NEC’s 20WXG2 is its first widescreen display and is targeted specifically at multimedia use such as games and movies.
Featuring Opticlear DVM technology the screen uses a reflective surface coating seen on other gaming oriented displays to improve image clarity, sharpness and colour depth.
Combined with widescreen, first impressions are striking, you can really feel the extra room and 16:9 movies or games with a widescreen setting show a big improvement over more conventional LCDs.
The display has a number of preset modes for specific situations, namely text, movie, gaming and photo. For the most part the presets are just shortcuts to establish optimum brightness, contrast and colour levels for each situation but results are enigmatic to say the least.
The movie display for example, primarily boosts brightness and contrast levels to help emphasise solid blacks and clear whites. If you switch to this while on your desktop, you’ll notice a rather blocky pixellated effect that you don’t get on standard mode.
The problem here is that when you play a movie or DVD the pixellated effect pops up again, most noticeably on dark backgrounds. You can switch between modes fairly easily using the shortcut button on the front of the display, so for the most part you’ll find yourself flicking between them until you find the one that looks best, not necessarily settling for NECs recommendation.
Of course you can fine tune display settings yourself, but NEC has done a good job of making this as frustrating as possible by using a flappy joystick control to move around the menus. It’s far too sensitive and makes a meal out of even the simplest of changes, so it’s a good job the presets are there to prevent you having to use it much.
Regardless of the minor niggles it has to be said that the image quality of the 20WXG2 is excellent. Reported problems with reflections from the Opticlear screen seem exaggerated and anyway the smooth tilt and swivel mechanics make it easy to adjust angles to improve clarity.
You’ll also find a USB2.0 hub built-in, along with the fairly standard VGA and Digital inputs, and while the screen is rather chunky it gives an impression of a solid design and build so you really feel like you’ve got something that’ll last.
If you watch DVDs or other media through your PC in a bedroom or study, this is a great display for doing your videos justice. Gamers will be in widescreen heaven and the dimmed down text display means eyestrain is kept to a minimum if you’re writing emails or using it for business purposes.
NEC has come up with an LCD that’s as exciting as it is versatile, and ideal for the modern multimedia age. Although there are cheaper 20” widescreens around, few have the quality of the NEC, particularly with gaming.