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NEC EA294WMi 29" Monitor Review: 21:9 At Twice The Price

Results: Pixel Response And Input Lag

To perform these tests, we use a high-speed camera that shoots at 1000 frames per second. Analyzing the video frame-by-frame allows us to observe the exact time it takes to go from a zero-percent signal to a 100% white field.

The pattern generator is placed at the base of the monitor so our camera can capture the precise moment its front-panel LED lights up, indicating that a video signal is being received. With this camera placement, we can easily see how long it takes to fully display a pattern after pressing the button on the generator’s remote. This testing methodology allows for accurate and repeatable results when comparing panels.

Here’s a shot of our test setup. Click on the photo to enlarge.

The brighter section of the camera’s screen is what actually appears in the video. You can see the lights of the pattern generator in the bottom of the viewfinder. We flash the pattern on and off five times and average the results.

The EA294WMi’s screen draw time is consistent with other IPS screens we’ve tested. Like all of the monitors in our comparison group, there is no visual evidence of motion blur. Fast-moving video looks smooth and natural as it should.

For those concerned with first-person gaming, here are the lag results.

If input lag is a concern for you in fast-paced shooters, NEC's EA294WMi is not the right choice. Its screen draw time is plenty fast, but lag this high might be a problem for gamers with quick reflexes.

To put this into context, 94 milliseconds represent over five frames at 60 Hz. This means when you click your mouse button, a shot will fire five to six frames afterwards. Remembering that the average human reaction time is 200 ms (12 frames), this might not be a problem. But if you're playing competitively, it's a disadvantage, for sure. 

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.