NEC EA245WMi 24-inch 16:10 IPS Monitor Review

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Brightness & Contrast

To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs.  Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

Today’s group is all premium IPS panels with clear business intent. We have the EA245WMi’s stablemate, the EA275WMi, along with the 27" BenQ PD2700Q, Acer BE270U, and Nixeus PRO Vue 27P. Representing the 16:10 category is Dell’s UP3017, which also features a wide gamut option and factory calibration.

NEC rates the EA245WMi at 300cd/m2 but our sample handily exceeded that, topping out at 353.2300cd/m2. That’s sufficient output to offset any loss in brightness caused by the uniformity compensation. We’ll show you its effects below.

The black level is unimpressive at .4195cd/m2. That results in a contrast ratio of 842:1 which is a bit lower than we’d like to see. You can see that IPS panels generally fall into a narrow window of contrast and black level quality, but 1000:1 is still our benchmark for any computer monitor.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

We’ve reviewed a lot of NEC monitors, and until now they’ve all bottomed out at extremely dim backlight levels. Our problem with this approach is two-fold. First, there’s not much you can do with a monitor that peaks at less than 10cd/m2. The image is barely visible. Second, a wide backlight range means less precision with a 100-step control. We like to see increments of 2-3cd/m2 at most to make it easy for users to find their preference. NEC has changed course with the EA245WMi by raising the minimum to an ideal 55.4443cd/m2. This is a great level for working in a completely dark space. Contrast remains consistent at 837:1.

After Calibration to 200cd/m2

The effects of the EA245WMi’s uniformity compensation are clearly focused on the higher end of the brightness scale. There is no appreciable change in black level. Peak output is reduced by 35% though. And that means contrast is lower by the same amount. You can compensate for the output drop by raising the brightness slider. That won’t help contrast, however. And it seems calibration has reduced dynamic range slightly as well.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

Happily, the ANSI value is slightly higher than the calibrated sequential result. That means intra-image contrast is reasonably good, though the EA245WMi’s picture won’t have quite as much pop as the best screens in today’s group. While this is undoubtedly a quality panel, its contrast is a tad lower than average.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • 80-watt Hamster
    Thanks for focusing the spotlight on a 16:10 monitor. It's great to see someone other than Dell offer one in this price segment.
  • adrianlegg
    You could/should compare it to it's direct competitor - Eizo EV2455.
    Same segment, price, thin borders for multimonitor setup etc.
  • spoidz
    Is the price of the calibration set the same when stand alone? I can always use another nice monitor for working on other PC's. Would this be a cheap way to get the calibration set?

    Or does it only work directly on NEC monitors?
  • Nintendork
    Low contrast, IPS glow, IPS need to die. VA all the way.
  • cinergy
    No FreeSync, no buy.
  • lorfa
    Looks like the pixel response/input lag graphs didn't make it in, showing up identical to the screen uniformity graphs.
  • ceberle
    Update on ControlSync: I've been informed by NEC that ControlSync now supports the daisy-chaining of up to 25 monitors. Pretty impressive! And a great help to IT managers everywhere.

  • patriotaki
    Missing the pixel response/input lag graphs!!!Very important