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Jan 23, 2012

NEC MultiSync EX231Wp Monitor – Review

by Stephen Ashby

NEC conquers the middle ground with this stunning monitor

NEC MultiSync EX231Wp Monitor - ReviewNEC MultiSync EX231Wp Monitor - ReviewNEC MultiSync EX231Wp Monitor - ReviewWhether you’ve just bought a new Mac Mini, you’re in the market for a second monitor to sit alongside your iMac, or even if you just want a desktop base to dock your MacBook into, choosing the right monitor is very important. We’ve taken a closer look at one of NEC’s business-targeted offerings to see if it can manage to hold its own in the consumer market.

The design of the MultiSync monitor makes it clear from the off that this is a display designed for offices – highlighted by a black plastic casing that is pretty uninspiring. However, it’s not all suits and ties; the bezel around the edge is thinner than on most displays, which is actually a real bonus, and the base of the display sits on a rotating plate that lets you spin the panel around with relative ease. The screen also rises and rotates through 90 degrees, allowing you to view documents or photos in portrait, or just increase the height to suit.

NEC MultiSync EX231Wp Monitor - ReviewIn terms of the screen itself, we were pleasantly surprised by the MultiSync’s PVA (Patterned Vertical Alignment) panel, which provides higher contrast ratios than many other rivals. The matte finish stopped us ever being blinded by reflected lights. However, the VA system did produce some serious issues with ghosting thanks to the 25ms response time, which made HD gaming extremely difficult.

NEC MultiSync EX231Wp Monitor - ReviewThe screen itself is a really nice size; if the thought of a 27-inch iMac worries you, but the 21-inch is just a little too small, this is a great middle ground. The controls for the display sit down in the bottom-left, and are touch based. Rather than all the controls being buttons, though, some are actually sliders. There are two eco modes in a well-designed menu system, which will stop settings like brightness going above a certain level, and an ambient light sensor to adjust it to the room’s lighting.

The biggest sticking point is the price. Next to a 27-inch Thunderbolt Display this is a bargain, but compared to other 23-inch monitors it’s costly. Still, we NEC MultiSync EX231Wp Monitor - Reviewthink the features included are worth the extra cash if you can afford it. It manages to show colours nicely, controls and connections are great, and the adaptability of the monitor as a whole is really impressive. If it ran games as well as it handles other tasks this would be the complete package.

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