticism I have is the deeply set panel in relation to the bezel. There’s enough depth to the bezel’s inner sides that reflections from the screen can be seen along them. A small issue, although one that a bezel with a bevelled inner edge may have alleviated.
Other than that, Eizo’s ColorEdge CG220 is a splendid LCD. It’s accurate, industrial, professional, and refined, plus it comes with a five year warranty covering material defects and workmanship for up to 30,000 hours with the panel and backlight limited to three years.
At the time of writing, the initial £3,299 outlay (excluding a colorimeter for £200 or so) is a big one compared to a trusty old, high-end CRT. However, if you (or your company) are serious about colour, possess the necessary budget, and want a display that will replace your aging, deep, hot and heavy CRT/s then I can only recommend Eizo's ColorEdge CG220.