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A Revolution? The First Lumileds LCD Display

NEC SpectraView 2180WG-LED: Superlatives

On paper, the NEC SpectraView 2180WG-LED promises everything: contrast, fidelity, rich colors, and more. All but low latency, that is, since the panel used in our NEC SpectraView 2180WG-LED is directly inherited from the 2180UX. Let's see how true is the claims are. Note that while the manufacturer's product number is 2180WG-LED, the device's commercial name is the NEC SpectraView Reference 21.

Diagonal measurement21.3"
Native resolution1600x1200
Brightness200 nits
Latency20 ms
Colors16.7 M
H/V viewing angles176 / 176
Connectivitydual DVI
Average price$6,600

Design and Finish

The design is a classic from NEC, found on the 2180UX as well as the LaCie 321. Since LEDs take up more space, the SpectraView 2180WG-LED is thicker and heavier than the 2180UX, but otherwise the resemblance is clear.


The monitor's ergonomics are also identical. The panel is adjustable for height and tilt. The base rotates and the monitor also has a pivot mode, except that the panel's increased weight interferes somewhat with its operation. The extra weight and bulk are a handicap in adjusting the monitor; setting the height was quite a chore. Pivot mode remained functional, but the depth of the shell made changing position more difficult - it's hard to turn the panel without scraping a corner on the desk or on the base.


This is a professional monitor, and you won't find a lot of bells and whistles on it. Still, there is a dual DVI input, which is still pretty rare on current monitors. The transformer is built into the unit. NEC supplies a built-in sunshield, as on all its pro monitors, to cancel out parasitic reflections. I have to say that I find it also has an interesting side effect on user concentration: with "blinders" like these, it's hard to get distracted! An extra detail is an opening in the upper shield for a calibrator if you need to use one.