MultiSync LCD2690WUXi2 review

NEC’s latest LCD monitor is an upgraded version of the popular LCD2690WUXi2, and like its predecessor (the 2690WUXi), is designed to offer high-quality output for print designers who don’t have the need or budget for a £1,000-plus display. This version has the same 26in screen and 1,920 x 1,200 resolution, but boasts better uniformity of colour across the screen and a wider colour gamut – so you’ll see smoother gradation of shades, especially in blues and colours with blue in them.

We profiled the monitor using DataColor’s Spyder3Elite calibrator and graphed the resulting profile using Chromix ColourThink Pro. This showed us that the LCD2690WUXi2’s colour gamut does indeed output many more shades of blue than the original model – and more than other models at this price point. NEC’s new display has a 12-bit LUT (look-up table) with a level of gradation into blues and reds that we’d expect from an much higher-end display – though its ability to show subtle shades of green is much lower than you’d get from a true high-end monitor. The gamut is also larger than entry-level displays such as the Eizo FlexScan S2242W.

We used the Spyder3Elite to calibrate the monitor, as the excellent calibration software that you get
with NEC’s high-end SpectraView line isn’t included here.

The monitor’s OSD is easy to use, and includes controls from the basic (brightness, contrast) to more advanced (black level, gain) – and even colour temperature modes stretching from 3,000K to 9,600K, so you can match the output to your room’s lighting. There’s an ambient light sensor that can raise and lower the brightness of the screen – though this may affect the accuracy of your colour management.

The LCD2690WUXi2 uses an excellent H-IPS panel with a low level of colour shift, so anyone next to you viewing the screen from an angle will see a more accurate representation of colours than with other displays. It’s also SWOP certified for soft proofing.

The LCD2690WUXi2 has two DVI inputs but doesn’t include DisplayPort for 10-bit input – though designers using Mac OS X or Windows Vista still can’t use this anyway. There are also no USB ports or media card slots.

OUR VERDICT

NEC’s monitor offers good colour reproduction for the price and would be a perfect fit for a graphic designer with high-grade – but not extreme – colour needs.

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