A unique feature of this screen is the OSD controls. Rather than regular buttons it features a touch sensitive strip, which you slide your finger along to move between options. To confirm a selection you tap near the centre. It takes a little getting used to but it works well, though I wished when you scrolled to the right and got to the end it wrapped around to the left. Also, with no direct buttons, it’s a bit of a faff to get to things you might access regularly.
Inside the OSD you’ll find a large amount of options to choose from. There are several preset picture modes, Picture, Movie, sRGB, Text and a custom mode. There’s a Standard mode when hooked up via HDMI.
Other options you’ll find are the ability to adjust bass and treble from the headphone output, something I’ve never seen on a monitor. There’s a monitor settings option, where thankfully you can turn off the annoying beep that’s on by default. You’ll also find an Auto Brightness setting, which will adjust the brightness levels automatically depending on ambient conditions. You can also turn Picture in Picture on and alter the translucency.
Once out of the box I didn’t take long to start testing the screen and it was notable that the first thing I hooked it up to was a PlayStation 3, rather than a PC. Pleasingly, the Full 16: 9 mode over HDMI worked as advertised, with black bars at the top and bottom, maintaining the aspect ratio of the 1,920 x 1,080 input. The picture quality was immediately notable for its bright, clean and vibrant colours. I had no concerns over the speed of the panel, with no appreciable lag spoiling the fun. There was plenty of detail in the darker areas but if it’s a problem you can delve into the menu to discover a gamma setting, so you can raised it from the default 2.2 to 2.0 and there’s a 1.8 setting for Macs too.
I then plugged in an HD DVD player and was treated to the delights of Superman Returns in HD. Words that sprang to mind when viewing were dramatic, bold, solid, natural and unfussy. The level of detail was tremendous with the sharpness of the image really coming to the fore. Skin tones were natural, while the colours were true. They weren’t quite as vivid as say, a decent plasma, but they were still vivid, and this is a different viewing experience. This means that Eizo doesn’t have to rely on a high gloss coating, which normally boosts these things, but can make the picture look overly reflective.