The monitor has 100% brightness and 50% contrast by default. Reducing them both to 21% results in a 100nit white. The brightness is regulated by means of backlight power modulation at a frequency of 200Hz.
Banding can be seen in color gradients. It gets stronger at lower values of contrast.
The gamma curves are almost perfect, slightly deflecting from the theoretical curve in the second fourth of the diagram. They retain their shape at the reduced contrast but when the contrast is set lower than 15%, dark halftones get lost. When the contrast is higher than 50%, the monitor loses light halftones.
I would like to dwell upon the DV Mode feature, too. Unfortunately, not only brightness and contrast, but also deeper color reproduction related settings are changed in DV Modes, which leads to a considerable distortion of colors. Here are the gamma curves in the Photo mode for example:
That’s a depressing sight. The red and green curves keep their shape more or less well in the middle of the diagram, but lie on the X-axis at the beginning (which means that dark halftones of these colors are displayed as black). The blue curve has a weird shape. Of course, there’s no talking about natural colors here and I wouldn’t advise you to use this mode, which is called Photo, for viewing photographs.
Traditionally for NEC’s products, the 20WGX2 Pro offers a wide range of color temperature modes, six in total. The setup quality is very high: the temperature average corresponds to the names of the menu items (i.e. you do get a temperature of about 7500K if you choose the “7500K” option) and there is a very small difference between the temperatures of different levels of gray. This difference grows up in the two coldest modes, but only on dark halftones.
The color gamut is quite normal for a monitor with ordinary backlight lamps. It surpasses the sRGB standard in the area of greens but is somewhat narrower than it in the area of reds. The resulting color gamut is larger than the sRGB color space but the difference is small, especially in comparison with monitors that feature backlight lamps with improved phosphors.
The monitor uses an S-IPS matrix with Response Time Compensation. The response average is 6.7 milliseconds; the longest transition takes 9.6 milliseconds. In other words, the 20WGX2 Pro is no competitor to fastest monitors on TN matrixes, but is close to them and is far faster than models on *VA matrixes.
Low response time often comes with gross RTC errors. Monitors with VA matrixes are in the lead here. The RTC error average of the 20WGX2 Pro is 8.8%. The maximum error is as high as 74.5%. According to our criteria, this means that there are visual artifacts. They are not really annoying, yet visible. By the way, the Dell 2007WFP has very similar results in terms of speed and RTC error level because it has the same matrix as the NEC 20WGX2 Pro.
The contrast ratio isn’t high at about 250:1, but the maximum brightness (almost 400 nits) distinguishes it from its opponents that usually have a max brightness of 250 nits or less. On the other hand, most users don’t need such high numbers. You need a brightness of 70-100 nits for work (depending on the ambient lighting) and may want to increase it to 150-200 nits for games and movies. A higher brightness may only be necessary when you are going to watch a movie in a brightly lit room, like on a sunny day with the blinds open.
The owners of the older version of the monitor don’t miss much because the NEC 20WGX2 Pro hasn’t showed any significant difference from its predecessor. If you are choosing a new monitor, the 20WGX2 Pro is a good home model with wide viewing angles and a very good speed. On the downside is the simple stand that doesn’t allow to adjust the height of the screen, the somewhat pointless DV Mode feature, the considerably high level of RTC errors and the banding in color gradients. Although neither of these drawbacks is indeed serious, I should confess that the above-described Dell 2007WFP is free from them while coming at a lower retail price.