NEC MultiSync EA232WMi review
NEC combines LED–backlighting with a high-quality IPS panel, but the EA232WMi ultimately fails to impress
Review Date: 10 Mar 2011
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £214 (£257 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
NEC’s MultiSync EA232WMi takes the 23in Full-HD panel of its predecessor, the EA231WMi, and adds LED backlighting to the formula.
Otherwise, though, the EA232WMi remains the same as ever. It has a big, beefy stand that smoothly moves up and down by 110mm and allows the screen to swivel around into portrait mode. Even at full extension, it feels stable and planted to the desk.
It has DVI, D-SUB and DisplayPort inputs, a four-port USB hub and a 3.5mm audio input for the 1W stereo speakers, but no HDMI. The built-in speakers are awful, managing to reduce CD-quality music to the kind of low-quality din you’d expect from the worst laptop speakers. Thankfully, the headphone socket on the monitor’s left-hand corner is within easy reach.
Power on the EA232WMi and the first thing you’ll notice is it has its automatic brightness sensor switched on by default. It’s easily disabled, but it’s a neat power saving feature nonetheless: turn off the lights and the brightness slowly drops down from the eye-searing maximum of 280cd/m2 right down to 6cd/m2. Power consumption also drops from 34W to 12W in the process.
Indeed, the main benefit of the change from CCFL to LED backlighting is power consumption: after calibrating the screen to a brightness of 120cd/m2, the EA232WMi drew 19W from the mains – 5W lower than the EA231WMi.
Disappointingly, though, the LED-backlight does nothing to improve image quality. On a black screen, a noticeable glow frames the edges of the screen, and the backlight leaks in from the bottom corners. We happened to have three identical monitors in for a multi-monitor PC setup, and we noted variation in backlight quality between each. One exhibited particularly uneven backlighting and poor black levels, and contrast suffered as a result. Two of the three delivered a measured contrast ratio of 900:1; the other barely achieved 666:1.
Colour accuracy was more consistent across the three samples, however. Our X-Rite i1Display 2 colorimeter measured an average Delta E of 3.1, and a maximum of 5.6. Colour temperature wasn't far off the ideal 6500k, with a result of 6717k. Gamma also deviated from the ideal of 2.2, though; a measurement of 2.1 in the darker greys rising to a wayward 1.7 in the light greys.
The e-IPS panel of the NEC MultiSync EA232WMi is capable of delivering vivid, vibrant imagery, but at this price we’d expect a more accomplished technical performance. Dell’s UltraSharp U2311H and Viewsonic’s VP2365wb deliver measurably better image quality across the board, and for the same or less money. Unless the power-saving LED backlight and automatic brightness sensors are essential addition, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Author: Sasha Muller
- Raspberry Pi unveils DIY tablet kit
- Chromebooks get version of Photoshop
- Microsoft offers free Office 365 directly to students
- Asus EeeBook X205: the netbook's (sort of) back
- Raspberry Pi unveils HTML5-optimised browser
- Who's buying Chromebooks? American schools
- Adobe keeps low-cost Photography "promotion"
- Archos ArcBook: £140 for an Android netbook
- Microsoft supercharges PowerPoint with Office Mix
- Computing in schools "not only about code"
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- What's changing in the computing curriculum
- Block party: why do millions play Minecraft?
- Ebooks: the final chapter for libraries?
- The world's most powerful computers
- Rise of the code schools
- Create a Python game for the Raspberry Pi
- Develop your skills in ICT
- Buyer's guide to tablets
- BenQ MW860USTi vs SMART LightRaise 40wi
- Buyer's guide to foreign language software