NEC MultiSync EA221WM-BK review:

NEC MultiSync EA221WM-BK

Unreal Tournament 3 looked great running at 1,680x1,050 pixels. Neither the EA221WM, nor the P2210 was able to display the game as vibrantly and colorfully as the Acer G24, but I think we've been spoiled by that monitor's game performance.

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. Like most monitors, the NEC MultiSync EA221Wm uses a TN panel, which gets overly bright or overly dark when viewed from nonoptimal angles. When we viewed the NEC from the sides or below, the screen appeared to darken only a couple inches from optimal. From the sides, text is still readable until viewing from about 70 degrees. When viewing from the bottom, however, we found that the screen never darkens to the point where text becomes illegible. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.

Audio tests proved that sound from the built-in speakers lacks bass, but the maximum volume can easily be reached without any noticeable distortion. Sound from the headphones was good, but the max volume was not quite as high as we'd like.

In the power consumption tests, the NEC MultiSync EA221WM drew a significant 39.61 watts in its Default/On mode and 24.88 watts when we turned on Eco mode--compared with the Dell P2210's lower 20.14 watts. Where the NEC really ate up the juice was in its standby mode, which drew a curiously high 18.34 watts compared with the P2210's 0.54 watts. Based on our formula, the EA221Wm would cost $24.57 per year to run in normal mode and $20.19 in Eco mode. Compare this with the P2210's $6.38 per year and it seems sky high.

Juice box
NEC MultiSync EA221WM Average watts per hour
On (Default Luminance) 39.61 (24.88 with Eco Mode on)
On (Max Luminance) 39.61
On (Min Luminance) 15.54
Sleep 18.34
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 29.43
Annual energy cost $24.57 ($20.19 with Eco Mode on)
Score Poor

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
ViewSonic VX2255wm FuHzion
Dell P2210
Dell G2210
NEC MultiSync EA221WM

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Dell SX2210
ViewSonic VX2255wm FuHzion
NEC MultiSync EA221WM
Dell G2210
Dell P2210
Lenovo L215p

DisplayMate test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
NEC MultiSync EA221WM
ViewSonic VX2255wm FuHzion

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
NEC covers the MultiSync EA221WM with a three-year parts, labor, and the backlight warranty. 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 drivers and manual easy to find.

What you'll pay

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