NEC EA244UHD 24-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

Users seeking maximum pixel density need look no further than a 24-inch Ultra HD screen. A few months back we looked at Dell’s UP2414Q. Today we’re testing NEC’s EA244UHD. It’s part of their business-class line but offers much more than its stablemates...

NEC sells seven different monitor lines and we’ve reviewed several examples from two of them – the EA and PA series. PA screens are billed as color-accurate and, in our experience, that is quite true. We found the PA272W to be extremely well-engineered and perfectly suited for color-critical applications. From the EA line, we tested NEC's EA274WMi; it also proved to be a superb performer lacking only a wide gamut.

Today’s subject, the EA244UHD, presents something of a conundrum. While it comes from the EA series of high-end business-class monitors, our testing shows it to be one of the most accurate and consistent performers we’ve ever seen. You'll notice in the benchmarks that its out-of-box performance is pretty much unequaled.

The display also offers features found in the professional PA-series screens like SpectraView calibration and an Adobe RGB gamut option. While it’s definitely not cheap, this monitor definitely gives other professional products a run for their money.

Brand & Model
NEC EA244UHD
Price
~£1000
Panel Type & Backlight
AH-IPS
GB-r-LED, edge array
Screen Size & Aspect
23.8-inch / 16:9
Max Resolution & Refresh Rate
3840x2160 @ 60Hz
Native Color Depth & Gamut
10-bit (8-bit w/FRC)
Response Time (GTG)
6ms
Brightness
350cd/m2
Speakers
2 x 1W
Video Inputs
2 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI (1 x MHL)
2 x DVI
Audio
1 x 3.5mm stereo in
USB
v3.0 - 1 x up, 3 x down
Control
1 x ControlSync in/out
Panel Dimensions
WxHxD w/base
22 x 15.2-20.3 x 8.6in
558 x 387-517 x 218mm
Panel Thickness
2.9in / 72mm
Bezel Width
.7-.7in / 15-18mm
Weight
16.3lbs / 7.4kg
Warranty
Three years

In the category of 24-inch Ultra HD monitors, there are only two panel parts to choose from, both manufactured by LG Display. The EA244UHD and Dell’s UP2414Q are both made from the same wide-gamut component. It sports a GB-r-LED backlight and 10-bit color via an 8-bit native depth with frame rate conversion.

To take full advantage of a monitor’s bit depth, the incoming signal must match up. Ten-bit-capable video cards are generally found in the workstation space, including Nvidia's Quadro and AMD's FirePro boards. Even something as advanced as the GeForce GTX Titan only outputs 8-bit color natively. Of course, a true 10-bit panel is even better. But they are less common and more expensive.

When it comes to pixel density, today’s 24-inch Ultra HD monitors are about as high as you can go at 185ppi. Products for the desktop are still lagging behind smartphones and tablets (and even a few laptops). However, the gap is obviously closing.

The EA244UHD is aimed at high-end business users. Still, we think that photo and graphics jockeys will want to take a closer look at this new screen as well. In addition to Ultra HD resolution, it offers a wide-gamut option, calibration with SpectraView and performance to rival any professional-class screen we’ve encountered. Let’s take a look.

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16 comments
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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
    @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.