GCN Lab Review: NEC MultiSync EA241WM LCD monitor

Pros: Fairly accurate colors, adequate color registration
Cons: Fine images not uniform throughout screen, major light bleeding problems, poor display of both light and dark images
Image Quality: C-
Features: B
Value: C
Government price: $455

The MultiSync EA241WM looks pretty good on paper, and even has some nice extra features, such as a built-in carrying handle that makes transport of the display a breeze. But it also has the worst image quality of any monitor in this roundup, which should keep it out of most people’s hands even at the low $455 government price. Its flaws might have been acceptable two years ago, but they are out of place in the current 24-inch widescreen crop.

In this GCN Lab review:

LCD monitors go big, with mostly good results
ViewSonic VG2427wm LCD monitor
Eizo FlexScan EcoView EV2411W LCD monitor
Acer B273HU LCD monitor
NEC MultiSync EA241WM LCD monitor
Dell UltraSharp 2709W LCD monitor
HP LP2475w LCD monitor

Problems with the EA241WM began right at the initial setup, when we discovered light bleeding in from the back panel along the top and bottom of the screen. This problem is bad because it will wash out images that are rendered near the top and bottom of the screen and users can't fix it. The panel is simply not made with tight-fitting parameters, so there is little you can do about it.

Screen uniformity also was an issue. Although the light levels were fairly consistent across the screen, with 329 lumens recorded in the middle and 288 on the edges — away from the light-bleed areas, at least — fine images were not properly rendered even when matching the native resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 over a digital signal. If you try to display a very fine grid pattern, 90 percent of the image will look perfect, but there will be spots that are fuzzy here and there. And the naked eye will easily detect those imperfections.

Beyond that, the EA241WM had problems displaying dark images against a black screen and light images against a white screen. Normally, a monitor will at least do well with one of those tests, because they are opposites. But the EA241WM darkened the dark images too much and let the lighter ones get washed out.

Text display was adequate, with letters looking crisp at 12 points, though others in this review could display text at 9 points without problems.

In terms of extra features, there is a four-port USB hub, and the menu is controlled with a little joystick, making navigation and configuration of the monitor simple — even kind of fun as menus go.

The flaws of the EA241WM are not terrible, but they do stand out in a field of other LCDs that do so much better. The $455 price tag is tempting for a 24-inch LCD, but you can get a lot more quality for not much more money. And one monitor in this review, the Acer B273HU, beats the NEC in terms of quality and price.

NEC Display Solutions, 866-632-6673, www.necdisplay.com

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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