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NEC Multisync LCD 2080UX+

With the 2080UX+, NEC has brought us a 20″ LCD monitor with a 16ms response time, perfect for gaming as well as serious work.

[review_ad]Introduction


Ever since I started reviewing monitors, I have been dreaming of finding a 20”+ LCD with a 16ms or lower response time. After reading about and seeing pictures of NVIDIA booths at gaming events and trade shows, I decided to ask them what they use. They told me NEC/Mitsubishi is the main line of monitors that they use. After looking around on the web and trying to find a suitable monitor in the size I was looking for, I saw that Alienware sells the NEC 2080UX as their top of the line offering. This is a 20” LCD with a 25ms response time, which is fast but not as fast as I was looking for. NEC, however, also makes the 2080UX+, which is the same as the 2080UX except for a 16ms response time.

After a few calls to NEC, I finally found the PR rep for my area and arranged for a review unit to show up.

Image of monitor from frontImage of monitor from side

What do you get?


With this being a review unit, it came in a huge, heavy-duty shipping case and not the retail packaging you would get if you actually purchased the unit. In the box, we have the 2080UX+, manual, DVI Cable, VGA Cable, power cord and manual. No software came with the review unit, so I had to download the driver from NEC’s website.

Specifications:

Active Display Area Horizontal: 16.1 inches / 408 mm
Vertical: 12.0 inches / 306 mm
(Dependent upon signal timing used)
Current Rating: 0.7A @ 100 – 120V / 0.35A @ 220 – 240V
Dimensions:

Net (with stand):
17.4″(W) x 14.4-19.5″(H) x 7.9″(D)
442mm(W) x 366.3-496.3mm(H) x 200mm(D)

Net (without stand):
17.4″(W) x 13.4″(H) x 3.5″(D)
442mm(W) x 340mm(H) x 88.8mm(D)

Shipping:
22.6″(W) x 20.0″(H) x 11.8″(D)
574mm(W) x 507mm(H) x 300mm(D)

Input: Ambix+ Technology (DVI-I, DVI-D, VGA 15pin)

Image of back of monitor

You can use 2 cards: 1 through a normal VGA 15-pin connector and one through a DVI or a VGA connector.

LCD Module: 20.1-inch (20.1″ viewable image size), active matrix, thin film transistor (TFT), liquid crystal display (LCD), 0.255 mm pixel pitch, XtraView+ technology, RGB vertical stripe color filter arrangement, 250 cd/m2 white luminance typical, 400:1 contrast ratio – typical, 16ms response time – typical
Limited Warranty: 3-Year Parts and Labor, including backlight
Power Consumption: ON: 54W
Power Savings Mode:
Resolutions Supported: Native (recommended) resolution:
1600 x 1200 @ 60 Hz

Resolutions Supported (Analog):
720 x 400* @ 70 Hz to 85 Hz
640 x 480 @ 60 Hz to 85 Hz
800 x 600* @ 56 Hz to 85 Hz
832 x 624* @ 75 Hz
1024 x 768 @ 60 Hz to 85 Hz
1280 x 1024 @ 60 Hz to 85 Hz
1600 x 1200 @ 60 Hz

Resolutions Supported (Digital):
640 x 400* @ 70 Hz to 85 Hz
720 x 400* @ 70 Hz to 85 Hz
640 x 480 @ 60 Hz to 85 Hz
800 x 600* @ 56 Hz to 85 Hz
832 x 624* @ 75 Hz
1024 x 768 @ 60 Hz to 85 Hz
1280 x 1024 @ 60 Hz to 85 Hz
1600 x 1200 @ 60 Hz

NOTE: Some systems may not support all modes listed.

Signal Cable: (1) 15-pin mini D-sub male to DVI-A (Supplied), (1) DVI-D to DVI-D (Supplied)
Viewing Angle: Left/Right: 88°
Up: 88°
Down: 88°
Weight: Net (with stand): 23.1 lbs. / 10.5 kg
Net (without stand): 15.4 lbs. / 7 kg
Features: Ultra-thin frame (bezel), XtraView+ Technology wide-angle viewing, Ambix+ Technology, Advanced No Touch Auto Adjust, AutiBright, CableComp, power-off timer, black level adjustment, digital smoothing, digital controls, sRBG, OmniColor 6 axis control, third party touchscreen and protective glass integration, Plug and Play (VESA DDC2B&2Bi), VESA DPMS power management, Optional MultiSync soundbar80, automatic DVI selection, ISO 13406-2

Not only can the monitor tilt both forwards and backwards, but it also can rotate 90 degrees, something that can be usefull when you work with desktop publishing or word processing.

