NEC EA244UHD 24-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

NEC's EA244UHD Offers Incredible Out-Of-Box Performance

In evaluating the EA244UHD, it’s easy to forget about its tremendous pixel density once the color tests begin. Even though we’re not big fans of 24-inch Ultra HD monitors, the accuracy enabled by NEC makes this a compelling choice. We would be willing to live with Windows' less-than-ideal display scaling to have this kind of precision on our desktops.

Of course, that begs the question: what could NEC do with the 32-inch IGZO panel? We’ve tested three products based on that part and we know that the wide-gamut version used in Dell’s UP3214Q is capable of professional-grade performance. Yes, the price is dear. Still, we’re already talking about over £1000 for a 24-inch screen. Perhaps NEC will add the jumbo monitor to its PA series.

NEC’s EA line has always been about luxury-grade business-class displays. The EA274WMi proved itself to be a capable screen that came very close to our current 27-inch QHD picks from Planar (PXL2790MW) and HP (E271i). But this new Ultra HD monitor takes EA performance well into the realm of a professional’s tool.

With benchmark-setting accuracy, SpectraView capability and high pixel density, we’re surprised the EA244UHD isn’t part of the PA series. We saw great things from the PA272W and this monitor is even better in some ways.

Its principal competitor is Dell’s UP2414Q. That screen also has a wide-gamut option with software adjustment features and factory-certified calibration. It’s currently selling for under £700, presenting a solid alternative to the EA244UHD. But if you’re looking for absolute precision without calibration, NEC wins the contest hands-down.

To find fault with it, you really have to nit-pick. Yes the price is high. But unless you’re willing to settle for one of the new 28-inch TN-based screens, a 4K display is going to necessitate a generous budget. Priced against monitors of similar accuracy, it’s a wash. The NEC PA272W or HP Z27x cost as much or more, and they top out at 2560x1440 pixels. If you want the maximum possible pixel density from a desktop monitor, it’s either the EA244UHD or Dell’s UP2414Q.

If you take away one point from our considerable suite of benchmarks, it should be that we didn’t have to change a single image parameter to ace almost every metric. We would like to see a bit more contrast, and the gamma wasn’t perfect. However, in the color and grayscale tests, we found a new definition of accuracy. We know that only a small percentage of users have the means or desire to calibrate their displays. That’s why we measure un-calibrated performance. The EA244UHD beats the calibrated results of nearly every display we’ve ever tested.

For its incredible out-of-box performance and stunning image quality, we’re giving the NEC EA244UHD Tom's Hardware's coveted Elite award.

This thread is closed for comments
16 comments
    Your comment
  • 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
    @alidan

    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
    @vincent67

    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
    @ribald86
    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
    @vincent67
    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
    @atwspoon
    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.