As noted on the previous page, NEC limits the upper level of the PA242W backlight to 240 cd/m2. You can go beyond this, but the control turns red to let you know that overall performance is suffering. The construction of the PA242W is designed to make it as uniform and even a display as possible. Pushing the backlight too far will reduce that. No one that is using this monitor in a professional setting would need light output beyond that, so I used that level for the maximum setting here.

If you want to go beyond that, the NEC can produce 287 cd/m^2 at maximum. The minimum setting produces 41.19 cd/m^2, very close to the on screen reading of 40 cd/m^2. The 240 cd/m^2 setting produces 236.7 cd/m^2, also very close. You can adjust this to any level between in 1 cd/m^2 increments. For white level control, the NEC PA242W is unmatched in my experience.

White Level -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Black level is not quite as good as white level. At the 240 cd/m^2 level we have a black level of 0.4001 cd/m^2 and at the minimum setting we see a level of 0.0799 cd/m^2. That is a very low minimum, but no other monitor has a minimum setting of only 40 cd/m^2 either.

Black Level - XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

The contrast ratios that result from the above are only fair, 515:1 for the minimum setting and 592:1 for the 240 cd/m^2 level. Curiously the maximum setting produces a contrast ratio of 699:1 indicating that the NEC can do better if you sacrifice uniformity. For movies and TV people typically value contrast ratio above all, but for production work, uniformity might be more important. We will see if this sacrifice winds up being worth it later.

Contrast Ratio -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Introduction and Design Bench Test Data: sRGB Mode
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  • 1Angelreloaded - Saturday, October 5, 2013 - link

    Actually the whole 1080p labeling is for the HDTV industry and makes no complete sense to use in the PC space and 1080p(1920x1200) is 16 megapixels with 16:10 wide(Camera dependant). Reply
  • bobbozzo - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    I have the Dell u2412M... I like that it's 16:10 (versus my 16:9 Samsung (below)); on 16:9 I don't feel like there's room for the taskbar...

    Anandtech reviewed the 2412:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5550/dell-u2412m-16-...

    At home I have a 23" Samsung 2343bwx which is 2048x1180, but its TN panel has serious problems for me when doing design or photo work; the viewing angle affects colors so much that a solid color looks significantly different at top or bottom of the screen versus the middle. If I move my head, it changes, so it's not a uniformity problem; just viewing angle. I sit over arm's length away, so it'd be even worse closer up.
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Saturday, September 28, 2013 - link

    2412 is only sRGB, not wide gamut like the 2408, U2410 and U2413.

    I agree on anything wider than 16:10 being too wide. 16:10 IMO is the perfect size this side of dynamically-sized holograms.
    Reply
  • tarzan1234 - Monday, December 9, 2013 - link

    This monitor is designed for graphic designers and digital photographers and they don't need and don't want high contrast. The goal is what you see on screen is what you get in prints. That means what's on the display must be as close to what's on a print as possible. In a standard viewing condition (standard light, natural daylight white), matte paper prints have contrast ratio of about 1:200, luster paper has contrast ratio of about 1:250 to 1:300 and glossy paper has a contrast ratio of about 1:350 to 1:400. For that reason, if you have a high contrast monitor, what you see on screen will be different from what you get in print. You can't change contrast ratio of paper, the only thing you can do is to have a monitor that can be adjusted close to that. That's what professional grade monitors are for. Some of the very best (and most expensive) graphic monitors are made by Eizo, and their contrast ratios are in 1:250 to 1:400 range. One additional note, photographers often set their monitor light output to around 80cd/m2 to 120cd/m2 for the same reason, getting close to how prints look. If the display is brighter, you often end up with dark prints because if it looks OK on a to bright monitor, the prints will be too dark. Reply
  • WhitneyLand - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    >>do you need this? If you’re asking that question then you probably don’t.

    Instead of this answer how about telling us things like:
    1) Is it possible to see benefits without calibration tools?
    2) Is it possible to see benefits in applications that don't manage color profiles?
    3) If you grab a couple non color-pro friends and ask them if it looks better, what do they say?
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    OK, I'll answer those quickly then:

    1) Yes, because the out-of-box experience is also very good and it is still more uniform than any other display tested to date. The calibration does not affect the uniformity.
    2) Yes, and especially with calibration. The SpectraView software does all of its work inside the monitor LUT, leaving the video LUT alone. So color profiles or not, the image should be basically perfect.
    3) I'd have to grab them and see, though I'll admit to mostly having friends who I've converted to really caring about color.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    As a multi-monitor user #3 matters to me because it makes all my screens look the same. At work I've got 3 mismatched Dell screens (1901, 2208, 2210); and the fact that despite fiddling I can't get the colors on them to match is noticeable and a bit annoying. At home I have 3 NEC monitors (all bought refurbed to avoid breaking the bank) 2x 2090 and 1x 3090; out of the box colors between the three are close enough to each other that I've never felt the need to buy a colorimeter to calibrate them. Reply
  • inighthawki - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    My experience has taught me to always go with the same monitors in multimon setups. 2x or 3x of the same brand, same model. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    Even if I could've afforded multiple 30's at home I don't have the deskspace for them; and in any event I bought the 20's a year or two before the 30. (The 3way setup was however a major factor in why I bought what I did.)

    At work I got the screens one at a time; and had a pair of 2208's at one point; they matched each other about as poorly as the 2208 and 2210 do.
    Reply
  • powruser - Saturday, September 28, 2013 - link

    We have very similar setups. I have one 2490WUXi as my primary display and two 2090UXi as secondary display. All are first generation models which have the A-TW polarizer which greatly reduces the purple IPS glow on dark images when viewing at off angles. I also bought mine refurbished. NEC has excellent refurbs, and their warranty service is excellent as well. You'd have to pry my A-TW NEC displays from my cold dead hands! :) Reply

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