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NEC MultiSync LCD24WMGX3 24in Monitor review

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8

Back in June I reviewed the NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in monitor and was, quite simply blown away by how good it was. Even now I still miss having that screen on my desk - there really is no better 30in display out there, although you'll have to dig pretty deep to afford one. And that's pretty much the story with NEC monitors - they're generally very impressive bits of kit, but they don't come cheap. It's therefore no surprise that the monitor I'm looking at today, the NEC MultiSync LCD24WMGX3, follows the same formula.

As its name suggests the LCD24WMGX3 is a 24in display, but unlike the LCD3090WQXi before it, this screen is aimed at the gaming and entertainment market, rather than appealing to professional image editors and photographers. As such, the LCD24WMGX3 looks very different from its 30in and 26in cousins, not necessarily better or worse, but different. The most obvious difference is the piano black, glossy bezel, which instantly labels this screen as a consumer display rather than a business one. The other big difference is the design of the stand, and it's here that the LCD24WMGX3 disappoints slightly.

Whereas NEC usually equips its monitors with every adjustment feature under the sun, the stand on this 24in model is somewhat limited. On the plus side it does have height adjustment, but not the gas dampened, vertical movement that I've come to expect from NEC. Instead this stand uses a double hinged design, which means that when you lower the screen it gets physically closer to you, while the reverse is true when you raise the screen. This isn't a major issue, since you generally don't mess around with the height of your screen too often.

What is more of an issue is how stiff both the height adjustment and screen tilt hinges are, which makes it difficult to make delicate adjustments to either. Add to that the fact that there is no pivot function, thus ruling out a portrait mode, and it's clear that NEC has compromised on the LCD24WMGX3's stand.

The good news is that the stand is about the only aspect of the LCD24WMGX3 that's disappointing, which is why I thought I'd get it out of the way early on. When it comes to connection options for instance, NEC has pretty much all the bases covered. Digital connections are well catered for with on HDCP compliant DVI port along with two HDMI ports. You also get a set of component video inputs, D-SUB, S-Video and composite. There's also a plethora of audio connections, since the LCD24WMGX3 has built-in speakers.

Mikael

June 24, 2009, 2:48 am

LCD is crappy technology really. TN flat out sucks, but *VA and IPS screens aren't without serious flaws either. But we must all have something to use while we wait for the glorious OLEDs, so what should you go for?





Alternative one is to get a cheap TN. That way, at least you won't waste a lot of money.





Alternative two is to pay a lot more for a screen based on "quality" LCD technology. Most of the time that means IPS or PVA. But the more rare MVA as used in the reviewed screen fits the bill too. Now "quality" is a relative term here. Don't expect any LCD screen to be truly good, no matter what you pay for it. But you will at least get something better than TN, which honestly doesn't say all that much!





The LCD24WMGX3 has the following strengths:





+ Sharp and readable text, without annoying color fringes. Very RARE even among "quality" screens!


+ It has no color gradients from left to right, something which plagues A LOT of monitors these days...


+ Reasonably good viewing angles (but with a hint of the traditional *VA gamma shift).


+ Standard Gamut. (A wider color space sure looks "more awesome", but brings a host of problems.)


+ Reasonably good black level, with no backlight leakage.


+ Fast input lag, with a "Thru Mode" that makes it even faster.


+ A lot of connectors, including analog TV signals.





It also has the following weaknesses:





- Colors 1-4 are undistinguishable from black, and 253-255 are very close to white. Even properly calibrated.


- Panel response time is only borderline acceptable. There is a very noticable smear in some situations.


- Speakers are pretty good for a monitor, which unfortunately still means they are total crap!





All in all, this is a decent screen for those who read a lot of text, and play a few games or watch some movies now and then. Since even "decent" screens are few and far between in LCD land, this means it's quite a catch! Get it soon, because NEC has pulled the model very recently. When the retailers are out of stock, they're gone. This is apparently because the screen is expensive to make, and too few people want to pay what this quality level costs to make it worthwhile.





I bought it, and I'm perfectly "happy" with it. Of course, "Happy" in the context of LCD screens only means I don't feel like plucking my eyeballs out when I use it. But since that seems to be too much to ask for with all other screens screens on the market, this one is a gem!





Recommended. At least until OLED arrives...

gdawg304

July 1, 2009, 5:13 pm

Well it looks like NEC have discontinued this...which leaves the 24" monitor choice down to the HP LP2475w or the Dell 2408....when are there going to be some LED backlit MVA/IPS screens?!

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