capsule review

NEC MultiSync LCD2690WUXi 25.5-Inch Wide-Screen LCD Monitor

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder MultiSync LCD2690UXi

    PCWorld Rating

    Lacks the extras, style, and standout performance we expect from an expensive 26-inch (25.5-inch viewable) wide-screen.

The NEC MultiSync LCD2690WUXi accumulated respectable scores when we tested it for our February 2008 feature "The Wide World of Monitors." But at $1299 (as of December 10, 2007), it's too expensive--especially when compared with lower-priced, better-featured, and superbly performing models, such as the Samsung SyncMaster 275T.

NEC's 26-inch wide-screen (25.5-inch viewable area) MultiSync LCD2690WUXi rendered text and graphics well. (For more information on our image-quality test, see "How We Test Monitors.") It produced sharp detail in pictures of fruits and in clothing. The monitor did a good job at displaying different shades of gray (an indication of good monitor contrast), but it particularly excelled at the darker end of the spectrum. It also legibly displayed various sizes of text in office documents.

The monitor's boxy design consists of a thick back panel and stumpy-looking stand. It has a full set of physical adjustments, a combination usually offered in only the most expensive monitors. It tilts and swivels, and has mechanisms for pivot and height adjustment. It doesn't comes with software that automatically rotates on-screen content, so you'll have to manually adjust the display orientation through the operating system's display settings. You can move the panel quite high with the height-adjust mechanism. The MultiSync LCD2690WUXi also provides both DVI-D and DVI-I connections, as well as both cables. It has VGA for analog sources.

The NaviSet software, downloadable from the NEC Web site after you fill out a form, lets you make adjustments from a software interface, rather than from the on-screen display (OSD). The OSD, however, is well thought-out, with buttons on the lower-right corner of the monitor contextually labeled when in use. The OSD even switches automatically to the lower left when the panel pivots 90 degrees, matching the new position of the OSD buttons.

The monitor has one of the most awkward cable management systems I've tested. Plastic loops on the back of the stand point at different, seemingly random angles. The stand cover could barely close on the cords that I used.

The LCD2690WUXi produced satisfyingly natural colors in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The skin tone of the elf princess was not too pink and had a pleasing glow reminiscent of 1950s Hollywood close-ups. It showed beautiful coppers, oranges, and yellows in an autumn sunset scene. It handled bright and dark scenes effortlessly, and provided excellent textures in velvet and silk clothing.

--Roy Santos

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Lacks the extras, style, and standout performance we expect from an expensive 26-inch (25.5-inch viewable) wide-screen.

    Pros

    • ownloadable display settings software
    • Full physical adjustments

    Cons

    • Awkward cable management
    • No pivot software
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