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The 1:1 pixel mapping feature is always of interest to us as it could mean a great solution for connecting up consoles such as a PlayStation 3. As Hugo insists on leaving his in the office it was only fair that we hooked up the NEC to it. Playing the 1080p Ninja Gaiden we found the 1:1 pixel mapping worked perfectly, giving us black bars at the top and bottom but not as the sides. However, we found something very peculiar when trying to play a Casino Royale on Blu-ray disc - it wouldn't work - the screen would just go black. This made us suspect that perhaps the NEC was actually HDCP compliant, but this was proved not to be the case when we hooked it up to a HD DVD HD-XE1, and played two HD DVD discs without any issues. I have to admit that we were therefore all baffled by this, but that what happened. Technology, dontcha just love it. Another minor issue is that that the monitor powered itself off a couple of times when we were switching cables and wouldn't turn on if the DVI port was plugged in first.
This screen then isn't quite perfect for console gamers but if you were to fire up a PC game, you'd find a very capable screen, as a session of Counter-Strike emphatically proved. However, there was tearing that I was used to, which would hint at the 16ms frame rate having some impact.
However, we don't think that many gamers will be buying this monitor, which at over £523, (the cheapest I could find it by far), is far more expensive than our current favourite, the better featured BenQ FP241W.
For business use though, this is a truly excellent 24in display. It will look good on the desk, despite its chunky side profile and is sharp, bright backlight and very accurate colours will ensure many happy hours of Excel spreadsheet work, power point presentations and Photoshop work.
NEC monitors may be thick from the side, but they're certainly not stupid. NEC delivers another master class in vibrancy, colour accuracy and viewing angles, making this a fine choice for office or photographic work. Grumbles such as its lack of HDMI or component, and some minor other issues, mean it's not ideal for the gamer, though the price would probably be enough to put them off.
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