Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2070SB-BK with SpectraView
At a Glance
The 2070SB is aimed at a very specific market--graphics professionals who can justify spending twice as much as others do for a high-end CRT, in this case $1250 at the time of our evaluation. Yet it's a relative bargain in comparison to its main rival, the 22-inch Sony Artisan, which sells for about $1800. (Sony was unable to send us an Artisan in time for this review.)
So what does the high price of the Mitsubishi buy you? One big advantage is that the 2070SB provides beautiful color right out of the box, while other CRTs require a lot of tweaking. (We evaluate monitors using their default settings.) The 2070SB also comes with Mitsubishi's SpectraView color management system, which is a combination of color calibration software and a colorimeter that measures screen output and tweaks the computer's graphics system (by creating a reusable ICC profile) to achieve consistently optimal color quality. The International Color Consortium's ICC profile format facilitates color consistency when moving images between platforms and devices. We ran the default, automated calibration routine before conducting our subjective jury tests.
Other adjustments require downloading NEC-Mitsubishi's NaviSet software for controlling the monitor from your PC. The regular on-screen display controls are disabled on this model, but the SpectraView software provides easy and precise adjustments. You can also purchase the 2070SB without the SpectraView system for about $500 less and spend that money instead on a third-party calibration system. Companies such as Integrated Color Solutions, GretagMacbeth, Pantone, and X-Rite make fine software and hardware combos that sell for $300 or less and work with multiple monitors and with both CRTs and LCDs.
In contrast to its graphics performance, which put it at the head of the pack at the time of our review, the 2070SB came in dead last for text quality. It appears that the same optimizations that produced rich color made standard black-on-white (and white-on-black) text harder to distinguish. While text performance is probably not a top concern for the 2070SB's primary audience, the monitor's poor showing could be a hindrance to graphics professionals working on page layouts. However, a custom calibration to optimize for text might improve readability.
The Diamond Pro 2070SB-BK with SpectraView is a good all-in-one package for professional-grade color management, but you can save a few hundred dollars by assembling your own calibration system.