New from NEC is the NEC MultiSync EA261WM, part of the EA (Enterprise Advanced) range, aimed at business users but suitable for any user needing a high quality well made display.
Attractively priced LCD monitors can now be found in impressive screen sizes. But above the cheap and cheerful monitors we regularly see in our Charts test, such as the Chimei and Hanns-G budget models, there stands the premium brands. Designed for graphics and video professionals, or someone who wants a taste of more natural quality, expect to see brands such as Samsung, LG and NEC in the list.
Full control of height adjustment, angle and rotation is provided from the 26in NEC MultiSync EA261WM's support stand, and it's also possible to swivel the panel into portrait mode. On the pillar itself is a cable management cover, keeping the panel's looks free from straggling video, power and data cables.
On the NEC MultiSync EA261WM's 26in screen's far right is the on/off standby switch, with a cool blue LED to show operation. OSD controls comprise three buttons, also on the lower right ledge of the screen bezel: Menu, Select and Reset/DV Mode. Alongside these is a mini-joystick, the 4-Direction Key, which aids navigation around the on-screen display. While suitably flush to remain reasonably unobtrusive, it did not protrude far enough to make it easy for the fingers to purchase and move around.
Within the NEC MultiSync EA261WM's setup menu is an Eco Mode, which simply seems to drop screen brightness to 50 percent. When setting brightness here, if Eco Mode is on, an additional bar graph shows Carbon Footprint as a percentage. It's not clear what this percentage means in real terms though. A Carbon Savings figure is also shown in the info page of the OSD menu, with a readout in kilograms.
We found that with the NEC MultiSync EA261WM at full brightness, power consumption was up to 89W, while running the screen at 50 percent brightness (eg, in Eco Mode) lowered this figure to 52W. While this drop may seem impressive, we found another 26in panel, an Iiyama ProLite E2607WS, drew only 44W at its default settings.
Five different presets are available in the NEC MultiSync EA261WM's Colour Control System setting, where colour temperature and individual RGB levels can be tweaked.
Build quality is very good for the NEC MultiSync EA261WM, as you would expect from the premium pricing. Our sample was finished in white and silver, lending an Applesque look to the panel.
We got best image results by setting colour control to ‘native', brightness to around 50 percent (or by engaging Eco Mode) and contrast to around 70%. Viewing angle is usefully wide, with flesh tones only obviously suffering colour distortion at the extreme sides. Overall colours are well represented with perhaps some slight over-saturation on reds that is difficult to tune out. Thanks to a good response time, fast moving video can be watched on the NEC MultiSync EA261WM without image smearing.
Image quality is not in the top class for professional users, and power consumption figures not exactly class-leading. While there's no intrinsic technology inside to make the NEC MultiSync EA261WM especially power efficient, other than a mode buried in the setup menu to reduce screen brightness, the EA261WM performs as we'd expect of a high-quality TN LCD display.