If you’ve read our past reviews of NEC monitors, then you know we’re very fond of them. They don’t offer exciting things like fast refresh rates, adaptive-sync, or even zooty styling. But regardless of price, they always deliver good color, sharp images, and rugged build quality. To that they add enterprise features that make them more versatile than pretty much anything else out there. You probably won’t see the word value used much in association with NEC displays, but we think they’re easily worth their asking prices.
The EA245WMi is a great addition to the EA line. It embodies every positive quality we’ve become familiar with in NEC’s products and adds some nicely updated styling and compatibility with SpectraView II calibration software. Rather than the heavy, almost armor-plated appearance of other PA and EA screens, the 245 comes in with a super slim 6mm bezel and a trim, neat look. Don’t be fooled though, that same tank-like build quality is still there. And don’t forget the extra screen real estate afforded by that 16:10 aspect ratio.
While we’d bank on the precise color accuracy of any PA-series display, the EA products don’t include factory calibration and are more oriented to the premium business market rather than color-critical application. But adding SpectraView II to the mix can produce a monitor that is the equal of more expensive professional monitors, from NEC and others. Even with a basic OSD calibration, the EA245WMi meets a good level of quality and it works well out of the box too. We expect most users will be happy to simply unpack, turn on, and set brightness to taste.
If we have one complaint, it concerns gamma tracking. The panel has excellent grayscale performance and an accurate native color gamut. But a too-dark gamma trace means color is slightly off the mark, and the picture lacks that last nth degree of brilliance. With SpectraView II however, that anomaly can be corrected and a near perfect monitor can be had.
So the decision comes down to whether or not you want everything possible from the EA245WMi. To achieve that, you’ll need the extra software. But if you go with the display alone, it’s still an excellent monitor that’s likely to shine on your desktop through many computer upgrades. For its high potential, decent out-of-box performance, and unmatched build quality, we’re giving it our Editor Recommended Award.
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