Over the years, NEC’s PA series has gained a lot of respect and good reviews, even Editor’s Choice Awards in many gadget and technology review websites, and for good reason – excellent performance paired with generous set of features. One of its latest additions is the NEC MultiSync PA242W-BK. Like other models under its belt, this very product can be easily considered to be expensive. But they say you get what you pay for, as the screen is able to display professional-quality performance. Is it worth its price tag? Read and learn more from this Dual Monitors Guide’s in-depth review.
(image from Amazon)
Who is it for?
If you’re a professional computer user whose job depends a lot on color accuracy and grayscale performance, such as artists, graphic designers, graphics pros, photographers, videographers, etc., and you’re looking for a mid-sized display that can support your needs, then the NEC MultiSync PA242W-BK is for you. It continues the trend of outstanding color quality and superb grayscale performance.
Excellent Display for Artists, Graphics Pros, Photographers and the Likes
Its cabinet measures 3.3 inches thick, with a GB-r LED backlighting inside, which uses Blue and Green LEDs with red phosphor coating, allowing the screen to show highly accurate, vibrant, and wide gamut of colors. This lets the monitor cover 99.3% of the Adobe RGB color space, 94.8% NTC color space, and 100% sRGB color space. It operates in 1920 x 1200 native resolution, with 16:10 aspect ratio.
Color and Grayscale Performance for Excellent Viewing Experience
NEC MultiSync PA242W-BK’s color accuracy is simply outstanding, which should not be surprising, giving what its series is all about, and considering the factory calibration that NEC takes pride about. Chromaticity test shows colors red, green and blue are spot on; they’re right in their ideal coordinates. This means excellent color accuracy.
Grayscale performance is also very impressive – it is as good as it gets. DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test shows this IPS panel is able to display every shade of gray with ease, correctly and uniformly. This means great highlights and shadow details and excellent contrast.
Superb Viewing Angle to Let You See Everything On Screen Wherever You Sit In Your Room
This screen lets you sit whenever you want in your room and still see what’s on its screen clearly. Thanks to the superb off-angle, screen quality doesn’t have to suffer from luminance issues and color shifting, even at extreme angles. Users who work with multiple apps and windows will have a pleasant time using this mid-sized screen. While those who work on multiple document pages will surely love the monitor’s performance on small texts, as it can cleanly display smaller fonts based on DisplayMate Scaled Fonts test.
Comes with Tons of Image Settings and Preset Modes
Like other models in NEC’s PA series, MultiSync PA242W-BK also comes with extensive set of picture settings and on-screen menu display is very easy to navigate. The Brightness menu lets users adjust and set not just their display’s brightness levels, but also the Contrast, and Black level, and access ot the Eco mode, which is composed of two (2) setting options.
The RGB menu offers five (5) picture modes, which incledes Adobe RGB, sRGB, High Bright, Full, and DCI (color setting for digital cinema). The monitor also lets you adjust the hue, white temperature, saturation, and offset levels of the display. For the offset levels, PA242W has six (6) color options, namely red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, and magenta.
The Eco mode is quite interesting; it shows your monitor’s carbon usage and carbon savings, and it shows how it’s able to convert it to dollars. You can even view its total running hours.
The Advanced Settings menu lets you access few extra picture modes, namely eciRGB_v2, REC-Bt709, DICOM, and five (5) user calibrated settings. Also, the Advanced Menu gives access to , green, and blue gamut adjustments nine analog RGB adjustments, picture in picture settings, image rotation settings, and a Tile Matrix option, which lets to display one image over multiple screens.
With 14-bit LUT (lookup table) For Precise Calibration
Like its big brother NEC MultiSync PA271W, the PA242W also comes with a 14-bit LUT (lookup table), a programmable feature that allows users to calibrate their display more precisely. The PA242W-BK-SV variant for example, comes with the SpectraView II calibration bundle, which lets you calibrate your display quality through colorimeter and its own special calibration software.
Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Setup Options
Professional computer users work with multiple programs and applications simultaneously, and this is what the NEC MultiSync PA242W-BK is designed to do. Also, with VESA mounting standards, users can work with more applications, programs and windows at the same time through dual monitor, triple monitor or even multiple monitor setups.
(image from Amazon)
For dual monitor setup, you can choose the Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm. This product is a fully adjustable dual monitor LCD arm, made up of solid polished aluminum construction and high quality materials. Each arm can be adjusted independently, allowing users to reposition their display; up, down, forward and back, with one simple touch, and still keep the displays secured and stable in place, as it also comes with the patented Constant Force (CF) technology. This is the best choice for optimum ergonomics, as each arm can adjust independently. You can even use this product to use alongside with your laptop.
