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By GEORGE MAESTRI Monitor NEC PA271W-BK A nyone working on high-end visual content will appr eciate the importance of a good monitor this can be a mistake, particularly for professionals, since seeing proper and accurate colors on the scr een will ensure that your work comes out as expected. With that in mind, NEC has updated its profes- sional LCD monitors with the goal of very high color accuracy. Te company’s new PA series mod- els offer sizes from 23 to 30 inches and pr omise high performance at a mid-range price. We took a look at the P A271W, which is a 27-inch monitor with a high-resolution, 2560x1440 screen. Te monitor itself is fairly nondescript and utilitarian in appearance, with a matte-gray finish. It looks good but doesn ’t stand out, which is im - portant for a monitor , as the wor k on the scr een should always be front and center. Te monitor is a little bit deeper than most, though this is often the case with higher-end monitors. Some of this depth is taken up b y a lift-and-swiv el mechanism that allows the height of the monitor to be adjusted and the monitor to be r otated to por trait mode. Te bezel is not too wide at about thr ee-quarters of an inch, with controls for the monitor along the bot - tom right. Te back panel contains two dual-link DVI connectors and one D isplayPort connector. Missing is an HDMI connector for linking to video sources, though an inexpensive adapter can allow the DisplayPort connector to accept HDMI. Tere’s also a USB hub built into the monitor that allows for both upstream and downstream connections. Te controls on the fr ont of the monitor activ ate the PA271W’s in- ternal menu system, which allows thorough control over how the moni- tor displays its images. Tese include the standard settings, such as white point, brightness, and placement of the image on the scr een. For those who need specific color profiles, the menu allo ws y ou to choose emulation modes, such as sR GB and A dobe RGB. I f y ou choose the advanced settings, you can go much deeper, accessing settings to fine-tune color, panel uniformity , and response time. PA271W-BK $1399 NEC 38 November 2010 . Good monitors, however, do not come cheap, and many times people will skimp on this piece of hardware in order to get a faster machine or better graphics car d. Often, Another feature that can be accessed fr om the contr ol buttons is the picture-in-picture (PIP) feature, which can display content fr om a second input on the monitor . Te placement of this second input can be configured from the standard picture inside another pictur e, NEC’s PA271W monitor achieves the company’s goal of extremely high color accuracy, and offers users high performance at a mid-level price. to side b y side, or top/bottom display modes. Tis can be especially handy when working with video, as the video signal can be display ed on one monitor. Te monitor itself has a built-in ambient light sensor. When en- abled, the sensor can automatically adjust the brightness of the screen depending on the ambient light in the room. Tese changes were fair- ly smooth and, more importantly, kept the colors displaying the same regardless of whether I had the window shades open or not. Te internal workings of the P A271W ar e wher e the monitor really shines. Te actual LCD panel itself is a 10-bit “ performance IPS” panel, which can display up to 1.07 billion colors. To achieve this, however, you need a 10-bit path fr om the application all the way through to the monitor. Tis means your graphics hardware also needs to support 10 bits and have a DisplayPort connector that can supply 10 bits to the monitor. As a note, D VI connectors ar e only 8-bit capable. Regardless of whether you have 8 or 10 bits supplying

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