NEC EA244UHD 24-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

Results: Brightness And Contrast

To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.


Even though the EA244UHD is technically a business-class display, its performance and price place it in the realm of professional screens. Therefore, we’re comparing it to monitors with wide-gamut capabilities. Representing Ultra HD is Dell’s UP2414Q and UP3214Q. NEC’s PA272W and HP’s Z27x cover the QHD category. And BenQ’s PG2401PT is a 1920x1200 screen with superb out-of-box accuracy.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

NEC pretty much hits its claimed brightness spec of 350cd/m2. That’s plenty of light output for a sunlit room or even an outdoor covered location. It’s also one of the brighter UHD screens we’ve measured. Only Sharp’s PN-K321 has a significantly higher white level.

A maximum black level of .3990cd/m2 puts the EA244UHD mid-pack. All of the monitors are fairly close though, only separated by a scant .1339cd/m2.

Maximum contrast is a bit lower than we’d like. One-thousand to 1 is our reference, and the comparison group is split down the middle on that score. The EA244UHD does boast a 13-percent advantage over the UP2414Q, which shares the same panel part.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

NEC monitors all seem to have incredibly dim images at their minimum backlight setting. Obviously that's a conscious decision on the designer’s part, but we can’t imagine a situation where such a dark picture would be useful. To set the EA244UHD’s output to 50cd/m2, change the backlight setting to level 10.

The minimum black level result shoots to the top thanks to an extremely low white level. While impressive, it’s not really practical.

Contrast stays reasonably consistent at 841.8 to 1, which is less than four percent below the max value. While we’d like to see higher overall numbers, the consistency is a good thing.

After Calibration to 200cd/m2

We’re showing the calibrated contrast results with and without uniformity compensation.

Turning on the compensation drops calibrated output by 15 percent. There is enough range in the backlight control to return the white level to 200cd/m2 if you wish.

NEC designed the EA244UHD’s uni-comp to operate only on the brighter signal levels, so blacks are largely unaffected. Either way, it’s slightly darker than the Dell UP2414Q.

The calibrated result drops a little because we lowered the contrast control two clicks for the sake of grayscale accuracy. The uni-comp only takes 15 percent off the contrast ratio, so if your particular sample has visible uniformity issues, it might be worth using. Our sample had no problems and we left it off.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

The ANSI contrast result is close to the on/off value, which is a very good thing. In fact, with uni-comp turned on, it’s higher (that's unusual, in a good way). There’s no doubt the EA244UHD is a high-quality display with solid build quality and top-notch engineering behind it.

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  • alidan
    48 inch, i can't imagine using a 4k at any less than 48 inches.
  • LiquidAMD
    SST or MST please for 60Hz??
  • LiquidAMD
    SST or MST please for 60Hz??
  • milkod2001

    That's no telly, it's professional desktop monitor, could be 27 or 30'' but would probably cost another 1000 or more extra.
  • vincent67
    Agree with alidan, at this density, pixels are wasted: you don't see more as you need to scale everything up.
    And, knowing the hardware you need to drive this resolution,, I don't see any interest except for some niches.
    You need at least 44'' to exploit 4K.
  • ribald86

    UHD is 2560x1440/2560x1600 - not 4k. Even if it was 4k, I don't see how you can say it is wasted.
  • ribald86
    @myself - I was incorrect - I am a dumb ass.

    QHD = 2560x1440/2560x1600
    UHD = 4k
  • ribald86
    @myself - I was incorrect - I am a dumb ass.

    QHD = 2560x1440/2560x1600
    UHD = 4k
  • atwspoon
    UHD = 3840x2160
    4k = 4096x2160
  • Textfield
    The problem with these high-DPI screens is that support for these displays is lacking in many modern OS's. Yes, support is getting better, as with Windows 8.1 and its better UI scaling, but even with good support in the OS's UI, you're still at the mercy of the apps you use, and many are terrible when it comes to high DPI, with some even failing to work properly.

    Retina is only useful when your programs provide good support for it. Otherwise it's just an annoyance. As an owner of a Yoga 2 Pro (13" 3200x1800), I can speak to this. I normally run my laptop in an upscaled 1920x1080 just to keep compatability.
  • atwspoon
    So what about tablets and phones using UHD or 4k in the future?
    The Pixel Chromebook looks quite pretty with its 12" screen and 2560x1700 resolution. That's a small laptop, but moving in the right direction I think!
  • eklipz330
    yeah, i cant imagine widespread pc 4k adoption until we have video cards that can run it. i mean, we're still struggling with 2560x1440 resolution. there needs to be a massive improvement in gpu power in the next year
  • vincent67
    Of course, I also found these extra pixels, above 1920*1080, for tiny screens from phones or tablets superfluous and no less wasted! Everything is scaled up so you don't see more stuff!
    This is similar to digital cameras where the resolution becomes useless passed a certain point.
  • none12345
    "Agree with alidan, at this density, pixels are wasted: you don't see more as you need to scale everything up.
    And, knowing the hardware you need to drive this resolution,, I don't see any interest except for some niches.
    You need at least 44'' to exploit 4K. "

    While true of a TV at normal viewing distance. This is complete and utter BS for a desktop monitor. My eyesight is not that great and i can easily see the pixels(if i look for them) on the 1920x1080 monitor im staring at as i type this.

    The move to 3840 cant happen soon enough. If i had a spare 1,400 id be all over this monitor. But i dont, i have to wait till the price comes down. Also wait for the refresh rate to go up, 60 is too low.

    185ppi will be hard to see unless you really try hard. But sub 100 its pretty easy to see the pixels. The desktop world has been stuck with 90-110ppi for FAR FAR too long.
  • none12345
    As for scaling, apps designed for 1980 scale perfectly to 3840, you just double everything. The the image will look identical to what you have now.

    Granted there are some issues, like the windows app notification message that tells apps when they are being scaled. And some apps ignoring this message and telling windows back that it can handle the resoultion properly when it cant. Thats an issue. But for every app that doesnt cheat like that, and just renders itself, you can scale it easily.

    Its the wierd ppi monitors that have problems scaling. You cant scale an image designed for 90ppi to 150 without screwing up the image. You can scale 90 to 180 easily and it will look perfect.

    As far as games go. Just turn down the AA setting, and you achieve the same framerate with a better image on 4k then you do on 2k. With AA on youa re already rendering at the higher pixel density, then downscaling it to be displayed. Downscaling takes processing power, turn off the AA and its the same thing only faster. AA becomes unnecessary once you increase pixel density.
  • SpankyNek
    I am interested in further explanation of the Vincent67's assertion that digital camera resolution becomes useless.

    Like none12345 mentioned above, it is totally dependent upon the intended usage of the product.

    4K computer monitors are being viewed at extremely short distances.
    If a photographer wants to produce very large prints from a digital image, resolution becomes paramount.

    So, while there is certainly a point where the cost of increasing resolution capability becomes inverse to the need of a "typical" use, that point will not be the same for someone utilizing those higher resolutions for atypical applications.

    IMO, smaller 4K displays still provide a ton of utility. Whether or not that utility is something a typical user would benefit from is largely irrelevant when one considers that a typical user is not going to be in the market for a $1300 computer monitor.