NEC MultiSync EX231W review

Of all the monitors here, this 23in NEC MultiSync EX231W is the one specifically aimed at the home office or studio setup, featuring automatic brightness control and a human sensor so it can power down when no-one is using it. It also has a metal stand, giving it a solid feel, that can be tilted and rotated into portrait orientation, making it one of the most flexible too. 

The power supply is a separate PSU, which means the EX231W is nice and slim, though the interfaces are still underneath the backplate. Getting the power supply into the socket is a little tricky and, strangely, the lead drops right down at the front of the monitor giving it a messy appearance. There are more digital connectivity options here, with DVD-I, HDMI and even a DisplayPort interface. The monitor controls are unusual, to say the least. The front of the cabinet is touch-sensitive with sliders for up and down, which are a little too sensitive. 

Out of the box, the monitor is set up for the Eco power-saving mode and helpfully tells you how much carbon you are saving by using the settings, but we switched that off so we could calibrate it. The initial result was a particularly warm display – remember they are all being calibrated to the same white point – which didn’t look very accurate with test photos. Also, having a look at the white screen test showed an alarming variation across the panel from bright white in the bottom half to a pronounced warm tinge for the top. The black test showed no light leakage, which was something at least. There were also no problems with sharpness and the refresh was fast and clear at 5ms.

The viewing angles from the side are fine, less so when looked at vertically which is no surprise as this is, despite the high price tag, a TN panel, not IPS. 

Designed more for an office environment where it will be on all day, the 23in NEC was expensive and had a poor display

OUR VERDICT

On the test chart there’s a fine range of highlights, less so for shadows. The nail in the photographer’s coffin though is the colour gamut, which is significantly off from sRGB, offering a poor 90 per cent coverage, 70 per cent of AdobeRGB and 67 per cent of NTSC.

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