NEC MultiSync P221W review: NEC MultiSync P221W

The NEC P221W achieved a brightness score of 223 candelas per square meter (cd/m2)--lower than NEC's claimed 300 cd/m2 max. The LP2275 with its brightness of 283 cd/m2 came just a few points less than HP's claimed 300 cd/m2 max. The NEC's brightness score was lower than we expected, yet bright images never looked drab. We used the P221W's sRGB and 8,200K preset to check out "Kill Bill Vol. 1" on DVD and a number of 1080p movie files from Microsoft's WMV HD Showcase. Movies on the NEC looked great thanks to the display's deep blacks and high contrast.

Unreal Tournament 3 looked good running at 1,680x1,050-pixel resolution and showed no signs of ghosting or input lag. The displays colors didn't look as vibrant as we'd like, but they weren't quite drab either. Like with movies, we preferred the 8,200K color temperature setting when playing games; however, the relatively low 1,680x1,050-pixel resolution puts a cap on the impact games can have on this display.

We also looked at some high-resolution photos and found the colors were accurate and vibrant, proving that the two aren't mutually exclusive. Also, the capability to directly control the black level greatly increases the potential quality of the color. Simply lowering the black level increased the screen's contrast dramatically.

The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors and gamma correction as they were intended. Most monitors are made to be viewed only at that angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. NEC used an S-PVA panel to make the P2111W, which usually shows only a slight color shift with angle changes. Indeed, we noticed that the NEC's screen hardly shifts colors at all when viewed from the sides, top, or bottom.

Juice box
NEC MultiSync P221W Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 53.78
On (max luminance) 53.78
On (min luminance) 32.71
Sleep 1.35
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 44.12
Annual energy costs $16.98
Score Poor

In the power consumption tests, the NEC MultiSync P221W drew 53.78 watts in its Default/On mode--more than either HP's S-PVA-based LP2275w and Eizo's IPS-based CG222W, which drew 51.83 watts and 35.87 watts respectively. However, with all three monitors calibrated to 200 cd/m2, the NEC drew the least amount of power. Based on our formula, the P221w would cost $16.98 per year to power--compared with the LP2275w's $16.44 per year and the Eizo's $12.93 per year.

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
NEC MultiSync P221W
1,146:1 
HP LP2275
909:! 
Planar PX2611W
837:1 

DisplayMate tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
NEC backs the MultiSync P221W with a solid three-year parts-and-labor warranty that also covers the backlight. Toll-free technical support is available weekdays from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. NEC also offers e-mail and live chat support. The support Web site is simple to navigate, making the manual easy to find.

Editors' Top Picks

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Quick Specifications See All

  • Display Type LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
  • Interface VGA (HD-15)
  • Diagonal Size 22 in
  • Pixel Pitch 0.282 mm
  • Image Contrast Ratio 1000:1
  • Image Aspect Ratio 16:10
About The Author

Eric Franklin is a section editor covering how to and tablets. He's also co-host of CNET's do-it-yourself and how-to show, The Fix and is a 20-year tech industry veteran.