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NEC MultiSync EA231WMi - 23in Monitor review

Andy Vandervell

By

Reviewed:

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NEC MultiSync EA231WMi - 23in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync EA231WMi - 23in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync EA231WMi - 23in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync EA231WMi - 23in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync EA231WMi - 23in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync EA231WMi - 23in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync EA231WMi - 23in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync EA231WMi - 23in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync EA231WMi - 23in Monitor
  • MultiSync EA231WMi 58.4 cm 23" LCD Monitor 1920 x 1080 - 16:9 - 14 ms - 0.265 mm - 1000:1 - Black

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Outstanding picture quality
  • Sturdy monitor
  • Good value

Cons

  • Small and cluttered on-screen display
  • Ordinary aesthetic design
  • No HDMI

Key Features

  • 1080p (FullHD)
  • 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution
  • 23-inch
  • 270cd/m2 brightness
  • DVI-D, VGA, DisplayPort
  • Manufacturer: NEC Display Solutions
  • Review Price: £294.00

NEC is one of our favourite monitor manufacturers. That's partly because, much like Eizo (see: Eizo Foris FX2431), it doesn't deal too often in mediocrity. Neither, for that matter, does it dabble much in consumer displays. Its last effort we saw was the ambitious MultiSync LCD24WMGX3, which for all its daring failed to capture the imaginations of consumers and has since been discontinued. Today's specimen, the MultiSync EA231WMi, isn't a consumer display, but its Full HD, 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution, 23in IPS panel and reasonable asking price make it a monitor plenty of people will be keen on.

Okay, so "reasonable asking price" might be stretching things a mite. After all, £300 for a 23in monitor is hardly what one would term a bargain. Or, at least, it's not compared to the massive collection of 22 and 23in displays going for a song around the £150 mark. Ultimately, though, the EA231WMi has far more in common with more expensive 24in monitors like the Dell UltraSharp U2410 and HP LP2475w thanks to its high-quality panel, making this a good value option for anyone who wants that kind of image quality but without some of the more expensive extras.

Not that the NEC lacks some of those extras. Its focus on business users means it has a wealth of adjustability; tilt, swivel, height and pivot are all on hand and there's a VESA mount as well. All these functions are well designed, too. Mechanisms are smooth yet stable and there's a large handle at the back that makes it easy to lift and adjust the monitor.

Our enthusiasm for this design is only tempered by the slightly ordinary aesthetic design, particularly of our silver and white version, though a black version is also available that'll probably see more action. Aside from our indifference to the colour scheme, though, the demur design is much as you'd expect and the slim bezel is one particularly pleasing aspect.

It's connectivity where the NEC begins to deviate from more expensive 24in displays. VGA, DVI and DisplayPort cover most bases and NEC throws in a four-port USB hub (two rear-mounted, two side-mounted), audio input and a headphone jack for good measure, but HDMI is conspicuous by its absence.

You can forget about using adapters, too, since such devices can only connect a DisplayPort source to an HDMI monitor, not the other way around. This will be a blow to anyone thinking of connecting a PS3 or other HDMI device (it can be done via DVI sans any sound), but it's completely understandable omission given the display's stated purpose and the license fee HDMI commands.

PoisonJam

February 25, 2010, 3:24 pm

With Dell's 2209WA IPS now well above the £200 (closer to £300 from most web stores) this seems like great value to me. The 2209WA monitor started at around the £200 mark but is now well over £300 on Dell's own website! I was going to get 2 but then the price shot up. With this NEC's higher res it is a clear-cut choice for me now...

Malderon

February 25, 2010, 4:20 pm

Thanks for getting this in guys, ive mentioned it in the comments of some comparable monitors and great to finally see a review. I definitely think after reading this it will be my next monitor.

Caleb9ce

February 25, 2010, 9:48 pm

@PoisonJam





Dell 2209WA is fairly easily available for around £220 from resellers.





By the way, TR should really start testing input lag. Response time on its own gives no real indication of how quick or slow a monitor is when gaming.

betelgeus

February 25, 2010, 9:55 pm

dont kanex make an adapter that works for ps3 etc.?

PoisonJam

February 25, 2010, 10:14 pm

@Caleb - I did say MOST online stores ;)





PCBuyIt and Scan have it in silver only for around £230 inc delivery. Can get this NEC for £290 in black (my preferred colour) for £290 inc. del from PCBuyIt. The £300+ price on Dell's site is ridiculous considering this was launched at £200.

Ahlan

February 26, 2010, 10:54 pm

@Caleb,





i work as graphic designer, and i own a NEC but not this model and also own Eizo, this monitor is way better than any Dell monitor, This NEC monitor has Wider color gamut produces remarkable coverage of the Adobe RGB color space and also a 10-bit.





and i don't think this monitor is for games.

Xiphias

February 27, 2010, 5:36 am

@Ahlan: You can hardly compare a higher end model with a lower end one. Even if you have a 2690WUXi and not one of the higher end screens it still cost you over a thousand pounds, Dell don't do any similar resolutions costing more than half that.





As for gaming, it may not be designed for it but as there aren't any gaming monitors designed for the likes of Napoleon: Total War it is one of the best choices.

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