Saturday, November 7th 2009

Screen Cravings

I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. But for some reason I’ve started dreaming of a nice new wide-screen display for our computer.

I have no reason to dream of a new screen. We have a 17 inch, 1280×1024 Acer that works perfectly. It swivels, tilts and does all kinds of tricks. Yet I can’t get this thing out of my head:

It is the NEC EA231WMi.

It is 23 inches across. It shows 1920×1080 pixels. It can be raised or lowered, turned, or pivoted for reading long documents.

But most importantly, the panel in this screen is an IPS panel. That means the picture is much more like what you got on an old fat-screen.

Most flat-screens can’t actually show all the 16.7 million colours that an old fat-screen can. The fact that nearly all flat-screens only have 6 bit colour depth for red, green and blue is a well-kept secret.

Now it couldn’t have been a well-kept secret if 6-bits meant horrible colour. It doesn’t. But it can mean that you get slight banding in gradients which should really be perfectly smooth. Have a look at the background on my website to see what I mean.

The NEC EA231WMi can show all those colours. And it is much less sensitive to viewing angle than most other screens.

Those things are great for a photo-geek like myself. Especially the bit about viewing angles, since it means that I don’t risk making photos too light or too dark because I happened to have the screen tilted slightly wrong when I made the adjustments.

The fact that the screen is really wide is nice for using Lightroom, which has panels down both sides and the photo in the middle. On a wide-screen the photo area becomes much larger.

Obviously it can show full 1080p HD video too. Such as the upcoming season of Top Gear. (Sunday 15th!)

The best thing is the price of this thing. Around $380, or SEK 3600, which is about half as much as most comparable screens. Still, I’ll have to ask for contributions for Xmas. The money I’ve saved up for unnecessary fun stuff isn’t quite enough yet.

4 Responses to this post:

  1. ogirtd says:

    OLED screens are the next big thing. wait a year or so, it'll be worth it.

  2. David Naylor says:

    Hmm, I need to read up on OLED. Thx for the tip!

  3. Tudor says:

    Hope this isn’t a useless comment but the Organic LEDs fade over time. I’ve been paying attention to them when they were first invented and the “first batch” only lasted a few minutes before “dying”.

    They currently use oleds on mobile phones cause nobody keeps one for more than a year or so.
    Point is, they are obviously going to resort to tricks to make the oleds last long and “accurate” on large screens..

    And, I also wanted to thank you on the good review of this screen, I’m definitely buying one as soon as I get the cash. My monitor is 5 years old and a TN. :O

  4. David Naylor says:

    Interesting, I didn’t know that.

    Thanks for the feedback on the review! You won’t be disappointed with the EA231WMi!