Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

NEC SpectraView 2690

Monitor Roundup: 23-26 Inches
By
Easy Navigation

It's a nice touch that doesn't compensate for the other problems we found with this monitor, but it's worth noting nevertheless.

The OSD on this monitor is very usable, and other manufacturers could learn a lot from NEC in this area.

For graphics pros who need to adjust their monitor every day, the illuminated controls will make life a lot simpler.

Is it ever reasonable to try and sell a screen for four times more the going rate?  NEC certainly thinks so.

Adding a few zeros to the price tag is likely to scare the general public, but professional graphic designers might be likely to take a look.

What sets this SpectraView 2690 apart is the care and attention that have gone into its manufacture, completely lacking from more entry-level offerings. Once it's been assembled, each screen is quality controlled to ensure that Nec doesn't ship a single monitor with a dead pixel or a sub-pixel. Further down the production line, the screens are individually checked by a technician. These technicians look at the screens one area at a time, using a color senor to check the evenness of the screen and the brightness, calibrating one area of it at a time using an Onscreen Display that offers more options than usual.



The monitor is finally shipped with a color temperature of 5000 K instead of the more usual 6500 K, but all of the options that allow for individual areas of the screen to be calibrated are available to users.

Our Verdict: It's Not Worth It

The extra cash you'll need to spend on this monitor is a bitter pill to swallow: the SpectraView 2690 failed to deliver the goods in our tests

Compared to more affordable screens, it does well in some areas. It is a lot more customizable, for instance, with a great OSD, and it has great response times and good viewing angles. It's not all good news, though: while the screen is generally fairly even with a discrepancy of 22% between the bottom corners and the center, we've certainly seen better. An average screen is closer to 30%, but the very best monitors are as low as 10%.

Colors & Contrast

The use of an IPS panel allows for very large viewing angles, which are wide in all directions. However, the traditional problem of IPS screens is also very noticeable, with washed-out blacks, measuring as bright as 0.57 cd/m², a long way from the 0.2 cd/m² found on TN and PVA panels. This obviously as a very negative impact on the contrast, which is only 400:1.

Despite Nec's calibration, the default colors are problematic, and the screen needs to be calibrated before you use it. We measured a deltaE of 4.1, showing a large gap between the colors sent by the graphics card, with a gamma of 2.1 in the black and 2.6 in the white.

Elsewhere, the screen promises:

  • lower power consumption: we measured it to actually be twice as high as normal, but Nec claims it works for professional-level screens of this size.
  • 12 bit color: the graphics card only produces an 8 bit signal, so the extra power is only good for interpolated pixels.  On our test images, we couldn't detect any imporvement by eye.
Nec SpectraView 2690
ProsCons
  • Highly customizable
  • Each area of the screen can be adjusted separately
  • Excellent response times
  • Good viewing angles
  • Zero dead pixel guarantee
  • Washed out blacks
  • Default color handling is not as good as you'd expect
  • No video correction chip

As ever, our score doesn't take into the price, just how good the monitor is. If it wasn't quite so expensive then we'd a lot happier recommending it.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 23 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 0 Hide
    ram1009 , September 28, 2009 5:00 PM
    I just bought a Samsung T26HD Monitor & 1080p HD TV combo from Sam's club for $350. So far I love it. Better overall than the 28" Viewsonic I replaced.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 28, 2009 5:35 PM
    What kind of article is this? Almost all the monitors got 4-star rating, STAR RATINGS? Little uniformity to the way the LCDs are described and "benchmarked".

    Not up to par with normal THG's articles.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 28, 2009 6:05 PM
    can anyone explain to my this flickering issue? is it only an issue on 1080p lcd monitor?
  • 1 Hide
    baddad , September 28, 2009 6:31 PM
    look here for better deals and better displays http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010190020%201106217860&name=1920%20x%201080
  • 1 Hide
    monicas , September 28, 2009 8:13 PM
    I don't understand the need for such a big variety in size. It just seems like there should only be 20, 24 and 30. Are people really that picky about these things?

    Monica
    http://www.sebecomputercare.com
  • 1 Hide
    dingumf , September 28, 2009 8:35 PM
    Why would ANYBODY but an apple monitor?
  • 1 Hide
    jaragon13 , September 28, 2009 9:03 PM
    dingumfWhy would ANYBODY but an apple monitor?

    For the name.

