NEC EA274WMi Monitor Review: Eco-Friendly At 2560x1440

Packaging, Physical Layout, And Accessories

NEC packages the EA274WMi in a very sturdy double-corrugated carton. There is plenty of rigid and semi-rigid foam to keep the contents from shifting during transport. If you're getting this thing shipped, there should be no reason for it to arrive damaged.

Bundled with the monitor is a standard IEC power cord for the internal power supply. You also get DVI and VGA cables, but not DisplayPort. Ancillary pieces include a USB 3.0 A to B connector, as well as a 3.5 mm audio cable and NEC’s proprietary ControlSync cable. This is used to daisy-chain multiple NEC monitors so they can share setup parameters. Rounding out the box is a Quick Start Guide. There is no printed manual, nor is there a CD enclosed. But you can download all of the relevant documentation from NEC’s website.

Product 360

NEC’s styling is firmly industrial, and function is clearly the top priority. The bezel is squared off and looks a bit wide, but is in fact only 20 millimeters across on all sides. That actually makes it smaller than most of the other monitors we've reviewed. Putting multiple EA274WMis on a desk becomes an attractive proposition since you only end up with 40 mm between screens.

Speaking of the screen, it is covered with an effective anti-glare layer, though it’s not the most aggressive implementation we’ve seen. Image clarity is preserved well and all, but the harshest reflections are rendered invisible. The high-impact black plastic of the panel and chassis also serve to absorb light. All in all, it’s a design that gets the job done without calling attention to itself.

There is a complete set of positioning adjustments available thanks to a sturdy base and upright.

Not only can you rotate the EA274WMi to portrait mode, you have almost 360 degrees of swivel and around 40 degrees of tilt, which is a good deal more than we're accustomed to. All of the movements are smooth and sure, with no slop and little effort required. Build quality falls firmly in the high-end category. This is something we saw in NEC EA294WMi 29" Monitor Review: 21:9 At Twice The Price as well.

Side-mounted USB ports are not unusual, but a headphone jack sure is. Most monitors relegate audio connections to the input panel where you have to plug in your cans by feel. Who wants to do that? Other vendors should be taking note right about now. The only flaw is that the USB ports are 2.0-capable. The USB 3.0 connectors are on the rear input panel.

Here’s a close-up of the control panel.

The buttons are touch-sensitive, obviously. And the labels are almost unnecessary because when you touch Menu, icons appear on the screen telling you each function. See the next section for more detail on that. We like this feature because it’s easier to read labels on the screen than on a black bezel, especially in the dark.

Around back there is cable management built in to the upright and two 100 mm VESA mounts for use with aftermarket brackets and monitor arms. You can see the large bulge that contains most of the EA274WMi’s innards along with a pair of 1 W speakers. You're able to feed digital audio via HDMI or DisplayPort, or use a 3.5 mm stereo cable. Sound quality is centered in the upper mid-range only for a somewhat tinny presentation. It’s fine for basic Windows sounds, though you'll want something better for movies. Ventilation and shielding are substantial, and the panel is fairly thick as a result at 2.6 inches (67 mm).

The input panel has a couple of features that are becoming increasingly rare on newer displays, namely VGA and DVI inputs. While we don’t expect many users to connect a QHD monitor to an analog source, it’s nice to have the option. To send a full-resolution signal, you’ll need to use DVI or DisplayPort. The USB ports down there are 3.0-compatible, both upstream and down. The round blue jack is a 3.5 mm audio input and the black and white ones represent NEC’s ControlSync feature.

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 :)