NEC PA242W Monitor Reviewby Chris Heinonen on September 27, 2013 9:00 AM EST
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.
|White Level (cd/m^2)||197.0||204.14||80.79|
|Black Level (cd/m^2)||0.3457||0.366||0.1479|
|Color Checker dE2000||1.0198||0.6392||0.5331|
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.