Meet the NEC EA244UHD

The NEC EA244UHD is the first UltraHD (UHD) monitor from NEC. While it's not from their professional line, it has many of the features we've come to expect in their monitors: uniformity compensation, a wider color gamut but also sRGB and AdobeRGB support, and many user configurable settings. It also has a few things NEC has never done before including SpectraView calibration support on an EA-series model and full USB 3.0.

The EA244UHD is also loaded when it comes to connectivity. There are dual DisplayPort 1.2 inputs, HDMI, HDMI with MHL, and dual DVI (but these are only single link). I wish there was a Mini DisplayPort input like Dell has on their UHD displays, but there are still enough inputs here for anyone. With so many inputs, the NEC can display a single input at once, two side-by-side (with auto-expansion), three at once, or even four where each gets a FullHD 1920x1080 area. The Auto-Expansion mode allows you to customize the width of one half of the display and the other half automatically adjusts. There is also a USB 3.0 hub with three USB 3.0 ports, and as a sign that someone is listening to comments, the headphone jack is on the side of the display instead of the bottom or rear, where it is easy to access. Hooray for small victories!

One difference with the NEC EA244UHD compared to other UHD monitors so far is that it defaults to MST being enabled for DisplayPort 1.2. With other UHD monitors I have had issues where MST would stop working, or the monitor would not come out of sleep. The NEC is designed to drop out of MST mode if a display card doesn’t support it, but I can’t test this since all my video cards do support MST. I’m not certain if MST always working correctly on the NEC is because it is enabled by default, or because video drivers have been updated since the last display to fix the problem. Whatever the reason, the NEC EA244UHD works at 60Hz without a problem.

The backlight of the EA244UHD is a G-B LED one as we have seen on other displays. This allows for a larger color gamut than traditional white LEDs but the lower power use and heat output of LEDs compared to CCFL backlights. Built into the EA244UHD are preset modes for the sRGB gamut, AdobeRGB gamut, DICOM (medical imaging), and the Native Gamut. There is also a Programmable mode, which relies on the SpectraView II software to calibrate the display.

Also in the menu system are a few more custom NEC features. The Human Sensor detects when you are at your desk and keeps the monitor on. If you’re away for a defined period of time, it will turn off. Yes, you can use the power options to do this, but there might be reasons you don’t want to do that and you can accomplish it here. The Uniformity option increases panel uniformity at the expense of maximum brightness. I always test with this on as the maximum brightness is still bright enough for almost anyone and the uniformity really does improve.

If you want to hook up more than one NEC monitor, you can chain up to six of them together. Doing so will let you adjust the brightness, mode, and other settings from a single unit. (This is just in case you need six UltraHD displays, because that sounds nice.) NEC also ships the EA244UHD fully assembled, including a stand with height, tilt, and pivot adjustments. NEC is using a new air-packing method for this display, which is a nice change from the styrofoam most people use. It weighs less, is easy to reuse and recycle, and makes no mess. Those that test 15-18 monitors a year like myself really like to see this, and I hope more vendors follow this method of packaging.

NEC EA244UHD
Video Inputs 2x DisplayPort
1x HDMI/MHL
1x HDMI 1.4a
2x Single-Link DVI
Panel Type IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.14mm
Colors 1.07 Billion
Brightness 350 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:01:00
Response Time 6ms GtG
Viewable Size 24"
Resolution 3840x2160
Viewing Angle (H/V) 178 / 178
Backlight G-B LED
Power Consumption (operation) 79W
Power Consumption (standby) 0.3W
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height-Adjustable Yes, 5.1"
Tilt Yes
Pivot Yes
Swivel No
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm VESA
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 22.0" x 15.2" x 8.6"
Weight 19.2 lbs.
Additional Features 3.5mm stereo out, ControlSync, 3x USB 3.0
Limited Warranty 3 year
Accessories DisplayPort Cable, ControlSync Cable, USB 3.0 Cable
Price $1,366 online

 

DPI: Too High?
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  • MrSpadge - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    I agree, I'd rather give 24" at 1440p or 1600p a try, maybe also 1600p at 27", than any 4k display. At this point I could probably avoid scaling and make good use of the added pixels while avoiding all the drawbacks of 4k displays. Reply
  • know of fence - Friday, August 8, 2014 - link

