An eco-friendly LCD that doesn't cheat on performance

If you're serious about saving money on energy -- and helping to preserve the environment -- the 22-inch EA223WM-BK display from NEC Display Solutions is worth a look. This is a good LCD that uses LEDs for backlight -- and somehow draws in almost no power.

For comparison, we tested a standard 20-inch LED display. It pulled in 21.7 watts per second. That’s pretty good, but the EA223WM blew it away, with a running power rating of only 17.1 watts, the lowest we have ever recorded for a monitor. So you get two more inches of display size and about a 20 percent savings on your energy consumption.

In fact, the EA223WM is all about ecology. It comes with two separate eco modes, both of which tend to adjust the balance and contrast to workable yet dimmer levels than most monitors. We think that at least one of the eco modes dims the LCD a bit too much, setting the brightness at 20 percent.

NEC EA223WM-BK Liquid Crystal DisplayNEC EA223WM green LCD

Performance: B
Features: B+
Ease of Use: A
Value: B
Price: $259
Pros: Consumes very little energy, no persistence issues with fast-moving images
Cons: Eco modes set LCD a little too dimly, a bit expensive for a 22-inch panel

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There is also an ambient light sensor that can automatically adjust the LCD to the conditions in the room. In a bright area, the display will kick up the brightness and contrast. This worked pretty well in our testing, but it still seemed a touch too dim. While all eco modes can be disabled, this would eliminate one of the biggest strengths of the EA223WM.

If you want to know how you’re doing in terms of energy savings, there are two meters right on the LCD menu you can turn to. One shows your carbon footprint. The second shows your energy cost savings over time if your Eco mode is enabled.

The EA223WM has one of the best light balances we’ve seen, with a solid 180-lumens in the middle of the screen and most of the corners. Text looked good down to seven points in size, but got a little hard to read below that. However, this was balanced by the fact that there were almost no persistence errors, even when we had an image moving across the screen at 800 pixels per second. This and the inclusion of a DisplayPort leads us to believe that the EA223WM is optimized for video.

The $259 price tag may seem a touch high for a 22-inch display, but with such little power consumption, you will start to see savings almost immediately. The EA223WM is a great monitor for those who want to get serious about going green but who don’t want to compromise too much on performance or quality to get there.

NEC,  www.necdisplay.com

TOMORROW: Big-screen punch, small-screen power use.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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