It’s been some time since Dell released its first 24in display, which broke new ground for being a 24in screen that was actually affordable and established 1,920 x 1,200 as a resolution to be aspired to. NEC is rather late to the 24in party and so has decided to go a little better and release a 26in display. It has a 24in unit too but the LCD2690WUXi is certainly the daddy, stuffed with almost every bit of technology that NEC could throw at it.
I attended a launch event for this display way back in October so it’s been a long wait for this unit to actually get to our offices. Anyone hoping that the move to a 26in size brings with it the super high 2,560 x 1,600 resolution offered by Dell’s 30incher will be disappointed - this is still 1,920 x 1,200. However, a few minutes in front of this unit and you can’t fail to be impressed. Other specs of note are a claimed 800: 1 contrast ratio and 400cd/m2 of brightness. There are two DVI sockets on the rear and one D-Sub – and you can connect to all three of them at once and switch between them – a technology that NEC calls Ambix3. Both DVI’s are HDCP compliant, though for some reason this is turned off by default so you have to go into the OSD to turn it on. You won’t find component, S-Video or composite connections though, which will reduce the displays appeal to the well-heeled console gamer. The cables at the rear can be run up the stand via clips and hidden by a rather basic cover.
The LCD2690WUX makes quite an impression when you take it out of the box, (which incidentally contains both VGA and DVI cables, - good to see.) The monitor is very large. A 26in display is never going to be a shrinking violet when placed on the desk, but it’s the depth of the display that really surprises - much deeper than a Dell 2407. However, the bezel is relatively thin, which is what you’ll be looking at most of the time.
Rather than having the OSD buttons located in the centre, NEC’s 90 series places them at the bottom right. The control system is simple - two rocker switches for up/down and one for right/left and what these do appears on the screen in the corner as you press them and there’s a single button to make a selection. I found it to be one of the best OSD I’ve used. By default only a basic list of options is available. To get to the rest you need to hold down the power button and the input button and then a control button.
The dark colouring and angular curves are smart and business-like, which is just the market that this is being aimed at. The stand isn’t as overtly designer as even the Dell 24 and 30in monitors let alone Apple screens, but it looks good and is fairly sturdy. Height adjustment is present and correct and it goes really high – perfect for showing off that design or drawing to colleagues. What it surprisingly doesn’t have is a rotating stand – which seems like a strange omission on something that’s likely to be in a design or information sharing environment. On the upside the advanced -IPS A-TW Pol. (Horizontal IPS with Advanced True Wide Polarizer) technology used in this panel ensures that the you can still see the image from right out to the sides, with almost no colour shift.