At this price one expects pretty stellar performance and the FX2431 duly delivers. Out of the box it comes well calibrated, so very little tuning is required to get it looking good - we merely tweaked contrast down from 50 to 45 and set the colour temperature to 6,500K. It put in a near flawless performance in our testing, producing smooth gradients, well graduated grey tones and striking but accurate colours. Backlight bleed is more or less non-existent, resulting in a pleasingly uniform picture across the whole panel. Text production is also razor sharp, with no discernable rainbow artefacts around characters.
This performance is borne out in all kinds of scenarios. Photos look crisp and vibrant, while games also benefit from the vivid palette and inky blacks. As with any LCD based display there is some motion blur, but it's kept to an acceptable minimum at all times. Viewing angles are also excellent, with some minor (and unavoidable) contrast loss, but little in the way of colour shift.
In terms of sheer wow factor, though, it's really high definition video that benefits the most. Given this monitor costs as much as many a large format TV it's just as well, but the Full HD capable resolution, superb quality panel and 1080p/24Hz processing means the FX2431 can easily match expensive LCD TVs in terms HD video fidelity. Small details are brought out with great alacrity, while even the dimmest lit scene is produced with plenty of detail. It's an impressive effort.
Yet, is it an effort worth paying nigh-on £900 for? However good it is, it's hard to make a persuasive argument to call the FX2431 good value for money. You certainly get what you pay for in terms of quality, but at this price one is really looking for perfection and it doesn't quite deliver that - the lack of an optical audio output alone will put the frighteners on the kind of people willing to spend this kind of money. Moreover, unless you must have the kind of features this display offers, the likes of the HP LP2475w and NEC Multisync LCD24WMGX3 (while it's still available) offer comparable performance and no shortage of features for a fraction of the price.
Nonetheless, assuming you've got the money to spare and the need for such a versatile monitor, the FX2431 is outstanding and with Eizo you're unlikely to suffer the kind of panel lottery sometimes experienced with more mainstream manufacturers. You also benefit from a lengthy five year warranty, which is a reassuring feature when you're spending this much money.
There's no denying the quality of the Eizo Foris FX2431; its image quality is exceptional and it has a wealth of useful features to exploit, allowing you to get the best from any source. It's just the price and the lack of an optical audio output that grate, making this a very impressive but also slightly flawed proposition.