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Grayscale, Gamma & Color
Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.
The EA275WMi comes set to its Native color temp preset which is identical to the sRGB memory. Both are adjustable for brightness and contrast, but only the numbered memories allow access to the RGB sliders. We can recommend this monitor as one that doesn’t require calibration. There are barely-visible errors that show a slight purple tint in test patterns. It’s much harder to see in real-world content.
But you can achieve even better tracking by starting in Mode 3 as we did. A few tweaks brings us to a near-perfect state. This approach also improves gamma tracking. We’ll show you more details on that below.
2.44dE is a fine level for a business-class monitor straight out of the box. The greater precision and factory calibration that comes in higher-priced displays isn’t a factor here. But the EA275WMi offers very respectable performance. Calibration takes grayscale tracking to the professional level with only minor adjustments. .86dE puts it among the best screens in our database.
If there’s one thing we’d like to see fixed here, it’s the gamma tracking. The rising trace means color will look a little less vivid and some highlight detail may not pop out as much. It’s a relatively minor error and calibration will visibly reduce the problem. You’ll see the effect in our color gamut and luminance charts below.
The range of gamma values isn’t too wide but it does mean a fifth-place finish for the EA275WMi. The average value is 2.31 which is fairly close to our preferred 2.2 spec. That’s a slight reduction from the 2.44 level we started at. Overall impact from this error is small, but if you want the best possible color saturation without going outside Rec.709, accurate gamma is important.
Color Gamut & Luminance
For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.
The EA275WMi shows slight over-saturation in the red and blue primaries and the magenta secondary. There is some compensation provided by lowered luminance levels, but color brightness is down a little across the board. Running at higher backlight settings will alleviate this, and our overall impression of the monitor’s image quality is still quite favorable. These charts show the effects of gamma tracking quite clearly.
Calibration helps bring the aforementioned over-saturated colors closer to their targets. Now they are barely outside the spec. Luminance levels are a bit higher as well. While we still maintain that this monitor can be used and enjoyed without calibration, there is some quality to be gained by making the right adjustments.
An average error level of 2.67dE puts the EA275WMi right in the middle of the pack. While none of these screens are billed as professional products, the ViewSonic does include a factory-certified calibration, hence its top result. Considering how stringent our test is, we have no complaints about any of the monitors here. They all offer excellent color that will satisfy all but the pickiest users.
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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.
That's a sweet little monitor you got there. I run four 23 in Lenovo LCD monitors here on my trading station. Looking to do a server upgrade next spring and go with 32 or 36 in monitors. Getting old. Sometimes, the pips are hard to see...lo!Reply
NEC monitors are always a beauty. Nice matte black, not the shiny piano black we see everywhere. These always go toe to toe against the Dells that cost more.Reply
"NEC’s much vaunted build quality"Reply
Both of my EA231wmi monitors died just after the 3 year warranty expired.
Love my NEC PA27W - its still going strong after several years of use. NOT cheap, but it should last through several system upgrades.Reply
and despite what the gaming sites say, its great for games and movies, general use..and the occasional photo
what is uc on uc off in the contrast page?Reply
I'm so fed up with these 27" monitors. Why can't they make something a little larger. 32-40. My 30" 2560x1600 monitor is almost a decade old but I'm yet to see anything that tempts me to upgrade. I'm probably going to have to hold out until 8k becomes mainstream and we get 8k 40" panels.Reply
18845567 said:I'm so fed up with these 27" monitors. Why can't they make something a little larger. 32-40. My 30" 2560x1600 monitor is almost a decade old but I'm yet to see anything that tempts me to upgrade. I'm probably going to have to hold out until 8k becomes mainstream and we get 8k 40" panels.
It may not be the best monitor, but its a 40 inch 4k monitor.
Honestly Im toying with the idea of a 2 monitor setup myself, something massive for every day use, 40-50 inch 4k, especially if i can get 10 bit and a fantastic contrast ratio, and then something for more demanding things like gaming
also, 8k is never going to be a thing, at least till its so trivial to make the panels it just out right replaces 4k for the same price. 4k looks amazing in a store, when you are up close, you see the crispness, but then put the 50-60 inch tv 7-10 feet away from you and that 1080p tv right next to it looks the same for far less money., the same will be true for 8k, on a computer, there is a practical benefit for photographers, artists, people who work with video, but for the normal person they ui scale their crap up the monitor looks the same as the old one maybe a bit crisper in areas, but it takes 4 times the hardware to run it even idle.
the next thing that will push monitors forward is oled, possibly quantum dot if they emit their own light, don't know enough to make a call there. Not sure if you know this, but contrast is the number 1 thing that determines how good a monitor looks ot normal people, nothing else matters so long as its at least tn quality, but contrast is king. its funny to me how much manufactures lie on boxes for this too, had an argument with someone who claimed his 3000:1 monitor was worse then his apple 5k, and i had to dig up a review for his monitor where they did the contrast test and not just put out a press release, turns out that his monitor was actually about 800:1 and apple is around 1250:1
contrast ratio is what will push sales of tvs and monitors next, and it will be oled or qd that do it. and you want the normal people to adopt things enmass, just because that drives the price down faster.
Yeah, I know about the 40" 4K one. I've thought about it numberous times but it doesn't really feel like enough of an upgrade - it's about the same DPI as my 30". I'd like a bigger size with more pixels and a higher resolution too. 5k at 40 would be perfect. I'm using two 20" 1600x1200 monitors in portrait mode either side of my 30" and I'd ideally like a larger monitor that I feel can replace the whole lot. If they'd made 32" 5k monitors instead of 27", I would have bought one years ago.Reply