capsule review

NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM-BK 20-Inch Wide-Screen LCD Monitor

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder MultiSync LCD205WXM

    PCWorld Rating

    On NEC's highly adjustable monitor, text scores were impressive, but graphics performance was found wanting.

If you require special and frequent changes to the position of your monitor, the MultiSync LCD205WXM-BK 20-inch wide-screen monitor provides several built-in adjustment mechanisms. It has a height-adjustable, double-hinged base that I found tight and a tad hard to move, unlike some other models such as Dell's 20-inch UltraSharp 2007WFP. It also includes a swiveling base and a tilting panel, but no pivot to switch the panel to a vertical or portrait mode. Still, it offers more physical adjustments than most monitors do.

Tested for our February 2008 feature "The Wide World of Monitors," the all-black monitor performed well in text-heavy tasks, but its graphics performance was decidedly below average. It earned high scores in viewings of a variety of spreadsheets and text documents, but its inconsistent showing in a collection of pictures and color scales offset those gains. Skin tones on a diverse group of people seemed off, while the extremes of gray and color scales looked muddled.

The display showcased many of the good color attributes of the movie Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Silvery blues and whites, which appear on many costumes, appear satisfyingly luminous. Beautiful coppery oranges and richly textured blues were all rendered with balance. Some velvet reds, particularly in the elf princess's robes, seemed a bit orange. The monitor has excellent fast motion handling. A speedily galloping white horse appeared well defined in both day and light scenes. It also rendered light scenes cleanly, without the excessive graininess I found in some monitors.

For looking at documents on your PC, NEC's endlessly readable LCD205WXM-BK will let you work for hours without much eyestrain. But for serious picture and other graphics work, you may want to feast your eyes on other models.

--Roy Santos

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    On NEC's highly adjustable monitor, text scores were impressive, but graphics performance was found wanting.

    Pros

    • Has swivel and adjustable height
    • Excellent text display

    Cons

    • Mediocre graphics performance
    • Uninspired monitor design
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