Unfortunately, the basic looking OSD doesn’t match up in terms of look and feel, but it gets the job done. The range of options is limited to Brightness, Contrast, and the choice between colour temperatures, 9,300K, 7300K, sRGB and a user mode, where you can adjust the Red, Green, and Blue separately, giving you the opportunity to really mess up the picture should you not know what you’re doing – most will stick to the sRGB setting. The Tools menu just consists of options such as turning the OSD off, and even turning DDC off – the Display Data Channel that tells the graphics card what the monitor can do, though I’m not sure why you would want to do this.
Connectivity is, unsurprisingly, straightforward – you get DVI and D-Sub but no other video inputs. There are speakers however, that deliver no more than a passable audio performance, though they win points for being there and invisibly too, pointing downwards underneath the bezel as they do. There’s also VESA standard mounting screws and a security slot, should you wish to keep them attached to your desk and not in someone’s swag bag.
DisplayMate is a tough test for any screen and is designed to pick out flaws that casual observation might not notice. So, naturally enough, I fired it up on the NEC. Immediately I noticed an unwanted green tinge to the bottom of the screen, and next its inability to show subtle levels of gradations at both the light and the dark ends of the scale, with the last few levels mixing into each other instead of being clearly delineated.
In the main though colours are quite strong and pleasing to the eye, while the low degree of banding is a plus. There’s no high contrast coating to really boost colour and contrast, but when you’re sitting in front of a display all day at work, a reflective screen could get distracting. In the text test, the NEC did well down to 7.5 point, but the 6.8 point text was not really readable simply down to the size of the screen.
Looking at photos I immediately noted one of the main problems with the LCD205WXM – the problematic viewing angles, with colours appearing off at the top of the screen compared to the top, even when the screen was right on front of me. You really need to use that tilt feature and position the screen optimally in front of you. Then again, this is pretty much par for the course with a TN based panel as this is.