NEC MultiSync LCD2180WG review: NEC MultiSync LCD2180WG

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MSRP: $3,299.99

The Good Produces excellent color quality; pivots between landscape and portrait mode.

The Bad Megaexpensive; lacks pivoting software; height not adjustable.

The Bottom Line Though the NEC MultiSync LCD2180WGLED features new LED backlight technology, we're unconvinced it's worth $6,700. Most professional users will be better served by other, less expensive LCDs.

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7.2 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8
  • Support 7
  • Setup 7

NEC MultiSync LCD2180WGLED

The $6,749 NEC MultiSync LCD2180WGLED is the first monitor we've tested that has a panel backlit entirely by light-emitting diodes (LEDs). This technology supposedly reproduces colors more accurately than traditional LCDs or CRTs. While it definitely produced bright, vivid colors, the $1,700 Eizo FlexScan L997 and $1,600 LaCie 321 both performed better in CNET's color tests and are better overall (and much less expensive) monitors.

The all-black NEC MultiSync LCD2180WGLED has a chunky, sharp-edged look. Despite its slim bezel, the 5-inch-thick panel houses a heavy heat sink, which gives the 40-pound LCD2180WGLED more of a CRT feel. It also makes wall- or arm-mounting dicey, though you can connect the removable panel to VESA mounts.

For all its weight, the LCD2180WGLED stands sturdily on a square base. You cannot adjust the height, though you can tilt it backward 25 degrees and forward 5 degrees. It also pivots between landscape and portrait mode, but NEC does not supply pivoting software, so you'll need to dig that up separately and use a graphics card that supports it. The LCD2180WGLED has two digital signal ports and is one of the first monitors we've seen to eschew an analog port. A removable plastic clip attaches to the neck and keeps the cables together.

The 2180WGLED's control panel consists of eight clearly labeled buttons, including Power, Reset, Input Select, and a few for navigating through the well-laid-out and easy-to-use menu. The LCD2180WGLED has five color-temperature presets (9,300K, 6,500K, 6,000K, 5,500K, 5,000K), two for RGB and Adobe RGB, and one that's programmable. For each temperature setting, you can tweak the red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and magenta levels. To precisely calibrate the LCD2180WGLED, NEC recommends its $400 GretagMacbeth iOne Display V2 colorimeter and SpectraView II software.

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