Exterior Design and Ergonomics
The EA231WMi has the massive and angular case typical of NEC’s “serious” products and comes in two color schemes: all-black and white-with-a-silvery-bezel. I can’t call this an elegant home model but the design is all right for a work-oriented device.
The monitor has a removable stand that conceals fasteners for a standard VESA mount. Thus, you can hang your EA231WMi on the wall if you want to. The default stand allows adjusting the height of the screen (it is not fixed in the bottommost position and stretches out to its full length when you take the monitor out of the box or lift it up from your desk) and its tilt. You can also turn the screen around into portrait mode.
The two protrusions in the bottom of the back panel are integrated speakers. Their sound quality is expectedly low but the left speaker has a handy headphones connector. Also on the left side of the case there are two ports of the integrated USB hub.
The connectors block includes one more USB port, a DisplayPort, a DVI-D and a D-Sub connector. Why a D-Sub rather than an HDMI or a second DVI-D? I guess that’s because the controller installed in the monitor has only two digital inputs, one of which is for the DisplayPort.
The power adapter is integrated into the case.
The control buttons can be found in the bottom right of the front panel. A small 4-way joystick is used for menu navigation. NEC has been implementing this method of navigation for long but still cannot get it quite right. Sometimes you have to guess the correct way to push the joystick down for it to react well. The Power indicator is integrated into the monitor’s Power button. The small hole to the left of the Menu button is an ambient lighting sensor.