    Personally, I was looking forward to seeing the Samsung F2380, but apparently all of the worthy monitors got left out.
  • 0 Hide
    Major7up , September 28, 2009 10:47 PM
    None of these impressed me at all. Though I use a pair of 24" Samsungs at home along with a pair of 17" Samsungs, I still prefer the 22" Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 200 I took to work, especially for gaming. No LCD that I have seen has been able to compare to it yet in my opinion.
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , September 29, 2009 1:55 AM
    Wizzard123What kind of article is this? Almost all the monitors got 4-star rating, STAR RATINGS? Little uniformity to the way the LCDs are described and "benchmarked". Not up to par with normal THG's articles.

    It's not a THG article, it's a Digital Versus article that was republished here. I assume there is a partnership happening.
  • 0 Hide
    liemfukliang , September 29, 2009 2:27 AM
    I am sorry if I am keeping asking this: are there true 24 bit LCD (8 bits / color) monitor in this review? I want to buy real 24 bit LCD, not some 18 bit interpolation :( . I don't want to be cheated. If the vendor sold a 18 bit LCD with 18 bit color information that would be fine. But they sell 18 bit as 24 bit, that would be wrong. From google I find out that TN panel is out of option. All TN Panel is 18 bit interpolation. thx.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , September 29, 2009 5:43 AM
    I want a big one for Christmas.
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , September 29, 2009 7:04 AM
    What about the Samsung SyncMaster 2343BW?
    ***** monitor.
    Why? It's a 2048x1152 23" monitor for about $190...
  • -1 Hide
    liemfukliang , September 29, 2009 1:00 PM
    Wao.... this quite a good review. After reading it there is S-IPS panel and PVA. I just don't certain if they are true 24 bit, since today many value IPS and VA is show up.
    If there is no color problem, then this is another major problem:
    RESOLUTION. Since 17" hi end laptop till 103" world largest Plasma why the are all at 1900 x 1200? Only few of them really make few megapixel resolution. If 1400 is for 19", 22 is 1080p, then 24 should be 2500 x 1600. More thant 24" res should be more than 2500. It also good to anticipate the coming of 4k movie. Or if you are a photographer with 24 megapixel jpg / raw. There also halbingter of what super hi end camera that has 50 Megapixel.
    Please I hope OLED will fix 2 major LCD problem :
    1. color interpolation
    2. resolution beyond 1080p HD.
  • 1 Hide
    kansur0 , September 29, 2009 5:58 PM
    Why weren't any Dell monitors included in this review? I have been using the 2407WFP for about three years now. Solid monitor. The 2408's are out now. This is one of the best monitors on the market regardless of price. Why wasn't it included in this review? INCOMPLETE!!!
  • 1 Hide
    mnb4800 , September 30, 2009 8:43 AM
    My thoughts exactly, no Dell, even after my extensive research, I always bump into a 2408WFP and the recently released U2410, which the later is REALLY amazing bar the 6ms gtg response (even on the 2408WFP) which I am debating if that is really an improvement over my 8ms gtg 2007WFP response rate wise?
  • 0 Hide
    mnb4800 , September 30, 2009 8:44 AM
    Couldn't figure out how to edit the previous post, but I meant to say 8ms vs 6ms gtg in a gaming environment, is it a big improvement?
  • 0 Hide
    smokinu , October 1, 2009 7:14 PM
    mnb4800My thoughts exactly, no Dell, even after my extensive research, I always bump into a 2408WFP and the recently released U2410, which the later is REALLY amazing bar the 6ms gtg response (even on the 2408WFP) which I am debating if that is really an improvement over my 8ms gtg 2007WFP response rate wise?


    To be honest you must have been one of the lucky ones with your dell. From my research the Dells tend to be a hit and miss as to good vs. bad ones. I tend to pay more attention to User reviews rather than Editor Reviews as nowadays Editors tend to be biased and or just like to cut corners and give everyone 4 stars lol. This is purely slacking in ones job duties. I would like to note however that I believe the manufactures no matter which brand would be held accountable to the advertised specs on hardware. Monitor manufacture. Tend to be the worse culprit when it comes to overstated performance.

  • 0 Hide
    waffle911 , October 6, 2009 12:02 AM
    Page one.
    Quote:
    We asses monitors on a lot of different criteria...

    A typo that's still a word. Funny stuff.
  • 0 Hide
    waffle911 , October 6, 2009 12:17 AM
    Sorry for double post:
    What's this about a mouse and keyboard included with the Apple display? Their webpage doesn't say anything about that. If they were included, then when combined with passable speakers, webcam and mic, the total asking price starts to sound slightly less ridiculous (remember what the Apple wireless mouse and keyboard cost).
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 6, 2009 10:24 AM
    8ms vs 6ms gtg in a gaming environment, is it a big improvement?

    That's a 33% improvement mate.
Display more comments
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter
  • add to twitter
  • add to facebook
  • ajouter un flux RSS
target