NEC 23 Inch MultiSync EX231W

Jan 5th, 2011 | By Simon


There are two things we’ll cover in this section. First we’ll look at the color calibration using X-Rite iDisplay 2 and next we’ll see how much power the EX231W actually draws under various conditions.

Color calibration is not an easy thing to judge. Every work environment is different and when you start adding features like a human sensor or an ambient light sensor is only complicates the matter. What I’m looking to judge is how well an untouched EX231W-BK performs in a relatively controlled environment against pre-set X-Rite iDisplay 2 settings. The calibrated modes may not be ideal for you, but work as a starting point where you can change the settings to suit your needs. The default setting for Eco Mode 2 – 30% Power Saving is 50% contrast, 4% brightness and 25% LED backlight brightness. After calibrating with iDisplay 2, the new settings were 52% contrast, 56% brightness and 25% LED backlight brightness. This is a big change from the Eco Mode 2 default setting as we went from 39.1% carbon footprint to 72.9%, however in comparison to Eco Mode 1 – Energy Star the new setting is better. The Eco Mode 1 – Energy Star is configured to 50% contrast, 69% brightness, 25% LED backlight brightness and 81.3% carbon footprint.


Here are some pictures before and after calibration. You can see that with the calibration on, there is less of a reddish tinge. Out of the box the EX231W-BK is a well oiled machine with great picture quality. If you stick with Eco Mode 1 – Energy Star it is very well calibrated. You can sacrifice a bit of quality to reduce power consumption.


Power consumption was a big deal when NEC designed the EX231W-BK. In order to provide the lowest total cost of ownership minimal power consumption is absolutely required. The EX231W-BK meets Energy Star 5.0. Compared to other brands, NEC claims that the EX231W-BK consumes 52% less power than the competition, radiates 61% less heat, uses 15% less packaging and weighs 25% less overall. This means that your energy bills will be lower, you won’t need to turn up the air conditioning as high because of numerous monitors heating up a room and delivery costs are reduced because for the same size and weight you can ship more monitors on a pallet. During my test, I ran the EX231W-BK in a variety of conditions and found the monitor to draw 18 watts at my preferred setting – from the Eco Mode 2 (30% Power Saving Mode) I like to increase the brightness a tiny bit which increases the power consumed. Regardless of whether you set your display setting to standard, text, movie, gaming or photo I found that the power consumed was determined by the Eco Mode you where in. The only exception was if your display setting was set to Dynamic, in which case all bets are off and you’re going to be burning the most coal to run the monitor.


This power consumption is much less than my 24″ and 22″ Samsung monitors. Replacing them with the EX231W-BK would pay for itself over the long run. The monitor is backed by a 3-yr warranty which covers limited parts and labour, including the LED backlight.


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