REVIEW: NEC PA301W-BK Part 7
The NEC PA301W does not come with any screen manager software. The user can download the "MultiProfiler" software free of charge via the NEC homepage. This allows the user to adjust important parameters and is especially suitable for controlling colour space emulation.
The P-IPS panel in the NEC PA301W does not differ from the H-IPS variant from LG (LM300WQ5) that is used in various monitors. The only deviation from some older monitors is the panel internal FRC dithering, with which the panel presents itself as 10bit enabled for the electronics. Display still takes place with 8 bits per channel. For the user, the concrete positioning of the FRC dithering level is transparent: unpleasant losses of hue are avoided in any case in conjunction with the powerful electronics. When playing material back via the DisplayPort input, the user also benefits from the increased range of hues in signals with 10 bits per channel. The negative effects of FRC dithering are only slightly visible on the NEC PA301W: only at a short distance from the screen can a minimal amount of noise be seen in dark hues. There are no clear spatial patterns.
With the 14bit 3D-LUT and an internal computational precision of 16 bits per channel, we do not expect any visible losses of hue, regardless of the OSD settings selected. The same should apply for the monitor’s status after software calibration: the extensive range of on-board means allows us to hope that corrections via the graphics card LUT will be minimal, provided that the monitor behaves in a neutral manner.
Test image for checking grey gradients.
In fact, we did not notice unpleasant banding in colour and grey gradients in any scenario. The NEC PA301W always presents a flawless image. This applies even after calibration with L* gradation. It can be selected directly via the OSD and is also achieved very precisely (see the results of the colorimetric test). Thus, the results for a software calibration are hardly if at all poorer than those of a hardware calibration using SpectraView II.
Hues are visible from the second level in the factory settings (gamma 2.2). At the other end of the brightness spectrum, only the two last hues are no longer differentiated. With the sRGB gradation, hues become visible from the first level (the test images are displayed without colour management).
The differentiation of bright and dark grey levels was tested using relevant test images.
The illumination is not quite perfect, but it is still good. There are only slight brighter patches towards the top of the screen, but these will hardly disturb the user in normal usage. There is no unpleasant cloud formation.
Illumination of the monitor for short exposure time (left) and long exposure time (right).
In the factory settings (Image mode: High Bright, White point: Native, ColorComp: Off), the black point is 0.24 cd/m². The luminance is almost 219 cd/m². This corresponds to a good contrast ratio of 900:1 and is approximately in the region of the manufacturer’s indication of 1000:1 maximum. Since we carried out measurements with the native white point, high light density and deactivated ColorComp (NEC’s compensation solution for improving the image homogeneity), further increases are not to be expected. However, the value achieved is already good for a monitor with EBV orientation and an IPS panel. The NEC PA301W is at the same level as the somewhat smaller PA271W.
The range of the luminance setting is very wide, but the backlight does not cover the entire range. Without ColorComp, it is no longer dimmed more strongly from around 135 cd/m². Further reductions to about 39 cd/m² then only reduce the white level. The black value (0.15 cd/m²) remains unchanged accordingly and the contrast ratio drops to a minimum of almost 280:1. The NEC PA301W is comparable with the Eizo CG303W in its behaviour, as long as one takes into consideration the fact that the "DUE" (Eizo’s version of ColorComp) cannot be switched off and the luminance is not reduced further beyond the white level.
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