Large monitors are definitely the best way to get the most out of your PC, be it a desktop or docked notebook. With prices on LCD panels falling all the time, the NEC 24WMG3 does look a touch on the pricey side. Can it substantiate the high price?
Glancing around the monitor raises an eyebrow because this doesn’t look like a £600 display. A glossy bezel surrounds the screen, but glance to the rear and you’ll find this is a thick beast. Little details niggle on the design, like the cheap sticker on the bottom right corner with “24WMGX3” on it.
The stand itself is the same glossy plastic which forms a huge spread foot, extending both to the front and rear. The size of the stand suggests it is to support the monitor through a variety of poses, but you get little by way of adjustability.
In fact, all you get is a two point hinge design that allows a modicum of height adjustment: there is no portrait option and swivel is a little poor too, as the monitor doesn’t swivel on the stand, rather the stand swivels on a central contact point, which raises the question as to why the rest of the huge stand exists?
However, where things start to look a little more premium is in the panel itself and the connections on offer. Let’s start with the substantial array of connection options: you get the mainstay connections, DVI, VGA and audio in and out. You then get two HDMI, Component and analogue AV with S-Video; optical audio is also present.
You do get built-in speakers, however, they are a poor offering, very tinny, and not worth using. However, you do get the audio loop through option, which, whilst a nice offering, seems to strip out a great deal of quality over a straight-up connection to your sound card. You do get a volume control option however.
But the panel itself is really what you are paying for. With a 16:10 aspect ratio and a native resolution of 1980 x 1200, this monitor comes with that Full HD tag, meaning you can really get the most out of those inputs, be if for gaming or movie watching. Other stats include a 6ms response time and 1000:1 contrast ratio. The resolution makes this a great monitor for working on, with plenty of detail on offer.
Whilst some gamers might question the response time, they won’t be able to question the scope for getting the exact colour balance they want. Default settings give you good vibrant colours and great deep blacks, but you still get plenty of options to get the picture you want, either through customisation or from preset options.
The panel is also nice and bright, helping portray those crisp images and have a good even look, without evidences of too much backlight bleed in corners or edges.
Across the front of the monitor you’ll find a number of small control buttons that allow you to change all the options, including switching inputs, which is a great button option so you can switch to HDMI from VGA, meaning the multiple connections can be used to best effect. You can also control the picture in picture options from here, and on a screen this big you could have a DVD playing in the corner whilst you type (ahem), or keep your eye on basically anything from a different source.
Besides the monitor, you also have the normal cables you’d expect, HDMI, DVI, VGA, audio, as well as a remote control. The remote makes it simple to control the PIP options as well as switching options, which might be convenient for some in a multimedia setup. The menus let you customise pretty much anything, from choosing the audio source, to adjusting the brightness of the blue power LED, which you can turn off completely, should you choose.
The viewing angle is also very impressive at 178 degrees, meaning it is a viable option for displaying to groups and would be a good boardroom workhorse. In the workplace it might find a large number of fans with its wide variety of connection options and great display properties with plenty of scope for customisation.
Overall you can’t help but be impressed with the performance of the 24WMGX3, it looks sensational. However, it is rather pricey and you have to ask yourself whether you need that range of connections and if it has to be 24-inches, a step down will see you save a lot of money. Competitor panels can be had for £200 less, but the performance here is first rate.
From an overall exterior design point of view this is not the most attractive monitor on the market and might deter those looking to use it centre piece in their home. Equally, the lack of stand flexibility and poor audio options detract from the offering and at this price you’d expect more.