Updated 10/2/2013: Talking to NEC after this went live it was found that the review unit had a feature, Metamerism, enabled. This helps to match it to other displays, but also caused the pre-calibration numbers and non-SpectraView numbers, to be incorrect. I'm currently re-running the pre-calibration numbers on the NEC now and updating the pages as fast as possible. The end result is that the NEC performs far, far better out-of-the-box than initially thought.

Be prepared, as there is a lot of bench test data coming here. For my pre-calibration settings I used the sRGB color gamut, a color temperature of 6500K, and a gamma setting of 2.2.




200 cd/m^2
80 cd/m^2
White Level (cd/m^2) 197.0 204.14 80.79
Black Level (cd/m^2) 0.3457 0.366 0.1479
Contrast Ratio 570:1 558:1 546:1
Gamma (Average) 2.2633 2.1437 2.3734
Color Temperature 6460K 6426K 6442K
Grayscale dE2000 1.573 0.6504 0.6473
Color Checker dE2000 1.0198 0.6392 0.5331
Saturations dE2000 0.9682 0.6722 0.5675

Out of the box the NEC is practically perfect. The grayscale has a little bit of an error but one that should barely be visible if at all. The gamma has a small peak at 95% but no huge issues at all. The colors are reference quality and there is nothing to complain about with them. If this was a post-calibration result I would say it is amazing. The fact that it is a pre-calibration one makes it even that much more incredible.

Post calibration, aside from a dip in the gamma at 90-95%, everything else improves and becomes practically perfect. Yes, the overall error levels can be lower but you couldn't see it. None of the 96 samples in the large color checker chart even come close to a dE2000 of 2, much less the visible limit of 3. The average error of 0.63 is the lowest I've ever seen. It's perfect.

When targeting 80 cd/m^2 and the sRGB gamma target we see similar performance. The gamma curve isn’t perfect but really everything else is. The color checker chart hits an average dE2000 of 0.53 here which is even better, but not visible. What you see on the screen is what you are supposed to see.

With Metamerism turned off, the NEC measures perfectly. The only improvement I could see is in contrast ratio, but they might be letting that suffer to coax more reliable overall performance of the panel which is a trade-off that would be worth it for their target markets. Perhaps once OLED gets affordable we can see something better, but until then this is really, really good.

Brightness and Contrast Bench Test Data: AdobeRGB Mode
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  • Hulk - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    I trust Anandtech reviews but that contrast ratio would be a huge concern of mine if I were dropping $1000 on a monitor.
  • noeldillabough - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    I'm using an older 26" version of this at work and its great...so much so that when I work on a different machine I'm grumbling about the difference!
  • coolhardware - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    I could not find a 26" (older) version of this monitor, anybody have a model #???
  • asakharov - Sunday, October 6, 2013 - link

    NEC 2690WUXI
  • Death666Angel - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    If you drop 1k on this you need it for the uniformity and color/calibration results, not for high contrast for your movies and games. :)
  • Hulk - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    Actually when I do post work for video/photo, lattitude (dynamic range), which is ability to see detail in the darkest and brightest areas is a big deal, as important if not more so than color space and uniformity. A low contrast ratio means that highlights turn into bright blotches and dark areas simply appear crushed.

    I look for contrast ratio first, then color space, and finally uniformity in a monitor for doing work in post. Uniformity and color space are useless if I can't see any detail in the bright and dark areas.
  • Senti - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    You are absolutely wrong about contrast. Contrast is the ratio of pure white to pure black and nothing else. This has nothing to do with ability to display dark and bright shades. Actually, the reverse is true: VA panels have great contrast and awful dark tones reproduction. I can see the difference between all the shades with my NEC PA241W even though its contrast is quite modest.

    In general, I have to say that displays are definitely not Anandtech's specialization. Not just mine opinion, as I heard several times how disappointed people I know were at the usefulness of such reviews here. Some important points that AT completely missed: 10-bit mode of operation, overdrive errors, refresh rates, impact of different Uniformity setting values.
  • Hulk - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    No. You are wrong.
    Contrast ratio should be high for a good display.

    Furthermore, dynamic range and contrast are closely related and a good display should have a contrast ratio of at least 1000:1.

    Finally, you might want to read up on this subjest.
  • Gothmoth - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    sorry hulk. but you are clueless.

    look at eizo coloredge or quato monitors.
    and don´t argue about something you obviously know not much about.
    enjoy the faked contrast ratio numbers of your gaming monitors and google a few more articles that say nothing about actual display quality .
  • Samus - Saturday, September 28, 2013 - link

    Ohh Hulk, throwing wiki links to general topics with no direct data about this monitor (or any other comparison) is fail.

    No where in Contrast Ratio does it say anything along the lines of quality monitors have high contrast ratio or low-end monitors have weak contrast ratio, etc.

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