Published in News
NEC sells 23-inch IPS panel for less than ?300
A couple of months back NEC announced the EA231WMi, a dull-named 23-inch panel with some rather exciting specs. We didn't write about it because we weren't paying attention. I'm guessing it was a nice July day. Anyway, this is a chance to make things right, as this monitor is a rather good deal, a great deal in fact.
First of all, it features DisplayPort, so it's future proof, and you can be sure that you'll be able to connect your new notebook or graphics card to it in a couple of years. More importantly, it's not a cheap TN panel, it is in fact an IPS panel, which means it can wipe the floor with just about any TN panel on the market. The only downside is that it looks a bit, well ugly. Maybe not ugly, just geeky.
Not that long ago, buying an IPS or S-PVA panel would have cost you an arm and a leg, and all the benefits of seeing colours the way God intended was reserved for design professionals and enthusiasts who were willing to cough up a massive premium. However, NEC's full HD EA231 will set you back a mere €300. It is still much pricier than consumer grade 23-inchers, but it is probably worth it. The brightness is rated at 270cd/m2 and its contrast is 1000:1. This might not sound like much in a world of ridiculous PR claims you'll find on a box containing a cheap TN screen, but believe us, it's more than enough.
For years, the only technical advantage of TN panels was their extremely fast response time, something that was important for gamers. The IPS panel on the EA231 manages 14ms, which is nowhere nearly as fast as a cheap TN panel. Still, if you're not that into games, and if your hobbies include photography, video or design, this is a very interesting product as you'll get pro specs at a consumer price tag.
The EA231 started shipping in Europe in late September, but it's still not widely available in all markets.
You can find the product page here.