The NEC MultiSync 2090UXi Photo Edition is in essence the same as the MultiSync 2090UXi that we reviewed in March, but bundled with a X-rite Eye-One Display 2 calibrator and NEC's custom SpectraView Profiler PE software.
Bundling a monitor with a calibrator would not normally be that interesting, but the NEC MultiSync 2090UXi Photo Edition supports both software and hardware adjustments. This means that it can adjust both the settings of the monitor and the graphics card during the installation process. This gives much better colour calibration than adjusting the settings of your graphics card alone.
With NEC MultiSync 2090UXi Photo Edition calibration has to be done through the bundled SpectraView software, so there's no point buying a regular 2090UXi and separate calibration unit. The SpectraView software isn't the most user-friendly we've seen, but it's functional and comprehensive. The results are great too, adding extra depth to an already comprehensive display.
Mind you, it adds another expense to what isn't exactly a cheap monitor in the first place. The £657 retail price is fairly substantial for a 20in monitor, and we wonder if most people wouldn't rather spend the extra money on screen estate. Only slightly more will get you NEC's superb 26in 2696WUXi display, which is much better value and also sports the colour calibration kit.
There's no denying that the bundled hardware and software calibration kit make this great monitor even better, but we think the cost is simply too much to pay for a 20in display.