As with the 22in, I felt that there was a lack of detail in dark areas despite the quoted 1,000:1 contrast ratio. The colours were adequate but they hardly jump off the screen and had a slightly lacklustre quality to them, though they are far more accurate than some of the worse screens we’ve seen.
A highlight of the screen is relatively smooth motion from video with the quoted 5ms response time actually seeming to have some weight behind it, unlike so many of its competitors. However, just as with the images, the black levels are not exactly awe inspiring.
In gaming this is less important, which means that this actually makes for quite a decent gaming display, with the smooth motion making this pleasant to play on. Again though, there’s no real boldness to the image and a larger screen would be preferable.
The image quality then is a little like the design, quite adequate but not awe inspiring. For general office use, be it office documents, online videos and presentations, this screen will do a decent job, without setting hearts a flutter. However, its uneven viewing angles and its limited features even when sitting in front of it, mean it won’t be winning any awards. In a sense NEC is a victim of its own success here, as we know first hand that it can make some really great screens.
However, what really put the nail in the LCD205WXM’s coffin is that it’s actually more expensive than NEC’s 22in LCD225WXM. Unless your company insists on standardising on 20in screens or you have a specific size requirement, there’s really no reason to buy this 20in screen at all.
A very average screen in terms of design and image quality, the NEC Multisync LCD205WXM is actually more expensive than NEC’s own 22in version and much more so than the rest of the competition. Thus, if you want to standardise on 20in screens in an office environment then it will do the job, but otherwise it’s a disappointment for the price.
Score in detail
Image Quality 6