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NEC EA275WMi 27-inch QHD IPS Monitor Review

There are few monitors engineered or built better than those from NEC. Today we’re testing the EA275WMi, a 27" QHD-resolution IPS panel with features that will appeal to enterprise and business-class users.

ControlSync & Calibration With SpectraView II

ControlSync

We’ve reviewed many NEC monitors and all include the ControlSync feature. We’ve talked about it in the past, but never actually had the opportunity to try it out. ControlSync allows the connection of up to five additional monitors to a single master. They are then able to share settings that update in real time. Individual panels can still be calibrated without affecting the others, but things like picture mode, relative brightness, speaker volume, and many other options are shared, making setup and adjustment very easy.

NEC sent us two identical EA275WMis, so we connected them using a single DisplayPort output from our test system and selected the MST option in the OSD. ControlSync is enabled with an included cable. You simply hook up the output of the master panel to the input of the subordinate one. Additional monitors can be daisy-chained. You’ll know it’s working when you see a small link icon in the upper left of the subordinate screen’s OSD.

In addition to many of the picture settings, nearly all OSD options, timers, and sensor configurations are also shared. Once you have ControlSync properly configured, the connected panels will always match in both color and output level. To create an even better match between panels, we tried NEC’s SpectraView calibration software and the included meter which is based on an X-Rite i1 Display Pro.

Calibration With SpectraView II

We’ve sampled several different manufacturers’ software calibration solutions and none is as thorough and intuitive as NEC’s SpectraView. It’s an extra-cost option on EA and PA-series monitors, but frankly, once you’ve tried it, you won’t care. It works that well. The package NEC sent us retails for $299 and includes the software on a USB thumb drive and a meter.

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The startup screen is a small dialog box, but it has every option you need for basic calibration. You can specify a filename to save your settings before beginning. You can also calibrate all the displays connected to your video card. In our case it’s two EA275WMis. To alter the parameters, click on the tool icon next to the Target Settings dropdown.

Here you can specify a white point either by color temp or by filling in your own x/y coordinates. The output level can be set in cd/m2 or footLamberts, and you can even specify a target contrast ratio. On the right half, choose your preferred gamma. Our color gamut choice was grayed out because the EA275WMi is an sRGB-native panel. Wide gamut models include options for Adobe RGB, DCI-P3 and Rec.2020 when appropriate.

When you have all the parameters to your liking, go back to the first dialog and click calibrate. Hang the meter on the target and walk away. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete. We set up both monitors and finished up with a perfectly-matched pair. Brightness and color temp were visually identical. The color settings are written to a table in the monitor’s firmware and accessed by choosing the P (Programmable) color mode. Honestly, we can’t think of an easier way to set up a multi-screen desktop.