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NEC MultiSync LCD2090UXi

In my reviews I usually sort the monitors in alphabetical order – to certain displeasure of companies who didn’t take a name beginning with “AA” or at least just “A”. But today I’m breaking this rule due to the special object of the test. The models I’ve been talking about above are inexpensive products for home and office, suitable only for basic processing of photographs. Now it’s time to have a look at a more serious monitor.

It is a 20-incher with a classic aspect ratio of 4:3 based on an S-IPS matrix. As you probably know from our reviews, this matrix type not only provides the biggest viewing angles, but also does not distort colors when viewed from a side. That’s why it is a de-facto standard for monitors intended for professional image-editing applications.

The monitor’s exterior design is classic. A stern square massive case devoid of any decorations. This model comes in two colors – black and white – but each version is only one color, except for the labels. You get the point – nothing should distract the user from what’s going on in the screen.

The stand of the LCD2090Uxi is unusually big and angular after the neat and sleek home models, but it allows to change not only the tilt of the screen (in a rather big range as the pictures above show you) but also its height. You can also turn the screen around the vertical axis (the whole stand, including the base is rotating at that – a small rotating circle is built into the base of the stand) or pivot it into the portrait mode. The stand can be replaced with a VESA-compatible mount if necessary.

The stand is not locked in the folded position, and when you take the monitor out of the box or carry it from one table to another, the spring in the stand pulls it out to its full length.

The monitor has one D-Sub and two DVI inputs, one of which is a universal DVI-I that can connect to both digital and analog source. A connector for detachable optional speakers is located nearby.

The control buttons are located in the bottom right of the front panel. They are not labeled save for the button you can choose the input with. The labels appear right on the screen when you access the monitor’s menu. The point of this solution is that the labels turn around together with the monitor’s screen in the portrait mode. Yet I’m rather dubious about this convenience since ordinary “static” labels on buttons are more readable.

The monitor provides quick access – without entering the main menu – to the brightness and contrast settings and to selecting a video input.

The Power indicator is located to the left of the corresponding button. It shines with a very bright blue by default, which may be distracting. Fortunately, the menu offers the option of changing this indicator into green, reducing its intensity or even turning it off altogether. To the left of the Power button there is an ambient lighting sensor. Basing on its readings, the monitor can automatically adjust the backlight brightness to match the ambient lighting.

The LCD2090UXi has two menus, ordinary and extended. To enter the latter, you should turn the monitor off and then turn it back on while pressing the Input button. Do not confuse this menu with the service menus of other monitors that usually provide some information about the firmware and matrix type and offer low-level settings. Both menus of the NEC monitor are meant for the user and they are separated only to free the main menu from rarely accessed setup options.

Well, the main menu already has an impressively rich selection of settings in comparison with ordinary, home, monitors. You can enable the automatic brightness adjustment mode, configure the level of black, choose one of seven color temperature modes and correct it manually using a lot of parameters (white point, color shift, saturation).

The extended menu is a long list of various parameters. It is here that you can regulate the brightness and color of the Power indicator, change sharpness, configure the monitor’s behavior as concerns identifying the employed inputs and adjust it for a long signal cable. You can specify power-saving parameters, enable response time compensation (OverDrive, which is off by default) and the backlight compensation feature called ColorComp. You are going to spend quite a lot of time even to read through all the options – the monitor provides broadest setup opportunities.

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