NEC MultiSync EA274WMi review

The NEC MultiSync EA274WMi is a pricey 27-inch business-class monitor that delivers solid all-around performance and is packed with features.
Photo of NEC MultiSync EA274WMi

Always popular with business users, NEC’s MultiSync EA series of desktop monitors continues to impress. The latest addition to the EA family, the NEC MultiSync EA274WMi ($799 list), uses a high-resolution, 27-inch IPS panel to deliver robust colors, wide viewing angles, and solid grayscale performance. It’s also packed with features, including a four-port USB (two USB 2.0, two UBS 3.0 portshub, a multi-position stand, and a comprehensive assortment of video inputs. Greens run a little hot on this panel, but it’s a minor flaw that doesn’t have a noticeable effect on picture quality. You’ll pay a bit more for the EA274WMi than you will for a typical mainstream monitor, but in this case you get what you pay for, namely a well-appointed display and our newest Editors’ Choice for big-screen business monitors.

Design and Features
The EA274WMi looks just like the NEC MultiSync EA244WMi, only bigger. Its 27-inch WQHD (2,560-by-1,440) screen has a matte anti-glare coating, and the cabinet sports a matte-black finish, thin bezels, and an ergonomic stand with a telescoping arm that gives you a little more than five inches of height adjustment. The circular base has a swivel mechanism, and the mounting hinge can tilt and pivot. You can pivot the screen 90 degrees for portrait viewing, but you’ll have to change the image orientation in your graphics control panel.

In the center of the bottom bezel are two sensors; when enabled, the Human sensor will put the monitor into a power-saving state if no movement is detected, while the Ambient Light sensor will trigger the monitor to automatically adjust brightness according to ambient light levels. Off to the right are five touch-sensitive buttons (power, menu, input, left, right) that, along with three additional buttons (up, down, and picture-by-picture or PBP) on the lower right bezel, are used to navigate the on-screen menus. Pressing any button activates the handy on-screen labeling system that shows you what each button does.

The rear of the cabinet holds numerous I/O ports, including DVI-D, VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort video inputs, one upstream USB 3.0 port, two downstream USB 3.0 ports, two ControlSync ports, and an audio input. The ControlSync ports allows you to copy settings from one monitor and export them to up to five sub monitors using ControlSync cables (one is included in the box). There are two USB 2.0 ports conveniently located on the left side of the cabinet, along with a headphone jack.

The EA274WMi gives you plenty of settings to tinker with. In addition to the usual brightness and contrast settings, you get six DV modes (standard, text, movie, gaming, photo, dynamic) and a Color Control System with four presets that change red, green, and blue color values. Here you can also choose to run the monitor in Native or sRGB mode, or if you’re working with medical imaging you can select the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) setting. There are two Eco mode settings, ambient light and human sensor levels, and a carbon meter that measures carbon usage and energy savings in Kilowatt hours. Other settings include PBP options, an on/off timer, black level adjustments, and a DDC/CI (Display Data Channel Command Interface) switch.

The EA274WMi comes with a three-year warranty covering parts, labor, and backlighting. It also comes with a setup sheet, a user manual, a ControlSync cable, and HDMI, DVD-D, VGA, and USB cables.

Performance
The EA274WMi delivered very good grayscale performance, accurately displaying every shade of gray on the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test. Also, small text from the Scaled Fonts test was legible down to 5.3 points, the smallest font on the test.

The IPS panel gives you robust colors and dark blacks but its measured color accuracy was a bit off. As shown on the CIE chromaticity chart, red and blue (represented by the dots) colors are very close to their ideal coordinates (represented by the boxes) but green is just outside of its box. Fortunately, the skewed greens aren’t so far out of their zone that they result in tinting, and green colors are not oversaturated whatsoever.

The WQHD panel provides an incredibly sharp image with intricate shadow and highlight detail and wide viewing angles. Colors remained true and the picture maintained luminance from extreme top, side, and bottom angles.

The EA274WMi doesn’t require a lot of power as long as you use its Eco settings. It used 54 watts during testing while with Eco mode disabled and 42 watts while set to Eco mode 1 (energy star setting). In Eco mode 2 (40-percent power savings) it used 32 watts and the picture was still bright enough for most office lighting environments. In comparison, the Dell UltraSharp U2713HM consumed 32 watts, and the Planar PXL2790MW used 48 watts.

Business users of all stripes will appreciate the impressive performance and wealth of features that the NEC MultiSync EA274WMi brings. Its non-reflective 27-inch IPS panel produces rich colors and does a good job of displaying grayscale shades and small text, and it is equipped with plenty of video input options and has a four-port USB hub that supports USB 3.0 It’s energy efficient, too. At $799, this monitor doesn’t come cheap, and its green color level could use some tweaking, but neither gripe prevents the MultiSync EA274WMi from earning our Editors’ Choice for big-screen business monitors.

Specifications
Native Resolution 2560 x 1440
Supported Video Formats 1080p
PC Interfaces Analog VGA, Digital (DVI-D), HDMI
Video Inputs DVI, HDMI
Diagonal Screen Size 27 inches
Widescreen Yes
Aspect Ratio 16

Verdict
The NEC MultiSync EA274WMi is a pricey 27-inch business-class monitor that delivers solid all-around performance and is packed with features. Its green color accuracy is slightly off, but not to the point of oversaturation.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc