NEC PA302W 30-inch 16:10 Professional Monitor Review

For users lamenting the scarcity of 16:10 screens, NEC is supporting the format with its excellent new 30-inch PA302W. This premium display has a gorgeous wide-gamut IPS panel and a factory-certified calibration for both Adobe RGB and sRGB gamuts.

Monitors with the 16:10 aspect ratio are somewhat rare these days but just recently we got the chance to check out a new model from NEC, the 30-inch EA305WMi IPS display. Sporting fantastic build quality and solid performance, this monitor is a great fit for business users seeking a little extra height in a jumbo screen. Our only beef concerned its fixed Adobe RGB color gamut; no sRGB option is provided. I asked NEC about this and the company responded with another review offer from its professional-grade PA series, the PA302W.

It uses the same AH-IPS panel part from LG Display but adds a 14-bit color lookup table along with a factory calibration, accurate sRGB and Adobe RGB presets and an even more rugged chassis. It looks built to withstand years of daily use not just as a large display but as a professional’s tool.

Specifications

We’ve reviewed other 30-inch 16:10 screens in the past, starting three years ago when we tested the DoubleSight DS-309W. Amazingly, this old-school monitor with its CCFL backlight is still available, although it's pretty basic by modern standards, offering only a wide gamut and few features or amenities.

When NEC decides to move into a new form factor, it’s only after careful consideration of market demands and availability of quality panels. While the same part is used in both the EA and PA versions of this monitor, the similarity ends there. The PA302W is built for professional use with top-notch accuracy, courtesy of a factory-certified calibration, a huge OSD loaded with every conceivable adjustment and a chassis built to last through years of daily use.

The backlight is GB-r-LED which ensures greater color accuracy when expanding beyond sRGB/Rec.709. While the previous CCFL versions of this panel also offered a wide gamut, it wasn’t quite in line with the Adobe RGB standard. Make no mistake, the PA302W hits every color target with military precision. The backlight uses pulse-width modulation at a frequency of 49kHz. Although it isn't categorized as flicker free, it’s hard to imagine anyone perceiving an issue at that rate.

While our tests will confirm its out-of-box accuracy, NEC has not skimped on calibration options. In the Advanced Settings menu, which contains 12 sub-menus apart from the main OSD, you’ll find two different methods of adjusting color with fine resolution controls. There are also gamma presets covering a wide range, plus several features designed to compensate for human vision deficiencies. It’s an almost daunting package, but NEC has left no stone unturned. Is the PA302W’s measured performance the equal of its impressive spec sheet? Let’s take a look.

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  • Nuckles_56
    That is a very impressive monitor, especially with the colour uniformity numbers, they are crazy
  • beetlejuicegr
    30 inch and 2560x1600, couldn't it be 2160p? The resolution seems low for 30 inch monitor.
  • fordry06
    I think to do what this monitor does, making it a 4k monitor would be incredibly expensive.
  • Tom Griffin
    I wish my 27" 16:10 ASUS monitor was still alive. This monitor not only being cost prohibitive along with the previous NEC monitor review for consumers. But TBH, once you have used a NEC monitor for awhile you never EVER want to go back.
  • beshonk
    Where are all the 1440p 144hz IPS gaming monitors? there's only two on the market with horrible quality issues >.<
  • kittle
    506869 said:
    Where are all the 1440p 144hz IPS gaming monitors? there's only two on the market with horrible quality issues >.<

    Actually you can probably game on this monitor just fine.

    I have the 27" version of this one (PA270W). I play a lot of games and watch quite a bit of netflix with no issues. The color accuracy makes the games and movies look great -- exactly the way the designers and filmmakers intended them to look.
    The only issue is it puts out a LOT of heat. Im guessing the 30" one will produce a bit more.
  • bit_user
    5211 said:
    506869 said:
    Where are all the 1440p 144hz IPS gaming monitors?
    Actually you can probably game on this monitor just fine.
    60 Hz != 144 Hz.
  • kittle
    328798 said:
    5211 said:
    506869 said:
    Where are all the 1440p 144hz IPS gaming monitors?
    Actually you can probably game on this monitor just fine.
    60 Hz != 144 Hz.

    True there. my NEC only runs at 60hz. but gaming and movies work just fine