NEC P242W Review: 1920x1200 Semi-Glossy Professional IPS

NCX

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My Written Review

Default Color Photo Gallery Video vs. Samsung S27B970D (Calibrated)

Youtube Channel with Video Reviews

Product Page

NEC Product Page said:
Tackle your graphics projects with confidence using the LED-backlit P242W, a 24” widescreen monitor that is ideal for web, high-end desktop and photography applications. This model utilizes an AH-IPS panel for great imaging performance. Offering 99.6% coverage of the sRGB color gamut and 76% of NTSC, the P242W provides professional-grade benefits, such as an internal 14-bit 3D programmable lookup tables (LUTs), DisplayPort connectivity and built-in USB hub, at a budget-friendly price.

+8.736 khz LED PWM Dimming Frequency
+Semi-Glossy Coating
+10 bit Signal when connected via Displayport
+​6 bit+FRC AH-IPS Panel
+ 99.6% sRGB color space coverage
+Superior screen performance (1000:1 contrast ratio, 1920 x 1200 native resolution, 360 cd/m² brightness)
+Supports internal programmable 14-bit 3D lookup tables (LUTs) for calibration
+3-port USB hub with DisplaySync Pro™ controls two computers with only one keyboard and mouse
+Five programmable Picture Mode profiles for quick access to multiple color spaces
+AmbiBright™ ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness based on lighting conditions
+Wide connectivity includes DisplayPort, VGA, HDMI and DVI-D inputs

Thanks to ArtMarshall and others from NEC for sending me a P242W to test.

It just arrived today...I can confirmed that it has LG's new semi-glossy coating! The Qnix has Samsung's semi-glossy coating

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7349/9079707132_47acc55580_o.png

The coating does not appear to suffer from cross-hatching which AH-IPS panels are known to, including the NEC EA244WMi (according to overclock.ru)

It will take me a few weeks to craft my review but I will continually update my Written Review along with the 1st post.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3685/9090557636_beb7371742_o.jpg
 
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Namelessme

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Ooh, nice ... looking forward to the review.

I'm hoping it'll be a suitable replacement for us 2490 owners, minus the polarizer ... but hoping glow isn't too bad on that model. And ideally no cross hatching or similar odd issues.

Although it is rather pricey, so may have to wait until it hits the used market years from now.

Did NEC provide any info on the panel used? Is it 8-bit, or 6-bit + 2 bit FRC?
 

cnrhus

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I can't wait for this review-- I've been hittin google everyday doing 24 hr search for some kind of review to come up. It's pricey, but its color accurate and within my budget--hopefully. Looking forward to this!
 

pcunite

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Any reason I want this over my current 2490WUXi2 ? 29 watts vs. 40 watts would be nice. Does it have faster response times? The polarizer never bothered me personally.
 

NCX

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Better black levels (1000:1 contrast with Color Comp off vs. 600-700:1), grain free matte coating, less ghosting and lower lag (1 frame vs 2).

There aren't any 2490 pixel response time measurements I can source but most older IPS are considerably slower than the post 2012 models.

IPS glow is worse on the NEC vs. my S-IPS CrossOver
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5515/9103272763_a6eaf740cf_o.jpg

Once the overdrive is activated the NEC is slightly faster than my CrossOver 2720MDP which is one of the fastest IPS panels around (click and scroll down to view Playerwares pixel response time chart).

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3734/9112796517_8651da4457_o.png

The delay is also reduced once the Overdrive is enabled but I have no way of measuring since my SMT Tool license expire and licenses are no longer being sold. My 2720MDP has around 12ms (SMT Tool Measurement) which would put the NEC a few ms ahead...

No light bleeding (calibrated to 140cdm/2) Color Comp Off
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3677/9105505796_0466cae900_o.jpg

Color Comp 5
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5321/9103277769_076b5507f9_o.jpg

I have measured the color presets, all of which are very good (9/10 rating for those familiar with my reviews) and come very close to their respective targets (REC 709 & sRGB modes color spaces and gamma adhere to the standards). The color temperature settings are all out by around 200-300k.

One can adjust all of the settings using NEC's software which is awesome.
 
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Namelessme

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Are you seeing much glow at reasonable angles? By reasonable angles, I mean head movement while remaining sitting in your seat, from about 30" away? That pic does seem rather glowy to me... it may be a difficult adjustment for those of us used to no glow at all.
 

