The NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM is a 20in widescreen LCD with both a digital visual interface (DVI) and an analogue input.

Although it's competitively priced, the NEC costs a little more than some bargain-priced monitors of the same size, but the extra money buys such niceties as height adjustment and decent-sounding speakers, along with very good color fidelity and text legibility.

The all-black NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM sports a thin bezel, and its swivelling, height-adjustable base design offers more flexibility than other displays of the same size we've reviewed recently. The design doesn't allow it to pivot into a portrait mode, however.

The NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM features two 1W speakers built into the case, and they sound pretty good. They are definitely better than no speakers at all, but that's about all you can say for them.

When we attached the NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM to a 2.66GHz Mac Pro, the display started right up into its native 1,680-by-1,050-pixel resolution.

Like most LCDs, the NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM was a little too bright and a little too blue at its default settings. After using a Gretag Macbeth Eye-One Display 2 to calibrate the monitor to 6,500 Kelvin and 2.2 gamma, the display looked much better.

If you don't have a calibrator, don't worry: we were able to get the NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM to look just about as good using its onscreen colour controls.

After we calibrated the NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM, a jury of editors compared it to several other similarly sized monitors using a variety of different test documents and found its colour fidelity to be Very Good.

The NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM also received high marks for text legibility, being rated as Very Good even at small point sizes. The viewing angle was not as good as what we've seen from other NEC monitors, but it was better than many of the 20in LCDs we've looked at recently, and it received a rating of Good from our jury for this test.

NEXT PAGE: test results and our expert verdict > >

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We connected the NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM to a 2.66GHz Mac Pro with 1GB of RAM and an Nvidia 7300GT graphics card, running Mac OS X 10.4.10. We noted the performance of the display with its default, out-of-the-box settings and then calibrated it to 6,500 Kelvin with a gamma of 2.2, using a Gretag Macbeth Eye-One Display 2 colorimeter.

Test Centre testers viewed a number of on-screen test images and rated each display as Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor on its colour, text, and viewing angle compared with a sampling of similar displays.

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NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM: Specs

  • 20in LCD monitor
  • 1,680x1,050 resolution
  • 1 DVI, 1 VGA
  • 170-degree
  • 300 cd/m2
  • 5ms response time
  • 1,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 361x259x472mm
  • built-in speakers
  • 3 year warranty
  • 20in LCD monitor
  • 1,680x1,050 resolution
  • 1 DVI, 1 VGA
  • 170-degree
  • 300 cd/m2
  • 5ms response time
  • 1,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 361x259x472mm
  • built-in speakers
  • 3 year warranty

OUR VERDICT

If you're looking for a widescreen LCD display, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg, the NEC MultiSync LCD205WXM should be at the top of your list. It does a really good job of displaying both accurate colour and legible text while providing some nice features like built-in speakers, a swiveling base, and height adjustment capabilities.

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