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Alexandre Botella Published on February 24, 2010
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  • Screen size 23 inches
  • Panel type IPS
  • Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Response time 14 ms
  • Inputs (HDMI / DVI / VGA / Component) 0 / 1 / 1 / 0
  • Other details DisplayPort, 2 x 1 W speakers, 4-port USB hub, height-adjustable stand, portrait mode, mounted on a rotating base
In forums and all over the net, the Nec EA231wmi has been a pretty hot topic. In fact, it's at our readers' request that we've decided to test this LCD monitor. Read on to find out how it performed.

Handling: it's got everything you need (well, almost)

This 23-inch Full HD monitor has a smart, professional design that's simple and yet stylish with its matte black casing and clean, crisp edges. Moving onto a subject that's slightly less subjective, let's take a look at the connections and accessories. This monitor has a good selection of connections with VGA, DVI and DisplayPort sockets. An HDMI port would have made a nice touch though, as the DisplayPort is having trouble taking off on consumer graphics cards.
As for the accessories, we were pleasantly surprised to find a four-port USB hub and a pair of 2 x 1-watt speakers, as well as a height-adjustable stand mounted on a rotating base and a handy portrait mode. With features like this, the EA231wmi easily earns its five-star rating!

Colours: decent, but not perfect

Default colours

Ideal colours
Compare the EA231wmi to other LCD monitors in our Product Face-Off

The default colours have a slight blue tinge. Our sensor also detected poor homogeneity in the brightness of the grey shades. For those of you who like to get technical, the gamma value is at 2 instead of 2.2. Both of these problems are minor though, as the average difference between the ideal colours and those displayed on the screen, or deltaE, is just 2.4, bearing in mind that with a deltaE of less than 3, most mere mortals won't notice anything afoot. In other words, its score is good but not perfect - hence the four-star rating.

But if that's not good enough, you can always have a go at calibrating it yourself.

On top of its decent colour fidelity, the EA231wmi has all the advantages of an IPS display, notably the wide viewing angles and good colour homogeneity. This makes it a good choice for graphic designers or for anyone who's into editing and retouching photos.

Responsiveness: IPS 14 ms = TN 5 ms = for office computing

Coloured   Transparent
Average ghosting
over ten frames

This is one of the Nec's few downfalls. Even though we could have guessed that this display wouldn't be breaking any of the records set by 120 Hz monitors, we were still hoping for a minimum amount of smoothness in fast picture sequences. As a result, this monitor is not recommended for gamers and is more suitable for office computing.

The response time is this monitor's only real downside as the input lag is small enough to go virtually unnoticed in multi-player games.
At last, an IPS screen with a decent contrast ratio!
Although wide viewing angles and colour homogeneity are a walk in the park for IPS screens, they generally have more trouble producing deep, rich blacks. They therefore don't have very good contrast ratios.

The good news is that the EA231wmi has a contrast ratio of 1000:1, in a category where the average value usually hovers around 850:1. LG's W2220P, for example, also has an IPS panel and its contrast ratio was no higher than 750:1.


  • Decent colours straight out of the box
  • Higher than average contrast ratio
  • Low input lag
  • Good design & handling


  • Response time too slow for smooth gaming
  • No HDMI port


A good all-round monitor, but the response times won't be sufficient for gamers.
5 NEC MultiSync EA231WMi DigitalVersus 2010-02-24 00:00:00
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