REVIEW: NEC P221W-BK
++ very good, + good, +/- satisfactory, - bad, -- very bad
NEC is launching its new "P" monitor series, which should offer affordable widescreen monitors for professional requirements, with the handy 22-inch P221W.
Almost identical to a 2690WUXi in appearance, this monitor makes it clear with its clear shape and bare lines that this is not a becoming, playful decorative item for the living room, but rather a monitor with internal qualities which is at home in the serious business sector, even on smaller desks.
The target group for this product family includes users in the areas of photography and other graphic editing who do not have an unlimited budget, but still expect precise colour fidelity, which is indicated by the specialisation of the products for colour-critical work. The 96 percent coverage of the AdobeRGB colour space advertised together with an optional hardware calibration, which can otherwise only be seen in models in considerably higher price regions, are to be mentioned here.
We examine the difference between software and hardware calibration in our report: "Hardware and software calibration of monitors for beginners". Although software is used in both cases, we will refer to software calibration in our test if a colour profile modifies the colour output of the graphics card and hardware calibration if the calibration is carried out directly in the monitor.
With its contrast-rich S-PVA panel, a good black value and HDCP-enabled signal inputs, this model can be applied in a wide variety of areas and promises happily good image quality in all areas of application.
We will look more closely at what extent the NEC P221W can keep this promise and whether the hardware calibration really offers advantages in the following review.
We tested the monitor in PC mode using a Sparkle GeForce 8800GTS 512 (G92); video playback was tested using a PC via DVI and a PS3 with a HDMI-to-DVI cable. Furthermore, an IBM T42p notebook with a FireGL/T2 graphics card was used for the analogue D-Sub connection. In addition, a Gretag Macbeth EyeOne Display 2 colorimeter was used together with the iColor Display 22.214.171.124 software for the measurements.
Securely and conveniently packed, but yet completely pre-mounted, the NEC P221W can be used as soon as it is removed from the packaging. The scope of supply is clearly laid out but is complete. The three cables included are: a DVI-D cable, a D-Sub cable and a power cable. In addition, a manual, driver CD and set of metric screws for using the VESA mounting option are included. The scope of supply is thus complete.
Left: power cable, D-Sub and DVI cable: manual, driver CD, screws and a folding sheet illustrating the connection of the monitor.
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