(image from Amazon)
If you want a more fixed and easy setup, and still have great adjustability and ergonomics, then you can opt for the LX Triple Display Lift Stand. This product works with displays with diagonal screen-size up to 21" when mounting three (3) displays, or holds two (2) larger displays up to 30"
Design and Features
In terms of design, the NEC MultiSync PA242W-BK is obviously more practical than stylish; it’s a bulky and heavy 24-inch display, but it certainly gets the job done. It even comes with a built-in handle for users to conveniently hold and move the display wherever, whenever they want. The GB-r LED backlighting is encased inside a 3.3 inch cabinet, while its panel is made up of AH-IPS (Advanced High-performance In Plane Switching), with matte anti-glare coating, the most common and effective way to get rid of glares and reflections on your screen.
Buttons and Functions
The lower right side bezel of this monitor houses four (4) function buttons, along with a light sensor. There are two (2) additional menu navigation buttons on the right had as well. These buttons also gives easy access to Advanced Mode settings of the monitor, giving you the power to fine-tune your display however, whenever you want.
With Fully Adjustable Stand and VESA Mounting Holes for Better Ergonomics
The 16.3 lbs., cabinet stands firmly on an ergonomic and fully adjustable and removable stand. Yes, you read it right. The stand offers height adjustment, tilt, swivel and pivot adjustments. Not a lot of monitors today come with this kind of stand flexibility. Also, when switching orientation (pivot), the monitor automatically changes its display. You have to activate this feature on the menu though.
If you want a more ergonomic setup, you can always opt for third-party ergonomic solutions, like LCD monitor arms, desk stands and even wall mounts. Simply remove the monitor from its stand to access the VESA mounting holes.
The monitor also comes with a convenient cable cover on its mounting arm, allowing you to tuck your computer cables and cords neatly and keep your workstation organized.
Plethora of I/O Ports
(image from Amazon)
One of the biggest upsides of NEC MultiSync PA242W-BK against its competition is, it comes with wide array of I/O ports. This includes VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort video inputs, and both the DisplayPort and the HDMI supports 10-bit color depth.
(image from Amazon)
The monitor also comes with two (2) USB 2.0 upstream ports and three (3) USB 2.0 downstream ports. They may not be the fastest (USB 3.0) ports, but they can deliver and allow users to use the monitor as a KVM switch to connect and control two PCs with one single set of keyboard and mouse. It is a little odd though, that only one of the downstream ports is placed on the side of the cabinet, which is the easiest side to reach.
With Some Amazingly Convenient Extras
Package comes with two (2) DisplayPort cables (regular and mini), a DVI cable, and an upstream USB cable, a use manual, a setup guide, resource CD with the drivers and many patterns that teaches how to make adjustments.
The MultiProfilers allows users to make adjustments in their display using the keyboard and mouse, and automatically generates ICC profiles once you save them. Quite a handy utility to have, especially when managing a KVM switch and viewing Print Preview using printer’s ICC profile.
Decent Energy Consumption with Energy Saving Options
Power usage of MultiSync PA242W-BK is pretty decent, which is at 38 watts, typical for a 24-inch sized IPS-based panel. At Eco mode 2 though, it goes down to 30 watts, though it’s not very impressive, as it also causes the screen to look a little too dim. To compare, Asus PA249Q (IPS-based panel) works at 37 watts, while BenQ RL2450HT (TN-based) averages only 25 watts.
(image from Amazon)
The NEC MultiSync PA242W-BK may seem a little more expensive than many other 24-inch monitors in the market today. However, it does take pride a lot in its superior performance, which NEC believes worth every penny. The AH-IPS panel paired with GB-r LED backlighting allows the screen to deliver accurate colors, and excellent grayscale precision and superb viewing angle performance – three of the most important aspects to search for professional monitors. It‘s a perfect tool for artists, graphics pro and designers, photographers and videographers. It comes with a great fully-adjustable stand that provides almost all the ergonomics you need for comfortable computing experience. Plus, it features wide array of I/O ports, letting users do whatever they want to their desktop PC.
The only things we can complain about
this monitor, aside from its expensive price, is it lacks of USB 3.0. Though
it’s not really an issue, as USB 3.0 is still not the standard for mobile
devices and connectivity, it’s a great way to future-proof your workstation.
All in all, the beauty of NEC MultiSync PA242W-BK is hard to deny. It combines functionality and amazing performance, and for professionals out there who need great performance in their display, this is a great tool to have.
For more in-depth reviews like this, check Dual Monitors Guide today!
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