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NEC PA322UHD 32-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

We haven’t seen any new IGZO UHD panels for a while, but NEC surprised us with its PA322UHD. Priced at the level of a precision instrument, it promises accuracy with a factory calibration. Today we test it in our labs.

Packaging, Physical Layout And Accessories

Product 360

The PA322UHD is massively over-built, and it comes in a carton to match. The packaging looks big enough to hold two monitors, in fact. Lots of foam protects the display, which arrives fully assembled. All you have to do is lift it out. Then again, that's easier said than done considering it weighs 45 pounds!

Included in the box are power cords for several different countries, two DisplayPort cables and a USB 3.0 connector. You also get a setup manual and a CD with a complete user’s guide.

From the front, this looks like one of NEC’s typical industrial-styled screens. The bezel and stand are made from hard plastic with a matte finish that won’t pick up reflections. The stand is quite sturdy; it holds the heavy panel in position firmly, yet is easy to adjust. The anti-glare layer doesn’t impart any grain or texture to the image. It also rejects light well, making the monitor easy to install in most indoor environments. The stand has a full range of tilt, swivel and height adjustments. Additionally, you can rotate the panel to portrait mode.

Though we’ve become fans of joystick and S Switch controllers, NEC uses some of the best bezel buttons in the business. When you operate them, small labels appear on the screen telling you their function. The keys click with a feel of quality and the OSD interface is intuitive. The power LED can be blue or green, and it offers adjustable brightness. To the left of the power toggle is a light sensor that can tailor screen brightness to your room’s light level.

This is something we’ve only seen on professional presentation monitors (certain Panasonic plasmas come to mind) – a swappable input board that fits in a cavity on the PA322UHD’s right side. By default, it comes with a DisplayPort input but you can also purchase two different SDI (serial-digital interface) modules for use with broadcast systems.

No effort is made to make this panel appear slim. To the contrary, it's nearly four inches thick (mainly due to the massive shielding around the panel’s internals). The extra metal also helps shed heat through generous ventilation, resulting in a cool-running monitor.

At the top you can see two small handles, which are much better than grabbing the monitor by its edges. At the bottom of the upright is a small switch that locks the panel into its lowest height. That way, when you lift it off a table, it doesn't suddenly extend on the stand. We love this kind of attention to detail. Unsnapping the upright reveals a 100mm VESA mount. If you use an aftermarket bracket, be sure it’s rated for the PA322UHD’s 45-pound weight.

I don't think we've ever seen this many inputs on a computer monitor. There are four HDMI inputs, two DVI ports and one DisplayPort connection on the bottom-facing panel. On the left are two upstream and two downstream USB 3.0 jacks. At the extreme right is a headphone output. On the side (not shown) is an additional USB downstream port and the aforementioned option input.

With so many inputs, toggling through them can be a pain. NEC kindly sets them up to auto-sense. When you press the input button on the bezel, only those with active signals appear in the list of choices.

  • Nuckles_56
    I was wondering and couldn't see anywhere but what HDMI and display port versions is the panel using?
    Reply
  • MonsterCookie
    In this bad economy, where especially the "first wirld" countries are affected who kould pay for such toys, asking 3000$ (nowadays the same as 3000Euros) is almost ludacris. That is the price for a decent used car.

    Please just make first standard 30-inch 256x1600 screens available for an affordable price, and only after that is done, hope to sell these gems on the market.

    No offence, but here in Europe things are running so bad, that even design companies (where color accuracy is important are outsourcing), and they definitely cannot afford to splash 3000Euros of a darn computer screen.
    Not even talking about the private sector.
    Reply
  • MonsterCookie
    I know that that there will be hundreds of people commenting that for them this monitor is cheap.
    Well, lucky YOU!

    In socialist (nowadays becoming almost communist) countries like within the EU, where the state steals 48% of our salary as tax, we do *NOT* make six figures to pay for these things. Period.

    Btw, Tom's. Why on earth is there no Edit button?
    Just noticed that I made lots of typos in my first post because I was so angry at the price...
    Reply
  • beebbeeb
    The other top dog is Eizo, and the proper comparator is obviously Eizo ColourEdge series. Hope that Tom's Hardware will do a review of Eizo soon.
    Reply
  • Tanquen
    This is kind of out there. My 5 year old Dell U3011 (16:10, 2560x1600) was $950 when I got 2 of them, has 10-bit color and works fine. Going up to edge lit LED at 3840x2160 (16:9 Yuck!) , 5 years later for $3000 is too much. For $2000 it should be 4096x2160 or 5120x3200 (16:10) and have a better multi zone LED back light and have a better response time.

    TVs are bigger and do it for much less.

    Eizo and LG have 30"-ish 4096x2160 displays for less and what is with the bezels still being so huge. Look how deep this this is, why is the bezel so big. Again, bigger TVs have small bezels and people actually want to put two or three PC monitors next to each other.
    Reply
  • Tanquen
    Oops.
    Reply
  • Shankovich
    Some comments aren't realizing this is a professional oriented monitor. Targeted to artists, video editors, probably some types of engineers. Not for gaming guys (though it could game quite well it seems)
    Reply
  • mechanus
    If I had $3000 I'd start a business like selling stuff on amazon instead of spend it on a lot tiny light bulbs under a glass sheet.
    Reply
  • mechanus
    If I had $3000 I'd start a business like selling stuff on amazon instead of spend it on a lot tiny light bulbs under a glass sheet.
    Reply
  • Narcissistic_Martyr
    Looks like a good professional monitor. Not for gamers of course though.
    Reply