NCX

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At normal viewing angles the glow is slightly, but noticeably worse vs. my CrossOver. I will try to get an accurate "on angle," picture of both.
 

cnrhus

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How bad is the glow when editing images in photoshop. Does this panel come with a A-TW polarizer?

I'd also like to ask about eye strain-- how well does the monitor treat the eyes of someone staring at (possibly intense) colors all day. Thanks!
 
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Namelessme

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I can tell by the photo that it doesn't have an A-TW polarizer. A-TW = no glow at all. If NEC added it, I'm sure they'd also advertise the fact.
 

NCX

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I haven't checked but I doubt the NEC uses LED PWM Dimming. Even monitors with really low PWM Dimming frequencies typically do not bother me so I am the wrong person to ask.
 

Namelessme

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Thanks for the info. Unlike Eizo, I appreciate the fact that NEC will answer here with what type of panel it has.

Although I do admit at that price, and considering it's in NEC's pro lineup (albeit entry level), I would have hoped it would have an 8 bit panel.

I wonder if any of the newer 24" S-RGB AH-IPS panels (or PLS) are 8-bit at all? I recall looking up AH-IPS panels and at that size, they didn't specifically list any at all that was 24", 16:10, S-RGB and 8 bit.

It could be that the only 8-bit IPS panels being made are wide gamut and everything else at 24" and less are 6-bit + 2 bit FRC nowadays.
 

NCX

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It's banding free before and after profiling which is nice since most of the 8 bit 1440p monitors I've tested show gray scale banding after calibration.

Oddly only the saturation RGB settings using NEC's software as well as with the OSD seems to affect the colors, unless I am missing something. Fortunately setting the color temp to 6300k evens out the RGB levels and and color temperature to 6500k.
 
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cnrhus

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Sorry I'm unfamiliar with meanings behind 8-bit vs 6-bit + 2 FRC. Is this a deal breaker for someone who wants to do digital color work on the p242w?
 

ArtMarshall

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Oddly only the saturation RGB settings using NEC's software as well as with the OSD seems to affect the colors, unless I am missing something. Fortunately setting the color temp to 6300k evens out the RGB levels and and color temperature to 6500k.

I don't know what you mean by this... have you tried using MultiProfiler to set up your picture mode? You'll have complete control over the color gamut, whitepoint, etc.

MultiProfiler download

-- Art
 

Namelessme

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Sorry I'm unfamiliar with meanings behind 8-bit vs 6-bit + 2 FRC. Is this a deal breaker for someone who wants to do digital color work on the p242w?

Probably not. If it is banding free and gradients are good, it doesn't really matter.

I've read some people may be sensitive to FRC flickering, and in such a case, I guess those few people would prefer 8 bit, but I expect they are in the vast minority. If you want wide gamut, then yeah, this monitor wouldn't be ideal, but that isn't really related to FRC (as they may be 8 bit + 2 bit FRC).

I just think, psychologically I'd feel better if it was 8 bit when spending so much money on a monitor, as what I am using now is 8 bit.
 

NCX

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I don't know what you mean by this... have you tried using MultiProfiler to set up your picture mode? You'll have complete control over the color gamut, whitepoint, etc.

MultiProfiler download

-- Art

Using my cellphone on the job site so my replies will be limited.

I am using the awesome Multi Profiler software. I'm referring to the 6 axis color controls, only the saturation settings work.

Out of curiosity, is there a reason for using 6 panel bit over an 8 bit panel?
 

cnrhus

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@namelessme
Thanks for the info namelessme, I'm suppose I'm still a little confused do the bits impact the color space, or do they impact screen flickering, or both. I'm interested in staying within the standard RGB range as I want the work view-able/consistent on both screen and in print.
 

ArtMarshall

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I am using the awesome Multi Profiler software. I'm referring to the 6 axis color controls, only the saturation settings work.

Can you screenshot what your'e trying and send them to me? Not all controls will create a visible difference, depending on what you're trying to do. If you can send the main MultiProfiler window also that would help.

Out of curiosity, is there a reason for using 6 panel bit over an 8 bit panel?

It's unfortunately where the industry has gone. For an sRGB panel in 24", that was our best option.

-- Art
 

Namelessme

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It's unfortunately where the industry has gone. For an sRGB panel in 24", that was our best option.

