This week, NEC, known for making high-end computer displays, rolled out the MultiSync EA231WMi, a 23-inch 16:9 monitor that uses a high-end IPS panel. Known for significantly better viewing angles and color reproduction over their TN-based brethren, IPS panels are known for something else, too: a high price tag. While the EA231WMi is a little more expensive than other 1080p displays, it certainly doesn’t share the typically over-the-top price most IPS displays have. At a $379 suggested retail price, it becomes very attractive indeed.
There are a lot of pictures here, but who doesn’t like looking at tree frogs?
A set of stereo speakers face downward from the display, with a headphone jack mounted on the left.
Typically only seen in Lenovo monitors, the handle on the back is such a great design choice. If you ever have to move a monitor around, having a handle is so helpful.
The buttons feel a little dated, but if they’re functional, that’s all that matters. In addition to automatically adjust the brightness of the backlight depending on ambient conditions, an “Eco Mode” button can be preset to either 50 or 75% of the panels brightness for an instant boost in power efficiency. The Eco Mode also calculates power saved while using it in terms of watts per hour. One other very cool feature of the on-screen display is that NEC developed a method for letting users set all of the monitor’s features via a Windows application. That way, instead of awkwardly pressing buttons, users can take control of all of the options with their keyboard and mouse.
The monitor boasts DisplayPort, VGA and DVI-D video inputs as well as four USB2.0 ports (two side, two rear), line in audio and a headphone jack.
- Panel size: 23 inches
- Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
- Pixel density: 96 pixels per inch
- Brightness: 270 cd/m2
- Viewing angles: 178 degrees (Horizontal/Vertical)
- Contrast ratio: 1000:1
- Dynamic contrast ratio: 3000:1
- Response time: 14ms
- Pixel pitch: 0.265mm
- Video ports: DisplayPort, DVI-D, VGA
- Audio ports: Analog line in, headphones out
- Four USB2.0 ports
- Rapid reponse: ups refresh rate for fast video to 4ms
As far as I know, this is the least expensive IPS-based display solution on the market with the exception of the 22-inch (1680×1050) Dell 2209WA at $299. There have been mentions of new cheaper LG IPS panels coming on to the market soon, and if this is the result, they can’t get here soon enough.