The NEC AccuSync AS191WM is an unusually affordable 19in monitor from the display specialist
While the products of some manufacturers tend to scrape the bottom of the basement for their LCD screens, others tend to inhabit rather higher planes. NEC certainly isn't a company whose products you'd associate with the very cheapest prices available, which is why you may be as shocked as we were to see that the latest NEC AccuSync AS191WM screen retails for just £124.
But then, with its latest product line, NEC is on something of a crusade, and the NEC AccuSync AS191WM intends to save far more than a few pounds on the asking price.
The first thing to bear in mind is that, in today's terms, the NEC AccuSync AS191WM is small. That 19in 1440x900 screen seems surprisingly pokey in the multi-core multi-tasking multi-screen world of 2010.
However, not so very long ago, 19 inches of screen space was more than ample for all but a minority of users. And if you're looking to save money, you might as well do it by dropping down in screen size, rather than quality.
But NEC has loftier ambitions for this seemingly modest screen, and the NEC AccuSync AS191WM is doing its bit to reduce power consumption.
Not only is the screen size itself already saving money in its asking price, but NEC's sharp new 2CCFL technology allows the company to replace the four backlights usually built into LCD screens, with a mere two - albeit a pair with greater efficiency.
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You have to make do with a few compromises elsewhere, and the brightness rating of 250cd/m2 doesn't match the 300cd/m2 ratings typical of today's flat-panels. Nonetheless, the power savings are significant. This screen can run normally at just 18W, while in standby it drops to around 0.4W.
Given that the BenQ G2220HD, for example, consumes 42W and 1W respectively, it suggests that NEC's technology is indeed efficient.
However, while we can marvel at the cost savings, there are drawbacks to the NEC. It's not as smooth as many screens we've seen when it comes to fast-moving images (particularly games). And, if we're being honest, the image quality isn't the highest.
The NEC AccuSync AS191WM screen focus is very inconsistent, and it's not helped by the poor viewing angles. The rather old-fashioned menu system doesn't make it very easy to adjust the many settings - which themselves aren't very easy to identify due to the use of arcane icons rather than function names. And we were never able to find a good multi-purpose screen mode that could cater for all needs.
However, the lack of brightness may not be an issue for those looking for a work screen, and text is quite easy to read on the NEC. And today, even a slightly inferior screen like the NEC AccuSync AS191WM still packs enough colour to do a competent job on photos. The palette may be a little soft, but the results remain quite pleasing.
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