NEC PA272W; An In-Depth Review

NEC has been making a mark in computer monitor industry by making high-quality displays for competitive price. Now, the brand pushes its name up to the ladder with another professional-class monitor – the NEC PA272Wwhich is easily one of the most accurate monitors there is today. It comes with a hefty price tag, but can it justify its price? What makes this brand standout from the rest? Check out this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide.

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Who is it for?

As said earlier, the NEC PA272W is a professional grade monitor, which means it easily belongs to people who are in dire need of on-point color accuracy, grayscale performance and high pixel density for their everyday design, graphics, photo-editing, etc. works.



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NEC spoils the NEC PA272W with tons of great features. This 27-inch MultiSync display may have a lot of similarities with its predecessor NEC PA271W, but it is definitely an upgrade in a lot of areas. The AH-IPS panel runs at 2560x1440p resolution and made an upgrade from CCFL backlight technology to GB-r LED backlight, which is indeed made a lot of difference.


Nearly Perfect Image Quality

Image quality is obviously the strongest selling point of NEC MultSync PA272W, and it sure did live up to the expectation. Both Adobe RGB and pre-calibrated sRGB modes are equally impressive, this monitor has no problem delivering nearly-perfect images, skin tones are finely shown, with bold primaries and extra smooth transitions between each shade.

X-Rite Colorimeter shows the sRGB mode covers 99% of the colour space, with average Delta E of 0.6 and a maximum deviation of 2.05, image quality made even superb. Jumping to NEC’s Adobe RGB mode gives equally impressive performance, as the monitor scored 98.9% of Adobe RGB colour space, with an average Delta of E of 0.72 and a maximum of 2.33.


Superb GB-r LED Backlight

As said earlier, the GB-r LED backlight is one of the many things that separates the NEC PA272W from its predecessor. And truly indeed, it made quite a difference in screen’s performance. The GB-r backlight technology is superb, almost TV-like brightness, producing a maximum luminance of 340 cd/m². Across its panel, there is no more than 2.5% variance of brightness. If there is any weakness in its performance in this aspect, it would be in the contrast department, as it drops off in some colour profiles. It nailed an acceptable 865:1 in its Native mode (uncalibrated of course), while the calibrated srGB and Adobe RGB profiles saw a drop to 670:1 and 675:1 respectively.


SpectraView II Color Calibration Kit for Optimal Color Calibration

The SpectraView II Color Calibration Kit is a hardware color calibration tool that allows users to modify monitor’s internal 14-bit Look Up Table. This means even improved level of colour accuracy, which software calibration programs struggle to achieve. This is one of the many reasons why more and more professionals are opting for expensive professional-grade monitors from NEC. However, the SpectraView II Color Calibration Kit is an optional upgrade that can raise the overall price. On the positive note however, you can make use of NEC’s professional-grade colorimeter if you don’t want to spend extra on the calibration kit. It’s already a class of its own.


Provides Unique Gaming Experience

Though not really meant for gaming, gaming in NEC PA272W is actually quite unique. The 6ms and 60fps  may be short of the best, and lacks the clarity of top tier gaming monitors with TN panels. However, the ultra-rich color palette and deeper blacks are all awe inspiring, enough for a good gaming experience.

Obviously, this monitor doesn’t have the best gaming and multimedia (watching videos and movies), but after all, that’s not what the manufacturer want this to be. It is made with professionals in mind, which means it’s a special monitor for specific type of use.


With Anti-Glare Coating that Doesn’t Affect Image Quality

This is one of the many significant differences between the PA272W and its predecessor. It is common for us to assume that the anti-glare coating causes grainy finish, affecting or even distorting image quality. Many high-end monitors fall into this. NEC however, made sure their MultSync PA272W won’t have the same issue, as the satin finish does nothing of sort, leaving the screen deliver its great image quality that looks clean and crisp across the monitor.


Superb Viewing Angle

Viewing angle of this NEC monitor is excellent; screen images remained intact, without affecting images even when viewed from the bottom, up and the sides. There are minor degradation at brightness and contrast at the most extreme angles, but that’s just about it. There are no signs of color shifting in this display.



Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Mounting Options

If you're one of the many professionals out there who think your 27-inch display is still not enough for more efficient and productive work, then opting for dual monitor may be your best solution.


Design and Features

If you're one of the many professionals out there who think your 27-inch display is still not enough for more efficient and productive work, then opting for dual monitor may be your best solution. 

The Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm offers a great solution for 27-inch displays. The fully-articulating arms allows flexible adjustments, allowing users to adjust and reposition their display anywhere on their desk. They can even put one display on top of the other. Also, it is made up of high quality materials, such as the solid aluminum construction. This ensures  tough and hard-wearing quality that can last for years. Also, people who are working on their laptops can mount their laptop on the other  arm for a dual monitor laptop setup. This product also comes with Constant Force technology, which allows smooth and easy adjustments (can be adjusted and repositioned with simple  touch of a finger) and still keep screens stable and secured in place.

Those who are looking to use this 27-inch monitor as a standalone monitor for their workstation though, there is Ergotron LX Wall Mount LCD Arm. It works exactly like the dual monitor counterpart; the same construction quality, adjustability and durability.

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We talked earlier to whom the NEC PA272W is for – for professionals on a business setting. Thus, there is nothing flashy in its overall appearance – basic, straightforward, and conservative design that is somewhat utilitarian. The classic style of features charcoal gray and black aesthetics, which may look outdated for many. But as soon as the monitor is turned on, you can easily recognize its high-end quality. This is actually good, as the monitor is meant for performance and unyielding quality, rather than pretty aesthetics. Package is well-packed and comes with a simple setup guide.


Bulky Cabinet that Houses Everything High-End

Those who are interested in thin and slim monitors will get disappointed in this NEC professional-grade monitor, as its cabinet is nowhere thin. NEC definitely opted for a bulky cabinet to house everything professionals need for a professional-quality performance. The chassis is 3.3 inches thick and weighs 28.4 lbs. And because it is expected to run for hours, NEC didn’t shy away from putting tons of ventilations slits to let hot air escape easily. This helps keep the monitor’s robust internal coolers in good shape and reduce overheating.


Buttons and Controls

Rather than using capacitive touch buttons, NEC PA272W stayed true to its simplistic and straight-forward approach, as it opted for physical navigation buttons on its bezel. The buttons provide tactile feedback and are very easy to use, not prone to accidental touches. Equally more impressive are the horizontal and vertical scroll buttons, along with a Picture-in-Picture button.

The OSD (on-screen display) of this monitor is classic NEC; easy and intuitive. While compact, it houses a wealth of possibilities for professional users. Everything is well laid out, keeping them simple and straightforward, most features can be accessed within a few presses of the buttons. Of course, NEC made some upgrades in the OSD.


I/O Ports

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This NEC is very generous in giving users connectivity options in PA272W. The I/O ports include dual-link DVI, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort and a Mini DisplayPort. The mini DIsplayPort is quite an interesting connectivity option, as it totally eliminates the need for secondary adapters when using current video cards.

There are also two USB 2.0 downstream ports and two USB 2.0 upstream ports on the I/O panel, along with a third USB 2.0 downstream port on the side bezel. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a built-in card reader, which would have completed the list, considering this monitor is meant for design professionals and photographers.


Beefy and Adjustable Stand

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The hefty and robust stand gives you a good idea of what this monitor is about – no nonsense and means business. It’s very solid it weights almost twice as much as most of its budget counterparts. It is fully adjustable, providing height adjustment of almost 6 inches, can swivel and tilt, and can rotate from landscape to portrait orientation mode. It also comes with a pair of clips to keep your cables in place and your workstation neat and clutter-free – simple but effective cable management.



With VESA Mounting Holes for Ergonomic Flexibility

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If the strong and bulky stand is not enough, and you want a more ergonomic setup for this enormous display, then you can use its VESA-compliant mounting holes and use aftermarket ergonomic solutions such as desk mounts with articulating arm, wall mounts, etc. Those who want to use this display for dual monitor setup can will definitely be happy of the VESA mounting holes as well.


Tech Specs

Package includes power cable, DVI cable, Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable, USB cable, and mounting screws.


Bottom Line

In the past year, prices for Quad HD monitors refuse to budge. Full HD screens are getting cheaper by the day, while Quad HD will still cost more than $600 or more. For this, most manufacturers reserve high resolution displays for their professional-grade monitor lines. Here in Dual Monitors Guide, we understand that high-end and professional-class monitor is more than just high pixel density. Colour accuracy, overall image quality performance and workstation flexibility are all considered, and the NEC MultSync PA272W undeniably belongs to this tier.

Graphic designers, photographers, or anyone looking for a reliable display for a color-critical work will certainly love this panel’s 10-bit native color and 14-bit internal LUT. The bandwidth is there for those who need it, but they need a 10-bit signal path to take advantage of this feature.

The NEC PA272W is certainly expensive, but it is fully capable of delivering professional-class image quality, which can definitely justify its price. If you’re looking to invest to a dependable display for your work, then this is a good investment to make.

Those who want to use this colossal display for dual monitor setup can easily maximize its VESA-compliant mounting holes for more ergonomic setup.


For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!

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