Image of monitor from side The monitor can be rotated

The monitor can tilt forwards and backwards

The montior can also rotate 90 degrees

Testing the monitor


The Test Bed:
· Asus SK8N
· AMD 64 FX-51
· 2GB Legacy DDR 3200
· NVIDIA 5950 Ultra 256MB
· 2x WD 36GB 10,000 RPM Raptors RAID 0
· 2 x Maxtor DiamondMax 9 200GB ATA 133 7200RPM RAID 1
· Toshiba DVD
· Sony DVD RW 500UA
· Windows XP Professional SP1

I went to www.Monitorsdirect.com and used their tools to test the monitor out.

I ran all tests at 1600×1200; below are my findings on all the tests.

Brightness and Contrast:
The 2080UX+ looked very good in the test. The black on the gray scale was the blackest I have seen on any of the LCD’s I have tested.

Color Purity:
During this test, the screen is filled with color, and you look to see if the colors are even across the screen. I saw even color patterns on Blue, Green and White. On the Red test, I did notice in the very corners of the screen the Red was a little darker than the rest of the screen.

Dead Pixels:
I did see one dead pixel in the Red test. This pixel was not noticeable in the Green or Blue test. On the White test, the pixel shows up as a Green pixel. (To be honest, I did not even notice the dead pixel during the three weeks of using the monitor.)

Ghost Trailing:
In this test, a four-box pattern moves around the screen, and we look for ghost images of the box following the pattern. I did not see any ghosting in the test.

Ghosting & Streaking:
In this test, white and black rectangles are placed against each other to see if there is any bleed through at the edges of the rectangles. I did not notice any problems with this test.

NEC also has a nice utility that I used for testing. It is called Naviset and should come with the monitor. If it is not included, it can be downloaded from NEC’s website. During all my testing, this tool confirmed all my thoughts with the MonitorsDirect.com tools. Here are some screen images from the PC and MAC versions.

Gaming
For game testing, I played IL-2 Forgotten Battles, Unreal Tournament 2004 Demo and Knights of the Old Republic.

I first sat down and played the games at 1600×1200. All the games looked great, but at that resolution and with 4xAA / 8xAF on, which are my favorite settings, things did get slow at time. So I figured let’s see what they look like at other resolutions. The first thing that shows up when you do not use 1600X1200 is a warning box talking about how you should use 1600×1200 (since that is the native resolution). This will go away after about 40 seconds, you can press the Exit button on the monitor to get rid of it or go into the tools menu and turn off the feature.

After turning that warning off in the tools menu, I proceeded to play each game in resolutions from 1024×768 all the way to 1600×1200. I am very happy to say that while gaming I did not see any issues with the lower resolutions. Also no ghosting was noticed at all in any games.

DVD Playback:
In the past, I have always used the depth charge attack in the beginning of U-571 for testing fast motion and testing the grey periscope cables against the background for ghosting. The 2080UX+ proved to be the best monitor I have ever seen during this playback. It easily beat all other monitors I have reviewed. It was actually kind of strange. On other monitors, I’ve always thought it looked good, but on this monitor — WOW!

I also spent an evening watching the Eagles Till Hell Freezes Over DVD, and this monitor once again just kept giving me that WOW feeling. The sharpness has to be seen.

Day In and Day Out Use:
I am really enjoying working at 1600×1200. Working on the website and having room to put up other windows and not have to scroll through what seems like a mile in those windows is nice. I do recommend turning on ‘Clear Type’ since it just makes the text appear fuller.

I am really regretting the fact I have to send this monitor back at the end of March. I have loved using it.

Conclusion


This is a very nice looking monitor with a thin, black bezel (also can be purchased in a metallic white). Being able to use VGA and DVI lets you actually hook two computers to the monitor at the same time and switch between them. I have seen this feature in some of the Samsung models we have tested. The rotation feature is nice, and I used NVIDIA’s driver tool to use the monitor that way for a day. You would have to be a desktop publisher or filling out long forms all day to continually use the monitor like that though.

Pros:
· Thin Bezel
· No Power Brick (integrated power supply)
· Very Fast Response Time
· Very Good Blacks and Greys

Cons:
· Did have a dead pixel
· In the full screen RED Display test, the corners were a little darker
· Price: $1,499.00 Estimated Street Price. I did find it here for $1,399.00 though.

I love this monitor; too bad I don’t have $1400 laying around. I give it 9 out of 10 and the Golden Bear Award.

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