NEC EA274WMi Monitor Review: Eco-Friendly At 2560x1440

NEC EA274WMi: Some Unique Features

It is unfortunate that LCD panel prices aren't dropping as quickly as they have in the past. Not only are QHD (2560x1440) screens still positioned at premium levels, but the newest and most capable Ultra HD monitors are even more expensive. Without question, for the foreseeable future, expect to pay extra for high pixel density.

Panel speed also seems to be evolving slowly. Gamers are pining for more responsive displays able to keep up with their sizable investments in high-end graphics. All of our tolerances are different. But it's common wisdom that IPS is not the technology you want to complement a competitive gaming box. These days, it's fairly easy to exceed 60 FPS with v-sync off in a first-person shooter. Unfortunately, the only IPS monitors able to exceed that figure are modified ones.

There is still no factory support for refresh rates greater than 60 Hz. A few high-refresh rate TN-based screens are popular in the gaming community though, and we have some of those heading our way too. And of course, the next big thing for gamers is likely to be G-Sync, which matches framerates between source and display on-the-fly creating a blur-free experience with no pesky artifacts like frame tears. Look for hands-on reviews of these new monitors very soon as well.

Getting back to NEC's EA274WMi; this is a monitor that is good for everything else. Someone who sits in front of their screen eight or more hours a day at work is going to appreciate the color accuracy, clarity, and high pixel density. IT managers will enjoy the rugged build quality and management features NEC includes. As you can see from our tests and hands-on impressions, this display does what it sets out to do really well.

Pre-calibration performance lags behind competing products. But choosing the right color temp preset (number three) means you’ll be close enough to avoid complaints about accuracy. If you have the instruments, you can calibrate the EA274WMi to a pretty high standard, which matches a few of the more expensive monitors we've tested. Brightness and contrast are right up there with other displays in this price category too. Light output is more than sufficient. You could conceivably use this monitor outdoors, on location at a photo shoot, for example. Contrast, while not record-breaking, is about average for the IPS monitors I've seen.

And when you do calibrate, ControlSync and NEC’s NaViSet Administrator software make it easy to replicate those settings across the other units deployed in your office. We’re not aware of anyone else offering that functionality. And managing energy usage is equally simple thanks to some neat features built in to the OSD.

I'm not calling the EA274WMi a revolutionary product by any stretch. But we're still impressed with its design, build quality, enterprise-class features, and performance. The NEC display also isn't cheap. Then again, though, cheap isn't a word you can use to describe any QHD screen. Perhaps when everyone has recouped their R&D costs from Ultra HD and prices on 4K hardware start dropping, they'll put some pressure on displays with 2560x1440 resolution. Until then, this monitor at least deserves consideration for what it does well.

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.

  • mikenygmail
    My 27" Monoprice IPS monitor was $300 total, with $10 in Rakuten credit to boot. So, it could be considered to be $290.

    I'm sure this monitor is slight better, but come on NEC, $800 is ridiculous.
    Even more ridiculous is this quote from the review:
    "At $800, this is the least-expensive high-res model in the line. "
  • SessouXFX
    I'll be glad when the QHD's get down to a more affordable price. They've been out for quite some time now. There's no reason to keep building these monitors for such a high premium, when 4K is on the horizion. Also, they should build these QHD's with better refresh rates already, and bigger screens too. We should be able to go to the store and buy quality 30 in.+ QHD's at around $300-600.
  • airborne11b
    FFS! The ROG Swift is going to be coming out soon and it's sporting 144hz, 1ms response, 2560x1440 and G-sync... for like $799.

    The Korean 2560x1440's are in the $300 - $400 price range.

    Who the hell is pricing these things?
  • Jess Castro
    When you can buy a 4k monitor for about the same price wtf are they thinking? I would not pay over 300 dollars for a 1440p monitor, espeically one without g-sync. Give me a 4k 27in 120hz+ ips with gysnc for around a grand and Im all in. Tired of being asked to pay a stupid premium for 15 year old tech that is on its deathbed.
  • Bondfc11
    Overlord Computer has been selling their Tempest OC monitor for 2 years now and it is at $450 shipping and warrantied out of California. The Tempest is the only IPS that can be overclocked up to 120Hz that I know of. If you want an IPS at 1440 they should be on your list to check out - I have 3!! They also will have a Gsync IPS panel that will run native around 96Hz - the only one on the planet - those are the rumors at least.
  • Bondfc11
    As for this quote in the article: "There is still no factory support for refresh rates greater than 60 Hz. "

    Untrue Overlord warranties their OC model and is the only OEM making IPS panels specifically for gamers. Why Tom's doesn't have one of the Tempests to review I still don't understand. Oh wait - that's right - it's pay to review on this site! DOH!
  • nebun
    everyone is talking about qhd this and qhd that....don't forget to upgrade your graphic's cards can't keep up...they are power hungry POS...AMD and eNvidia really need to work on power usage....i love my HD 7970 CF set it rus room is wayyyy to hot when i start gaming.
  • Tanquen
    16:9 :(

    I got my 30" 16:10 2560x1600 LCDs like three years ago for $980-ish.
  • somebodyspecial
    1440p is not the standard nor is it fast becoming one. 1080p is the standard. 1440p is less than 1% of the user base and has been for 2yrs+. I remember Anandtech claiming this crap in the 660ti review which I bashed ~2yrs ago :) It was a dumb comment then (stupid way for Ryan to claim AMD the victor when most games were under 30fps AVG at that res...ROFL, most under 20fps min!...LOL) , and still is one now. That is about when AMD's portal showed up on anandtech (no bias there...LOL). Not only are these expensive as 1080p 24in can be had for far less, but you require tons of gpu power to run them without turning all kinds of stuff off for a LOT of games. Heck a 780ti can be brought to it's knees by 1080p maxed in some games. This will only get worse as engines up the gpu requirements. I'm not even sure 1440p will be doable (maxed in EVERYTHING) with maxwell 20nm.

    Let me know when 1440p hits 25% share of the market. At that point MAYBE you can claim it's the standard. I expect an email in 3-4yrs...ROFL.
    scroll down to primary monitor resolution. .93%...
    Note 1080p=32.91%
    Ideally for it to be standard it has to be the highest percent right? 1080p. GET IT?

    Yes I want us to get to higher res monitors being standard ASAP (with GPU's that can actually push this res without the need for 2+ cards), but reality is that day hasn't arrived so quit saying this BS.

    Also understand that .93% is the penetration of gamers. I'm guessing it is far less if you include the non-gamers who mostly have no need to splurge on an $400-800 monitor to view the web or email and anything under $490 or so I wouldn't touch at 27in/1440p, and not at all without Gsync. I wouldn't buy a monitor without that (put the purchase off) unless mine DIED today forcing me to upgrade. The cheapest NAME you'd recognize on newegg is asus at $490.
  • cangelini
    As for this quote in the article: "There is still no factory support for refresh rates greater than 60 Hz. "

    Untrue Overlord warranties their OC model and is the only OEM making IPS panels specifically for gamers. Why Tom's doesn't have one of the Tempests to review I still don't understand. Oh wait - that's right - it's pay to review on this site! DOH!

    This is absolutely not true. Our editorial and advertising departments are purposely kept very separate. In fact, I couldn't even tell you if there are display vendors advertising on the site. We review monitors because they're an important part of the computing experience.

    If you or another representative of Tempest would like to submit a display for review, please contact us! Alternatively, we can reach out to you, also :)