The menu is typical for many monitors from NEC. Having little beauty or user-friendliness, it contains the necessary setup options all the same. In fact, the only thing missing here is brightness/contrast presets to be browsed through with a press of a single button, like the competing monitors have; but I’ve already said that above.
The default brightness and contrast are set to 100% and 50%, respectively. 80% brightness plus 40% contrast equals the desired screen brightness of 100nit. The monitor controls its brightness through modulating the power of the backlight lamps at 160Hz frequency.
Quite expectedly for an S-IPS matrix, the MultiSync LCD1960NXi has excellent viewing angles and reproduces colors very well, with mild, eye-pleasing hues. The backlight in the sample I tested was quite evenly distributed along the screen, but I heard some users complaining at a non-uniform distribution of the backlighting in this model. So, you should pay special attention to this characteristic when purchasing a MultiSync LCD1960NXi. By the way, it’s better to evaluate the regularity of the backlighting on black and gray colors under mild external lighting: in such conditions the human eye is the most sensitive to color deviations in the onscreen image.
At the default settings the color curves don’t betray a slightly excessive color temperature (in other words, too much of blue), while the bend of the curves in the top right part of the graph is indicative of excessively high contrast (I mean the contrast setting in the monitor’s menu, not the contrast ratio of the matrix which is the ratio of white to black). In practice this shows up as faded-out light tones, so I don’t recommend you to set the contrast setting of the 1960NXi above 45% (it’s 50% by default, as you remember) lest the color curves deviate out of the norm. The brightness setting cannot affect the reproduction of colors as it is regulated with the backlight lamps here.
The responsiveness of the MultiSync LCD1960NXi is the typical responsiveness of an S-IPS matrix. We can compare it to the response time graph of the above-described LG L1930SQ on the TN+Film matrix. Although the specified speeds of these two matrices differ by more than a half, their practical speeds are much closer to each other. The high full response time of the S-IPS matrix comes from the pixel fall time being higher than that of the TN+Film one. As for the pixel rise time, these two matrices are quite comparable. Of course, in real situations (in games and in movies) the visually perceived blurring of the image may be determined by the rise as well as fall time, so it’s hard to make a general judgment basing on the numbers. Yet I do say that S-IPS matrices have a good effective speed and are very close to TN+Film technology in this respect, although S-IPS is still slower than TN+Film in some cases.
The MultiSync LCD1960NXi boasts a very good contrast ratio for an S-IPS matrix (S-IPS matrices don’t generally have good contrast due to the specifics of this technology) – it’s about 400:1 and didn’t change much at different settings. Well, the above-described Flatron L1910S also had a good, although lower, contrast ratio.
The brightness of the monitor proved to be low, much lower than specified. By the way, the fluctuations typical for pulse-width modulation of the backlighting were perfectly visible in response time oscillograms even at the maximum brightness. It means the monitor doesn’t give you a higher brightness not because of the insufficient power of the backlight lamps, but because of the limitations in the firmware that don’t allow the lamps to work at their full capacity.
In a sum of its qualities, the MultiSync LCD1960NXi is a proper monitor for both work and entertainment. Its only disadvantages are the angular design, the lack of brightness/contrast presets, and the reported irregular backlighting problem (but again, the sample I tested was free from it). This monitor offers excellent viewing angles, good color reproduction (on a condition that you reduce the contrast setting a little below the default value), and good contrast ratio and response time. All this makes it a universal model, suitable for almost any task. In spite of the high specified response time, S-IPS matrices can challenge the formally twice-faster TN+Film matrices in this parameter, too, not mentioning the rest of the parameters. Thus, the only real disadvantage of S-IPS technology is the considerably higher price.