    4K at 24" is not nearly enough that is needed for sharpness, what's needed for sharpness is un-discernible pixels seen from the minimum distance (~12") that an eye can still focus, famously branded "retina".
    The TV/PC market is quadrupling pixels because it is the integer multiple (9x;4x) of 720p and 1080p, thus allowing artifact free scaling of both. Mr.Heinonen, the reviewer, should have scaled dpi to 200 %, not 150 %. But at least these monitors offer the option to have really small font/symbols, for some, IMHO crazy people. The goal is to have scaled font, video but native high res pictures.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    "what's needed for sharpness is un-discernible pixels seen from the minimum distance (~12") that an eye can still focus"

    That's only needed for sharpness if you're watching your 24+" screen from 12". BTW: minimum focal distance is around 10 cm, give or take a few depending on the age of the person. That's just a few inches.
    Reply
  • npz - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    "The real question with a 24” UltraHD display is how well can you see/use it at native resolution? To me, it’s simply not usable at 3840x2160 resolution without DPI scaling. "

    This is what I've been saying and why the push for HiDPI especially on small devices like phones is ridiculous. I'd say my eyes are very good, better than everyone I know and everyone at the office who needs to sit close to their monitors and use big fonts that I can easily read from a few feet away. Yet of course even I wouldn't be able to use any mega-HiDPI device without scaling.

    But the point of higher resolution is to give you the extra ability to *resolve detail*. Thus its real utility comes from screen estate. However if you can't distinguish the details between pixels down at that level and need to scale, then higher resolution for a given area is completely wasted on your eyes. Also scaling distorts images, so it's pretty ironic that what is supposed to give you more detail ends up destroying it.

    I think a 4k monitor would be comfortable without scaling at 27" - 30" (for good eyes anyways)
    Reply
  • Nuno Simões - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    The issue is in the fact that the OS can scale right, not with the resolution itself. Mobile OSes usually scale fine, no matter how much pixels you throw in. Reply
  • Nuno Simões - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    I meant 'can't scale right'. Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    It's not a question about ultra high res screens at all, just above the average is enough to make it uncomfortable, even the Surface Pro 3's 2160x1440 means that most of the built in functions such as the device manager, MMC snap-ins and the like is actually bitmap scaled, so it's all blurry at even 150% and a lot doesn't work (scaled) at all at 200%, adobe's stuff looks ridiculous. Plus there is no way to run different screens at different DPI-levels independently, which means you need to adjust and log out and back in when doing stuff like attaching a projector or a TV. On multiscreen setups it means that everything is bitmapscaled from the primary monitors settings and essentially determined based of EDID-info. At least that's how it works on Windows up to 8.1 U1. Microsoft's own documentation doesn't make it look promising for the future either. Even if you can make apps that makes the most of it. OS X is a better choice with these screens when it comes to desktop computers. Neither is perfect though. Even 27-30-inch (or 28-31.5) UHD-monitors will probably be used with scaling, even if just at ~125%. But the real problem is then multiscreen as your probably running it of something like a laptop which probably need scaling if it has a somewhat high-res screen and a screen of smaller size. Even if you can see and use those screens at 100% dpi your surroundings will probably think your crazy in doing so. Reply
  • psonice - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    I think a lot of people miss the point with these monitors. It's not to get higher resolution / screen space, but to get a much clearer screen with the same space.

    As such, I'm looking to get a 24" 4K screen specifically. I'll run it at 1920x1080, with 2x scaling. That will give me a standard 24" screen res (and 1920x1080 is big enough for my needs, and easy on my eyes) but it'll be *crisp*.

    As a coder, I'm staring at a screen full of text all day, and having worked on a retina macbook pro for a while I can say that the screen on them makes text a lot more legible - it really is a huge improvement. So I want that, but bigger :)

    (And yes, I'd like a 27" screen even more, but I'd want >4K resolution then..)
    Reply
  • Stephen Barrett - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    this! i do the same on my xps 15. 2x scaling works great Reply
  • seapeople - Saturday, August 9, 2014 - link

    I'm a little confused, I thought that if you run a 4K screen at 1920x1080, then it will basically pixel double and therefore be indistinguishable from a 1920x1080 screen running at native resolution.

    So you would be completely wasting the 4x pixels on the screen, and could save a lot of money by just buying a 1920x1080 screen.

    I wonder if you are confusing this 4K screen with Apple's implementation, whereby they render text at full resolution, thus giving you high resolution and crisp fonts, but then can double scale bitmaps so they are at least not blurry.
    Reply

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