NEC PA302W 30-inch 16:10 Professional Monitor Review

Packaging, Physical Layout And Accessories

The PA302W and its substantial carton weigh over 52lbs so you might need a friend to help you get it through the door! Seriously, the box is so large and thick it seems impervious to all but the most brutal shipping abuse. Opening the top reveals a fully assembled display wrapped in a heavy plastic bag. Once you have it free of the packing foam, reach around back and flick the lever to allow full extension of the upright’s height adjustment.

The power supply is internal, and NEC has included cords for four different regions along with USB, DisplayPort and DVI cables. NEC includes the expected individual calibration data sheet. A CD contains the user manual and a few calibration patterns. If you’re looking for SpectraView software, it does ship with special versions of the PA302W but was not included with our sample.

Product 360

The monitor is large from every angle, and you will need to devote a fair amount of desk space to it. The base is more than beefy enough to support its 37.5lbs. In fact, once installed, the panel feels much lighter thanks to the stand’s firm and precise movements. Styling is NEC all the way, with a heavy industrial look. The chassis material is high-quality plastic with a matte finish. That’s just a shell however. Underneath, the stand and panel structure are all-metal.

The anti-glare layer absorbs all but the brightest light, letting you employ the PA302W just about anywhere. There is sufficient image brightness for outdoor use if you work in a tent. Image clarity is top-notch with no hint of grain or other artifacts.

NEC has chosen mechanical buttons for the front bezel controls and they click with a satisfying feel. The labels are very small, but when you operate them, small icons appear on the screen so you know their functions. Menu navigation is very intuitive with this system.

Adjustments include 45 degrees swivel to either side, almost six inches of height and 30 degrees tilt. In a 16:10 aspect ratio, portrait mode becomes even more useful for editing documents or web pages. A monitor like this would also be fantastic for musicians and composers. It’s possible to view a full orchestral score at larger-than-print sizes.

The PA302W is not slim. The internal components are heavily shielded and ventilated. The grill work you see above wraps around all four sides. Electrical interference and heat are non-issues.

Two grab handles are molded into the upper back of the monitor. This helps greatly when moving it around. As you can see, the panel can be lowered all the way to the base while still retaining its tilt feature. The VESA mount hides under the upright and can accommodate 100x100mm and 100x200mm brackets.

The input panel faces down and offers two DisplayPorts (one mini) plus one each of HDMI and DVI. No analog support is included, although it’s hard to imagine anyone needing VGA with a high-end screen like this. USB ports total two upstream and three downstream (of the version 2.0 variety).