NEC EA305WMi 30-inch 16:10 IPS Monitor Review

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Grayscale Tracking And Gamma Response

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

We would call this a middling out-of-box result. We’ve tested quite a few monitors of late that track better at their factory settings. In our opinion, the sRGB mode, which is non-adjustable, is just a little too warm at higher brightness levels. The background of a spreadsheet or browser window will look red if you’re accustomed to a calibrated screen. Fortunately the fix is an easy one.

We switched to the next coolest preset, number 3, and adjusted the RGB sliders to achieve an excellent result. You can also dial in grayscale using NEC’s SpectraView software and an appropriate colorimeter.

Here is our comparison group.

We’ve seen a recent trend towards better out-of-box color accuracy in every computer monitor market segment. The EA305WMi is OK but it could be better given the competition and its premium price-tag.

Like every other NEC monitor we’ve reviewed, it’s easy to calibrate the EA305WMi to a high standard. While all of these screens perform well when properly adjusted, the NEC, along with the top two screens, excel by falling below the 1dE threshold.

Gamma Response

The one area where the EA305WMi is beyond reproach is gamma tracking. The above chart is about as close to perfect as is possible. This helps make up for its lower contrast numbers. With perfect output levels at every signal point, you’ll see maximum image depth and full detail regardless of brightness.

Here is our comparison group again.

.05 percent is the tightest tracking we’ve measured from any display though that record is shared by the PB328Q. The values are so close they almost match the tolerance of our luminance meter.

We calculate gamma deviation by simply expressing the difference from 2.2 as a percentage.

Gamma can track well but still be off the 2.2 standard as we’ve found on some screens. This is not the case for the EA305WMi. It rides the line so closely you can barely see the actual trace through the reference line.

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.