19" LCD Monitors: The Spring 2006 Collection

The NEC 90GX2' Taste Filters

At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, I've said it before and I'll say it again: glare, "XBright," "X-Black," "Colorshine," "OptiClear" and other such filters are garbage. They're worthless. And sometimes they even decrease the quality of the colors, and can cause reflections if the monitor isn't in total darkness. At best, they appear to increase the contrast a little. That's it. Yes, they do provide flashy colors on displays in stores to trap innocent consumers. But you aren't an innocent consumer (since you read Tom's Hardware Guide), and we can't recommend too strongly that you be careful before you decide to buy a monitor with a shiny optical filter. The optical filter on LCD panels is a little like the fluorescent-orange chemical coloring you see on salmon steaks in supermarkets - it makes them look better, but they aren't.

In this case the results are nothing exceptional. While 90% of the colors were perfect, the 90GX2 had some difficulty in rendering the darkest colors.

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The brightness is too high, as is often the case on monitors with optical filters. The black level is also too high, so you can forget about using this monitor for intensive office work and photo retouching. In any case, the flashy colors it puts out disqualify it for the latter.

The contrast was stable, but a 90% brightness setting gave us the best contrast. Of course that's a little too high, but when we moved away from that point, the contrast was reduced and the color rendering suffered.

The color gamut shows nothing extraordinary, but the range of colors adheres to the sRBG / 6500K standard.