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NEC MultiSync EX231W review

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Our Score:

8

If there was ever proof that technology convergence isn’t always a good thing, computer monitors are a case in point. Not long ago, the next step up above a resolution of 1,680 x 1,050 was 1,920 x 1,200. However, the 16:9 aspect ratio used by TVs is now to be found on many monitors too. This is attractive to panel manufacturers as more can be produced at the factory from a single sheet of glass and the lower costs do mean monitor prices have come down - however, we still hanker after those missing 120 pixels.

The NEC Multisync EX231W is a typical example. Nominally, this is a business-focused screen, but its 23in display indeed offers a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. We happened to have one of our favourite monitors, the Dell UltraSharp 2410, on the desk next to the NEC, and the difference in a Word document opened at 100 per cent equates to over a paragraph; we know which we prefer.

This aside, the MultiSync EX231W is nevertheless an impressive monitor - as you would expect from a manufacturer such as NEC, which has consistently impressed us with its efforts in the past, such as the MultiSync EA231WMi.

The MultiSync EX231W is slightly more affordable that the EA231WMi, but then it should be, as this is a TN rather than an IPS screen and has fewer options in terms of connectivity.

The EX231W impressed immediately when we took it out of the box. For a start, it's slender and lightweight. That’s not to say the construction is flimsy, but we appreciated being able to place it so easily onto the desk. Its svelteness comes from the fact that it is LED backlit, negating the need for bulkier CCFL bulbs, and it uses an external power supply, so only a thin power cable has to be plugged into the rear.

NEC is also a fan of the thin bezel, and the EX231W is a prime example. The thinner bezel has practical benefits if you wish to put multiple monitors close together, and even with just the one display in front of you, it’s easier on the eyes. The stand offers both height adjustment and rotation, so if you want to work on a document in portrait mode you can. It can easily be manipulated with one hand and movement is firm and assured.

Unfortunately, there’s no software to rotate the OS automatically, but it’s easy enough to do in Windows 7. The OSD cannot be turned with it though, so you’ll have to rotate back if you want to change settings.

public:tr:72a694d54fcfe2d41c3e

January 4, 2011, 3:51 pm

That thing looks really svelte, especially with the thin bezel. It's a shame it's just another 1920x1080 monitor though, I could really do with a 24" version to justify the jump from my 16:10 22".

Chocoa

January 4, 2011, 10:04 pm

Quote first page title: "NEC MultiSync EX231W - 23in monitor review Review"





Hmmm new venture for TR then? - Reviewing reviews :P

TrustedPhrontis

January 6, 2011, 12:42 am

"- however, we still hanker over that missing 120 pixels"


That statement sums up the thing thats wrong with monitors these days. Full HD is no use for real computer work, those extra 120 pixels make a huge difference. In fact for 23/24" monitors the resolution should be 1920 * 1440 the good old 4 * 3 resolution. Almost all computer type work needs the vertical resolution (but not a portrait monitor). I am using a 24" 1920 * 1200 and 21" 1600 * 1200 which works fine but sometimes I really wish the 24" was a 4x3.


Trusted Reviews and the computer press need to campaign to stop Full HD being used for serious computers.





Phrontis

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