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NEC EA274WMi Monitor Review: Eco-Friendly At 2560x1440

Results: Color Gamut And Performance

Color gamut is measured using a saturation sweep that samples the six main colors (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow) at five saturation levels (20, 40, 60, 80, and 100%). This provides the most realistic view of color accuracy possible.

First, we’ll show you the sRGB preset. This is still the EA274WMi’s Standard picture mode. sRGB has no adjustments available except Brightness and Contrast.

The most telling chart of the three is the CIE triangle. The primary colors are pretty close, although blue falls outside the gamut. And the cyan and magenta secondaries are outside of their targets because you can’t adjust grayscale in sRGB mode. If you read Display Calibration 201: The Science Behind Tuning Your Monitor, then you know accurate grayscale tracking is essential to lining up the secondary colors properly. Without the ability to adjust them, you’re stuck with the above gamut. Fortunately, the luminance values are almost perfect. You can see that NEC purposely lowered the brightness of blue in order to compensate for its oversaturated result at 100 percent.

Calibrating the EA274WMi in its Color Temp 3 mode produces far better numbers.

Blue is still over-saturated, but now the secondary colors are right where they should be. We only had to tweak the RGB sliders to achieve excellent color performance. The blue luminance at 100-percent saturation is still low, but that’s OK. Now the image looks perfectly accurate and natural as it should.

Returning to the comparison group...

An average error of 1.45 Delta E is very low, as we'd expect from a monitor selling for $800. This display is certainly worthy of a professional’s toolkit, as long as you don’t need the wider Adobe RGB color gamut. We’ll talk about that below.

Gamut Volume: Adobe RGB 1998 And sRGB

There are basically two categories of displays in use today: those that conform to the sRGB/Rec. 709 standard like HDTVs, and wide-gamut panels that show as much as 100 percent of the Adobe RGB 1998 spec. We use Gamutvision to calculate the gamut volume, based on an ICC profile created from our actual measurements. Although we recently tested a couple of screens that offer both gamuts, NEC's EA274WMi maxes out at sRGB.

sRGB is the gamut used for gaming and video content, and a majority of productivity applications. The NEC matches that volume almost perfectly. If you look at the CIE chart again, you’d think the volume is a little greater than 100 percent sRGB. But Gamutvision takes luminance into account as well. Blue, magenta, and to a slight extent red are a little low, which brings the overall percentage just under 100. Pros requiring an sRGB monitor would do well to consider this one.

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