-- Art

I was wondering if 8 bit s-rgb panels were even made anymore at 24", so I guess that answers that question. Can manufacturers still purchase older panels though, or is it not cost effective? Or perhaps LG simply stops sales of certain panels after a while?

It just feels like instead of newer panels being better, they are instead just cheaper (at 24" and smaller, anyway). One of the main advantages over older models seems to have more to do with panel coating (not exactly a high tech item), than anything new in AH-IPS panels themselves.
 

Namelessme

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@namelessme
Thanks for the info namelessme, I'm suppose I'm still a little confused do the bits impact the color space, or do they impact screen flickering, or both. I'm interested in staying within the standard RGB range as I want the work view-able/consistent on both screen and in print.

I may be wrong, but I think 6 bits + 2 bit FRC vs 8 bits primarily has to do with gradients and banding. In theory, an 8 bit panel should have smoother gradients, as using the FRC method is sort of a trick... kinda... where they make a 6 bit panel show the same color range as 8 bits would.

In practice, it probably doesn't make a giant difference, unless the FRC is handled poorly or the viewer is sensitive to FRC flicker. Again, it just feels cheap though, not to use 8 bit on a $750 monitor. Decent monitors from 5+ years ago were 8 bit (S-PVA, NEC 90 series, etc), so it's hard to see it as an improvement.

For this monitor, my concern would be with the glow ... it appears rather glowy to me (based on pics so far), when compared to monitors that have no glow at all.
 

Snowdog

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It's unfortunately where the industry has gone.
-- Art


I assume this is also why there are no more A-TW Polarizers in these monitors. I am hanging on to my Original Nec 2490 WUXi until it dies and can't be fixed.

I would really love a 30" inch version with A-TW polarizer, but as it is, the 30" screens just show too much IPS glow IMO.
 

Namelessme

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I assume this is also why there are no more A-TW Polarizers in these monitors. I am hanging on to my Original Nec 2490 WUXi until it dies and can't be fixed.
As I am, although it'd be nice if there was at least one alternative out there in case this thing explodes one day. Besides an Eizo that will empty one's bank acct, I am not sure if there are any A-TW monitors really available anymore.

But couldn't a manufacturer simply add the polarizer during manufacturing, or is it part of the panel itself?
 

cnrhus

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I may be wrong, but I think 6 bits + 2 bit FRC vs 8 bits primarily has to do with gradients and banding. In theory, an 8 bit panel should have smoother gradients, as using the FRC method is sort of a trick... kinda... where they make a 6 bit panel show the same color range as 8 bits would.

In practice, it probably doesn't make a giant difference, unless the FRC is handled poorly or the viewer is sensitive to FRC flicker. Again, it just feels cheap though, not to use 8 bit on a $750 monitor. Decent monitors from 5+ years ago were 8 bit (S-PVA, NEC 90 series, etc), so it's hard to see it as an improvement.

For this monitor, my concern would be with the glow ... it appears rather glowy to me (based on pics so far), when compared to monitors that have no glow at all.

That all sounds rather disappointing as someone looking to purchase their first PRO monitor. I sort of had my heart set on this one-- assuming that getting monitors brand new lineup would future proof me in some ways for a while. Now what it seems like is that I should look into older options..or something. I'm a nervous buyer and been looking at what my IPS option might be for-- well lets say a while-- so perhaps it might be back to the drawing board (literally!)
 

Namelessme

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That all sounds rather disappointing as someone looking to purchase their first PRO monitor. I sort of had my heart set on this one-- assuming that getting monitors brand new lineup would future proof me in some ways for a while. Now what it seems like is that I should look into older options..or something. I'm a nervous buyer and been looking at what my IPS option might be for-- well lets say a while-- so perhaps it might be back to the drawing board (literally!)

I wouldn't rule it out yet. Wait for this review, Prad and TFT Central reviews first.

No monitor will be perfect. Besides NEC, don't forget to look at Eizos too. A lot of times it comes down to personal preference and what sorts of features you are looking for... and what you are willing to spend.
 

cnrhus

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I looked at your post over at wecravegamestoo but was confused by the table of contents.. they all seem to link to the Qnix review?
 

NCX

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I'm still working on it. I always copy and paste content from previous reviews then edit everything later.
 
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Lordken

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The MultiSync P242W is 6-bit + A-FRC.

