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22in CRT Monitor Head 2 Head

Upon first impressions, the Iiyama looked very punchy with especially strong blacks thanks to what looks like a darker screen coating. This made text look prominent, but not necessarily sharp. In fact, both monitors looked slightly soft in focus despite the properties of the U-NX gun. This really showed up when evaluating text with a font size smaller than 9pt where the edges looked quite fuzzy. That said, if I had to say which I’d prefer to edit text on, it would be the NEC as its colour convergence, both horizontally and vertically, could be set with more finesse, and text isn’t so harsh.

Sticking with the ‘which I would prefer to work on’ approach the tables are somewhat turned when more emphasis is placed on image editing. With that black screen coating and some excellent vibrancy and purity results, the Iiyama becomes my favoured choice, even when the OPQ setting is set to ‘text’. In fact, skin tones looked a little more realistic on this monitor.

The only way I can describe the difference between these two units, as I see it anyway, is to describe the picture quality of the NEC as matt and the Iiyama as a little more glossy. However, remember those high brightness modes? Well, bumping the NEC-Mitsubishi up to the next level more or less brings its image performance in line with that of the Iiyama. In other words, the NEC-Mitsubishi can offers you the best of both worlds.

Geometrically, I couldn’t really fault either monitor. I had no problem setting up a reasonably square and equally balanced picture. There was some evidence of a little corner hooking at the top of both screens but at least this could be minimised in the NEC-Mitsubishi with the corner correction control that the Iiyama lacks.

Likewise, colour performance is commendable in both units with colour scales and greyscales showing smooth graduations, and even steps from light to dark. Power regulation was equally good on both units as well, and although not perfect, still very solid for screens of this size.

It’s not a great surprise that both these units exhibit fine image quality, after all, they are both top of the range display products. And although the NEC does edge ahead of the Iiyama in the image quality stakes, it also costs that bit more.


Verdict

Although based on the same high brightness CRT offering two enhanced levels of brightness, the Diamond Pro 2070SB and Vision Master Pro 514 do have some key differences. Ultimately, which monitor is best comes down to a matter of personal preference, the type of work you do and budget. If you want the cheaper, multimedia option with a funky stand then go for the Iiyama. If a little more refinement, say for CAD/CAM work is needed and you’re after a more intuitive OSD, then it’s worth spending a bit more on the NEC-Mitsubishi. With all this in mind, it’s impossible to pronounce a winner, and this head to head must be declared a draw.

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