NEC has long been a major player in the LCD screen market, and during that time it has built up a well founded reputation for quality displays. NEC tends to target its products at the corporate market rather than the consumer, and both the design and the price reflect this.
But letâ€™s not get ahead of ourselves. The MultiSync LCD 2080UX+ is a 20.1in screen with a native resolution of 1,600 x 1,200. The design is not as stylish as the ViewSonic or the Samsung, but it is functional. That said, aesthetics are a very personal thing, and there are no doubt many people reading this that find the NEC design very appealing. The overall theme of the 2080UX+ is very angular, and no effort has been made to soften the lines. The screen itself also looks thicker than some of the others on test, especially in profile.
Like the Samsung and the ViewSonic, the NEC screen is mounted in a central column, although itâ€™s a wide, flat column as opposed to a rounded one. The column allows for a good range of vertical movement, although the action isnâ€™t as smooth as the ViewSonic. Because of the shape of the centre column, the screen canâ€™t be panned from side to side on it, and instead there is a swivel pad in the base to allow for panning. This solution has its good and bad points â€“ on the good side it means that the screen can pan around 360 degrees, but on the bad side, it means that you need to have enough room around the base to allow for the movement. You can also pivot the screen into portrait mode, which is particularly useful for editing or reading long documents.
The 2080UX+ is TCOâ€™03 compliant, which goes some way to explain its unusual colouring. The bezel is silver, which is acceptable for TCOâ€™03, but the rest of the monitor is beige, which is also fine for TCOâ€™03 accreditation, so there is really no need for a two-tone colour scheme. Of course this could just be a design feature, and it doesnâ€™t spoil the overall effect, so weâ€™re willing to accept it as that.
The controls are comprehensive, and youâ€™ll find eight buttons adorning the front fascia. There's a power button, a Reset button, a Select button which also switches between inputs, two pairs of adjuster buttons and an Exit button. In a strange kind of button contradiction, pressing the Exit button will actually take you into the OSD, but it is also used to exit once youâ€™re in the OSD. Navigating the OSD isnâ€™t the simplest procedure, but we have seen far worse.
At the rear youâ€™ll discover that the NEC is the best equipped screen on test when it comes to connectivity options. Not only does it have a D-SUB and a DVI-D connector, but it also has a DVI-I connector as well. This makes it a good solution for anyone with multiple PCs that they want to connect to a single screen. The dedicated input select button also makes it quick and easy to switch between multiple computers.