REVIEW: NEC PA301W-BK
++ very good, + good, +/- satisfactory, - bad, -- very bad
The PA301W expands NEC’s PA series with a long-awaited 30-inch version with a 2,560 x 1,600 pixel screen. After the smaller PA241W and PA271W performed convincingly, we are excited about how their larger successor will perform.
The P-IPS panel used in the model comes from LG and should actually be the equivalent of the H-IPS version used in almost all current 30-inch computer monitors, which has been available for longer. With the WCG-CCFL backlight, the monitor’s colour space goes far beyond sRGB. In unmanaged environments, the flexible colour space emulation promises accurate display without the dreaded "candy colours".
The NEC PA301W (Photo: NEC)
The electronics are oriented around the other monitors in the PA series: a programmable 14bit 3D LUT and internal computational precision of 16bit per channel form the cornerstones for powerful signal processing. Together with the usual wide range of on-board means and a careful selection of the factory settings, we expect a software calibration that is at the same level as a hardware calibration. In fact, corrections via the graphics card LUT which cause losses should simply not arise.
Although SpectraView II is not marketed directly by NEC in Europe, a European PA301W can also be hardware calibrated using the latest version of this software, which has also received an interesting addition.
Signals with 10 bits per channel can optionally be played back via the DisplayPort input. In order for this to be possible, support is needed on both the hardware and software sides.
All results published in the test were measured via the digital output of an nVidia Geforce GTX 280 from Gainward. A Lumagen RadianceXD and an iScan VP50 were used to test the video functions. In addition, an OPPO DV-980H was used for playing back DVDs and a Sony S350E was used for playing back Blu-rays. The colorimetric measurements were carried out using a spectral photometer (EyeOne Pro). A colorimeter (X-Rite DTP94) was used to measure the minimum black value.
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