NEC PA272W 27-Inch Monitor Review: Accuracy And Flexibility

Packaging, Physical Layout, And Accessories

Our press sample PA272W arrived in a stout double-corrugated box that seemed virtually impregnable. It’s very thick, and the monitor is almost completely enclosed by Styrofoam. The base and upright are already attached, so all you have to do is pull the display up and out for setup.

Four different power cords are included, covering the U.S. and three other regions. You also get dual-link DVI, mini-to-standard DisplayPort, and USB A-to-B cables. There are a few printed materials too, though there’s no English manual except for a small quick-start guide. You don't get a CD-ROM either, so you’ll have to download documentation and supporting software from NEC’s website.

Product 360

The PA272W follows NEC’s usual design style of minimalist-industrial. Function is definitely more important than form. The monitor doesn’t call attention to itself other than the fact that it’s a little bulkier and thicker than most LCD panels. The bezel is 20 millimeters wide all around, so it’s a good candidate for multi-screen setups.

The anti-glare layer is one of the least aggressive we’ve encountered. It rejects mild reflections, but harsh focused light sources in your workspace should be avoided. The design intent is to maximize clarity and color intensity. You get an extremely high-quality image, even though this display's contrast ratio is not significantly higher than other similarly-priced monitors.

OSD controls are all mechanical; there are no touch keys. They consist of buttons for power, input, menu, and PIP; followed by up/down and left/right rocker switches to navigate the menus. All of the keys have a high-end feel, and a solid click lets you know when you’ve sent a command. The power LED glows blue by default. But you can change the color to green and tone down its intensity if you want. Left of the power button is an ambient light sensor. It can be used to automatically dim or brighten the image, and it can be factored into the calibration.

When you press any key, small icons appear telling you the function of each. This makes it very easy to operate in a dark workspace. Additionally, the rockers can access quick functions like brightness or picture mode without forcing you to navigate the OSD.

You get a full set of ergonomic adjustments, including the pictured portrait mode. The height range adjustment is almost six inches and moves with a reasonable effort. Tilt is around 30 degrees and swivel is over 45 degrees in both directions. Rotating the panel automatically flips the image when you have a compatible video card.

You can see from the top view that this is a very substantial panel. At 3.3 inches thick, it’s the heftiest LCD monitor we’ve tested in a while. And given the PA272W’s weight of over 28 pounds, it looks like no internal space goes unused. All of the electronics are heavily shielded and there is more than ample cooling provided by full perimeter ventilation.

If you want to use your own mounting solution, the upright comes off without tools. One-hundred- and 100x200-millimeter VESA fittings are provided.

The input panel is digital-only. You get two DisplayPort 1.2 connectors, one mini and one standard. HDMI and DVI are provided also. USB 2.0 comes in the form of two upstream and three downstream ports, one of which is on the panel’s side. In the OSD you can assign the two upstream ports to different video inputs. This way, two computers can share one PA272W with a single keyboard/mouse combo.