My first impressions of the 3090WQXi, after removing it from its huge box and setting it up on my desk, were pure astonishment. Without even the slightest hint of tweaking or calibration, the picture quality on this NEC is superb, and eclipses every other 30in monitor I have seen. That was just initial visual impact though, and further familiarity with this display just reinforced my first impression of this screen.
The image produced by the 3090WQXi has a warm, lifelike feel to it, that’s missing from so many LCD displays. Anyone who’s used an LED backlight monitor will understand what I’m talking about here – it’s almost as if the image you’re looking at is physically real, rather than made up of pixels. The overall effect is hard to describe, but despite its huge size, looking at this monitor for hours on end is gentler on the eye than many smaller displays.
Despite the 3090WQXi not falling under NEC’s SpectraView brand, the colour accuracy on this screen is superb – NEC quotes a wide colour gamut of 97.8 per cent of the AdobeRGB colour space. The viewing angles are also exemplary, with pretty much zero contrast or colour shift, no matter how acute the angle – the claimed viewing angle is 178 degrees, and I wouldn’t argue with that figure. This makes the 3090WQXi ideally suited to dual 30in display setups, where the user can’t help but be viewing parts of the screens off plane, due to their sheer size.
NEC has equipped the 3090WQXi with an -S-IPS panel, which, in theory at least, should produce better image quality than an S- PVA panel, especially when being viewed from an angle. However, the Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC sported an S-IPS panel, and the Samsung SyncMaster 305t pretty much ran rings around it image quality wise, despite featuring a S-PVA panel. But that just proves that panel technology isn’t the be all and end all, and it’s as much to do with how a manufacturer implements that panel. So, while some manufacturers use In Plane Switching panels as a marketing tool, NEC has used the technology with image quality firmly in mind, resulting in the best 30in display I’ve ever seen.
Launching DisplayMate just confirmed my initial impressions, with the 3090WQXi nailing each and every test without breaking a sweat. The Dark Screen test showed a completely uniform black image, without the slightest hint of backlight bleed from any of the edges. There’s no compression evident at either the high or low intensity ends of the spectrum, while the 3090WQXi produces convincingly uniform intensity transitions, with no banding whatsoever. The Colour Purity test showed completely solid and uniform colour across the whole screen surface, while many monitors exhibit dark patches. Likewise, the NEC gave an exemplary account of itself in the Colour Scales test, with every single bar fading uniformly and dropping off on the final block. There was also no evidence of colour in the greyscale tests – another area where even good monitors often stumble.