NEC MultiSync EA231WMi review

5 Jan 2011

A quality IPS panel, a flexible stand and good image quality aren`t quite enough to topple the opposition

NEC MultiSync EA231WMi
Price when reviewed: 
312(£312 inc VAT)
4

The MultiSync EA231WMi cuts a dash with its combination of off-white and silvery grey. It's practical too, thanks to a sturdy, adjustable stand.

That stand rises, swivels and rotates, and its light action allows it to be adjusted with one hand. A cable tidy in the centre keeps cables hidden, too, which is just as well considering the range of ports on offer.

The EA231WMi has D-SUB, DVI, DisplayPort and 3.5mm audio inputs, plus a four-port USB hub, with two ports tucked away at the back and two on the left next to a headphone output. NEC also throws in a pair of internal speakers, but given the distorted quality, they're best kept for emergencies.

In addition to all those features, NEC has found room for a high-quality 23in, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS panel. Out of the box it makes a striking impression, with deep blacks, wide viewing angles and vibrant colours. Apart from a slight glow along the panel's left-hand edge, the backlighting is as even and leak-free as you could hope for.

NEC MultiSync EA231WMi

Where the NEC falls behind some of its rivals is in colour accuracy. In its default setting the EA231WMi achieved an average Delta E of 3.5, peaking at a maximum of 6.5. This was noticeable in our test images and Blu-ray movies, with a very slight yellow cast leaving skintones looking less lifelike and realistic than we'd have liked.

Switching to the 6,500k/sRGB preset didn't help, with the EA231WMi returning almost identical figures to the default settings. Gamma remained well over the ideal of 2.2, measuring 2.6 in both modes, although a colour temperature reading of 6,446k was nigh-on perfect.

The slightly wayward colour accuracy combined with a high price puts the NEC at a distinct disadvantage. And when its main rival, the ViewSonic VP2365wb, undercuts it on price, it's hard to recommend.

Details

Price ex VAT £266
Price inc VAT £312
Overall rating 4
Image quality 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 3

Main specifications

Screen size 23.0in
Aspect ratio 16:9
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Screen brightness 300cd/m2
Pixel response time 14ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Pixel pitch 0.265mm
Horizontal viewing angle 178 degrees
Vertical viewing angle 178 degrees
Speaker type 2
TV tuner no
TV tuner type N/A

Connections

DVI inputs 1
VGA inputs 1
HDMI inputs 0
DisplayPort inputs 1
Scart inputs 0
HDCP support yes
Upstream USB ports 1
USB ports (downstream) 4
3.5mm audio input jacks 1
Headphone output yes

Accessories supplied

Other cables supplied VGA
Internal power supply yes

Power consumption

Peak power consumption 43W
Idle power consumption 1W

Image adjustments

Brightness control? yes
Contrast control? yes
Colour temperature settings 9,300k, 8,200k, 7,500k, 6,500k/sRGB, 5000k, Native
Extra adjustments Dynamic contrast, volume

Ergonomics

Forward tilt angle 5 degrees
Backward tilt angle 35 degrees
Swivel angle 340 degrees
Height adjustment 110mm
Pivot (portrait) mode? yes
Bezel width 19mm

Dimensions

Dimensions 550 x 220 x 379mm (WDH)
Weight 8.100kg