NEC MultiSync PA242W-BK

24″ Display for Graphics Professionals

One of the most important hardware items for photo and graphics professionals is an accurate, excellent display. As the technologies improve and the products come down in price, it's easier than ever to have a stunning, quality monitor to help ensure that your color, clarity, and density match your output online, in print, or for commercial products. Enter the new NEC MultiSync PA242W-BK, a relatively midsize and midprice offering in NEC's extensive selection of displays.

With its 1920×1200 resolution, this 24″ AH-IPS 10-bit LCD screen provides you with enough brightness and contrast options to be accurate with anything from photos to videos to graphic design. It's worth mentioning that NEC includes a wide variety of connectivity options for nearly any type of input. Especially nice is that fact that each of those cables is included.

Even after a few days of use, the display requires a bit of finesse to calibrate up to its potential. Clearly, the PA242W-BK is capable of outstanding image quality; however, to make that possible, it's essential that you take the time to adjust brightness and contrast for your work environment with a proper calibration tool. As with any peripheral device, downloading the latest software and firmware is always recommended for best results. This helps to assure compatibility and functionality from the operating system. Using a Spyder Elite did very well, but required that the brightness level be approximately 15% higher for best results.

Another nice feature is the inclusion of a built-in USB hub with DisplaySync Pro, allowing the control of two computers with one keyboard and mouse. Add to that the rotating positioning, Picture-in-Picture abilities, and even more viewing options and you have a whole lot of value at the $1,000 price range from a professional-quality, first-class display.

Company: NEC
Price: $1,049
Rating: 4
Hot: Screen clarity; viewing angles; broad-spectrum color
Not: Calibration