NEC MultiSync EA244WMi review: ultra-modern LED-backlit panel
The NEC MultiSync EA244WMi is a commercial 24” IPS, LED-backlit panel from NEC that bandies about phrases like ultra-modern and extremely thin for the corporate that demand style and future-proof technology. That’s clearly wishful thinking on the style front as it’s neither extremely thin nor very stylish. However, it is impressively solid and has an excellent base that rotates, with a telescopic stand that also allows the panel to rotate into a portrait orientation. There’s a fair sized bezel around the display and this is fairly chunky. Set off at the back is the extra housing for the internal power supply and interfaces. These are under the ledge of backplate so would be tricky to access if it didn’t rotate. Rather incongruously, tacked on the left side is a lumping square box containing two USB ports and a headphone socket.
What the EA24WMi loses in style points it makes up for with connectivity. There’s a DVI-D, analogue D-Sub, DisplayPort, HDMI and 4x USB 2.0 inputs. The on-screen menu system is controlled by touch-pads set into the bottom right edge of the facia. There’s plus points for having separate left-right and up-down controls but placing the Input mode right next to the main Menu button is a mistake as it’s easy to touch it by mistake, leading to laborious stepping through each mode to get back. The interesting features in the menu are the Eco Modes, the setting for the human sensor and the preferred contrast scheme. The human sensor detects when no-one is using the monitor and turns it off. There’s also an ambient light sensor to increase or decrease brightness as required. Power consumption is 29W maximum, 16W in Eco mode, 21W in typical usage and just 0.47W on standby. You can even get carbon-saving statistics from the monitor menu as well.
The other feature to note is that the EA244WMi can be used in an up-to-six monitor configuration using the ControlSync technology, with one panel as the master display.
So to the specification then and you may feel that 1920px wide is stretching things on a 24” panel but it is fairly standard. However, on the vertical side there’s 1200px and more screen space for a 16:12 aspect ratio. The viewing angles are good in theory at 178 degrees horizontal and vertical but in practice there’s variation if you move much off centre. While the contrast ratio of 1000:1 is very average, there’s also the 25,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio mode as well – though be warned, that is very striking but is does lose subtle highlights and shadows. The brightness rating is 350cdm2 which is well above average and shows that this panel is suitable for use in brightly-lit offices. The refresh rate is a commendable 5ms which is very good for an IPS panel and sure enough there’s no ghosting even with fast-moving activity on screen.
The stand is both telescopic and rotates around which, combined with the ability to turn the monitor 90 degrees, makes for a lot of flexibility.
On the brightness test there’s very fine definition all the way through the highlights. If you’re a wedding photographer you’ll certainly see every detail. The shadows are less defined being able to differentiate up to around 95% but overall this is good.
There’s no darkening in the corners on a pure white display and there’s a completely consistent display all across the screen, accepted some variation caused by close-up viewing angles. There’s no light leak on the black display either, although again, angled viewing of the screen shows it lightening up. Very good build quality here though.
The monitor starts off using the Eco mode, which you may not want as this drops the brightness and contrast right down, making the white tones really murky and everything fairly flat and dull. Increasing this also uses more power, but is essential if you are looking at images. There’s also a number of colour temperature modes that are useful if you don’t use colour calibration to set it yourself. With some adjustment then, the colours are accurate and strong and there’s good sharpness for fine detail as well.
Built to last with lots of interfaces and flexible movement. The physical aspects are backed up by a very good quality display with very consistent colour and no appreciable light leak. While Eco mode is great for those looking at spreadsheets all day, and it does save power, it needs to be dispensed with for photos and graphics. The extra screen space from the 16:10 ratio is welcome and while the claims for slender stylishness are largely marketing wishful thinking, it isn’t an eye-sore either. A very good quality display, in a really solid package, suitable for a wide range of environments, it’s certainly worth considering.