-- Art

Where you got this information?

I've contacted NEC CZ/SK some weeks ago with two questions:
1. what/if PWM is used
2. what panel is used, if it is native 8bit (like p241w model was)
Their answer was:
1. PWM used in 8-20khz range
2. panel used is 8bit (while PA242w should be 10bit) but I did not get specific panel model

It really looks that this model will be better than p241w. I wanted to buy p241w but than I learned it had terrible input lag.
I'm quite optimistic with p242w as NCX said in his review that monitor is fast (faster than his Qnix) but I would really like input lag measurment so I guess I have to wait for more reviews...
I just cant understand why nobody is reviewing this model :(

PS: NCX perhaps you can put direct link to your review in original post? and thanks for your effort
 

NCX

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Where did you get this information?

Art works for NEC :)

The P242W uses a 6 bit+FRC panel & has a 1khz PWM Frequency.

The P242W has 1 frame delay according to my subjective evaluations vs. the 3 other monitors I compared it to. You can choose to have faith in my evaluation or hope PRAD reviews it in the future :)

The site I host my reviews on is currently being updated so the links may not always work, but I did add the review link to the first post.
 

Lordken

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Ah didn't know Art is from NEC. I guess it helps to read peoples profiles...

But tbh now I'm a bit disappointed :( Why doing new model with "worse" panel than previous one. At some point I was mad at eizo putting only 6bit panel into ~600e range screen, now nec doing the same.

I see this unlikely but could there be perhaps two versions of same model? I wonder why local NEC representative would lie to me. Maybe it was not his intention and there is just confusing/messy internal info within nec...hell they even state that p242w is CCFL here
I could understand he would try to say that panel is 8bit (as from PR point 6+2 panel is same as 8bit) but I specifically referred to p241w in my question and why he would come up with 8-20khz pwm if it has 1khz. That doesn't make sense


NCX if you say it like that about frame delay than its good news. When I checked your review some weeks ago I understood that response time is very good but you didn't mention input lag.
 

Namelessme

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Nice review. Is it still a work in progress, as I saw some sections without info?

As for the 6-bit panel, maybe Art will answer here, but I expect it's simply due to LG. I don't think they even made a 8-bit s-rgb 24" 16:10 during the newest iteration of IPS panels (AH-IPS). Looking at the panel database, I remember just seeing 6-bit + FRC and then an Adobe panel.

PLS appears to have the same options. So I'm not sure an 8-bit s-rgb AH-IPS even exists. Maybe AUO makes one now?

I guess they could have used an older panel, but then it may not be LED and probably would have the heavy AG coating issue.
 

ArtMarshall

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hell they even state that p242w is CCFL here
It looks like we missed that one in editing. I'll get it fixed - P242W is W-LED.


Namelessme said:
As for the 6-bit panel, maybe Art will answer here, but I expect it's simply due to LG.
Unfortunately 6 bit + FRC is just what the panel makers produce right now at that price point. You can get a higher bit panel (e.g. the new MultiSync PA242W) but it's a more expensive panel and a more expensive display.
 

undertaker2k8

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@Art, when is NEC planning to release the P272W WQHD model i.e. W-LED with sRGB and a working uniformity compensation, a 27" analog to the P242W?

I hope you do it soon as I have been waiting for a good WQHD screen for well over a year now:I would get your PA271W were it not for the older style AG coating.
 

NCX

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NCX if you say it like that about frame delay than its good news. When I checked your review some weeks ago I understood that response time is very good but you didn't mention input lag.

Added my lag evaluation a few days ago. The P242W has TN-like pixel response times but a 1 frame delay which is normal for these types of monitors. The delay is increased when using 16:9 resolutions

I wouldn't get hung up on the bits since the P242W is free from banding free when using Displayport & calibrated with the Spectraview software

Nice review. Is it still a work in progress, as I saw some sections without info?.

Yes, also, the site I use is currently being updated so most of the links are broken & it loads very slowly.
 

Namelessme

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Did you see any banding when using dvi and not calibrated using spectraview? There have been some users mentioning similar panels, or what I assume are the same exact panel, on different models showing some banding in the grays.
 

NCX

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When calibrated with basICColor 5 there was some minor banding over both DVI & DP, but less with DP. I only used the SpectraView Software when connected via DP.
 
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