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Back in April I took a good look at NEC's impressive 26in widescreen display - I could hardly miss it actually - seeing as it was a very large affair offering a bright and sharp picture at a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200. NEC monitors tend to be more expensive than most of its competitors, but earn the right to be so thanks to above average image quality. It concentrates on specialist markets such as Public Displays, Medical and high end photographic markets so feels no need to hop on the mainstream bandwagon. As such this is actually its first 24in display that NEC has released and based on our positive experiences of its previous screens, expectations are high. This 24in display is part of its MultiSync range aimed at corporate and SME's, which as we'll see later, does have an impact on what the screen can do.
Out of the box, the NEC is immediately notable for how thick the display is, compared to most other monitors its size. It's almost as deep as old short neck CRTs. If you're looking for something slim and light to look impressive on your desk, this isn't it. However, it won't be an issue once it's sitting on your desk and as an indicator of how much technology is inside, it bodes well. The NEC comes out of the box in one go, so you won't have to spend time setting it up. The stand is covered with a cowling that slides upwards and off to reveal clips for cable management should you wish to keep things as tidy as possible.
The display can tilt forward 25 degrees and back five degrees on the stand and also has full height adjustments, so you can raise it up quite high. Once up there you can easily tilt it on its side. Viewing a document and web pages this way is very handy for seeing a web design or in a pre press environment. The stand also goes quite low so you can have it close to the desk and tilting upwards, in a similar way to the Eizo HD2441W. The monitor sits on a circular base, so rather than a mechanism you just turn the whole thing round to make it swivel.
The bezel is actually quite large, and tapers inwards toward the panel. The OSD buttons sit beneath the bezel in the centre and uses NEC joystick, which has an expensive feel to it. It work well: press menu and then navigate via the joystick. You can manually adjust brightness and contrast and move between five image presets - Standard, Text, Movie, Gaming and Photo. You can quickly switch between them by pressing one of the buttons on the front. By default it switches to Standard, which I found to be way too bright for use in the office, unless you happen to work wearing sun glasses. This more that justifies the claimed 500cd/m2 figure and would explain the size of the screen - the lamps inside must be larger than average. So if your work requires a very bright screen, this NEC delivers. I however, found the more mutes text mode far more comfortable to work with.