For instance, the stand is fully adjustable. First, the display can be effortlessly raised through 130mm thanks to the telescopic, spring-assisted neck. Secondly, the whole stand can be swivelled through 170-degrees both left and right from centre, and finally the clever ball and socket arrangement between the neck and the back of the panel casing not only gives a tilting arc of 30 degrees, but also allows a full 90 degrees of rotation for a portrait view. As for cable routing, this is probably the stands weak point. There’s no cable hooks and instead a detachable cable cover that clips onto the back loosely retains the cables from sight.
Speaking of cables there’s two supplied in the box – a D-SUB to DVI-A cable and a DVI-D-to-DVI-D and because this monitor is an ‘Ambix’ (derived from the word ambidextrous) compliant one, it comes with a D-SUB, DVI-D, and a DVI-I port for a full range of connection options.
Running along the lower part of the bezel are a total of eight buttons. There’s the power button, a factory settings reset button, a select button that also switches between the inputs, two pairs of select and adjust buttons and an exit button. Using these to invoke changes from within the OSD is reasonably intuitive but the two-tier menu system did throw me off at first, and the fact that the exit button also allows you to enter the OSD is somewhat contradictory. Nevertheless, the range of settings is very comprehensive covering everything from brightness and contrast, picture position, and sharpness, all the way to image zoom expansion, video priority detection (for more than one PC connection), and OSD position/rotation.
The 1980FXi also comes with a very comprehensive set of colour controls. These include six colour temperatures as well as an sRGB and an original native colour mode that cannot be adjusted. A programmable option is also available for storing those custom settings you may make using the GammaComp function. Furthermore, you can individually adjust the red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, and magenta colour channels. Even the saturation can be modified. Remember, however, that the pixel clock, auto-contrast, auto-adjust, and fine focus options only become available over an analogue connection.
As is typical with most NEC monitors, you can use the company’s NaviSet software on the driver CD to adjust the screen parameters using a mouse or keyboard. For network environments, NaViSet Administrator is also available on request, and includes asset management and network-wide monitor adjustment capabilities.
So how much for all of this? Well, at just over £430 at the time of writing you could argue that the 1980FXi is expensive for a 19in monitor, but if you want an all round performer for any professional environment its money reasonably well spent.
Despite NEC marketing the MultiSync LCD1980FXi at businesses, its top of the line panel, excellent performance, complete stand adjustability, comprehensive picture control and all the video ports you’ll need, it’s going to find buyers from all walks of life. A tad pricey now, but I’m sure that'll drop over time.