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need help with monitor selection - NEC vs EIZO vs Apple

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I am in a bit of a squeeze at the moment as I urgently need to purchase new monitors as I have delayed procurement for almost a year now.

 

I run a Mac only environment with several Macbook Pro computers around the company.

My current main working machine is a 15" Macbook Pro Retina as of it's mobility and all-around usability between locations and different tasks.

 

My machine for heavy processing and prototype work is a late 2013 Mac Pro 6core.

 

I run the Mac Pro with a three screen workspace currently for CAD design and prototyping but would like to extend this environment by one additional monitor for critical photography post processing.

 

The monitor should be no smaller than 27" and no larger than 30".

No 4K monitors please - I figure the tech is not arrived at best performance and price yet and will go for 4K at the next round.

 

Connectivity should allow for the monitor to extend thunderbolt (or at a minimum several USB 3.0 for external drives, accessories, etc) and it should allow to attach at least two machines at the same time without unplugging cables (Mac Pro attached at all times, Mac Book Pro attached and switched to when needed).

 

The switch between both machines on the monitor should be quick and painless (ideally a one click button affair).

 

For connecting the display to the machines I need both display port and HDMI (I prefer a 27" monitor like the NEC over a 4K display as it can be pushed by the Mac Pro without issues while the other three monitors are still running).

 

I absolutely DESPISE touch control buttons or anything consumer grade alike. I need proper hard-click buttons (ideally on the front rim to be accessible even when stacking displays.

It should be a current (not outdated or replaced) display as I leave the option open to add an identical second display in 2015.

 

Integrated calibration workflow would be great. I use Spyder hardware and basICColor software at the moment but am flexible if monitor native hard/soft is equal or better.

 

 

My very first choice of monitors after a few weeks of search through the internet is this NEC 27" display:

NEC PA272W Monitor: What it Looks Like, What's in the Box

 

It looks the overall greatest package, exactly fulfilling my needs.

 

The only one issue I have with this NEC display is that the authorized dealers around Shanghai/ China only offer a throat-cutting highway robbery deal, selling the display for about DOUBLE :wtf: the asking price as it retails in the US.

 

I look for alternative displays at same level quality or better (or a better source for the NEC in China ?).

 

Budget is 1500 - 2500 EUR (1,875 - 3,126 USD).

If there is a display that retails at 3000 EUR though and is exceptionally better value as of manufacturers warranty, reputation for long life, speed of I/O ports, number of I/O ports, display specs, etc … I would not be turned off also.

 

 

I have worked in the past with pro grade EIZO and Sony CRTs which where the business back then - truly bomb proof - are these manufacturers still as they used to be?

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Eizo certainly is. The CG series is probably the best monitor to get for photographic work, with the NEC Spectraview a close second.

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You could look at the HP Dreamcolor range of monitors, specifically the V27x. I recently purchased one for home photography use, and I am very impressed with it. Fulfills all of your requirements I think

 

(Disclaimer: I work for HP, although am critical when it comes to choosing my own gear)

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Thanks Jaap and Simon!

 

I will check out HP offerings too.

It seems after first checking that the Eizo CG monitors are similarly overpriced in China mainland !@#$% !!!

 

If I cannot find alternatives I will go either Eizo or NEC.

It seems that tests are generally swayed to the NEC wide gamut monitors (I prefer them design wise and as it seems the UI is designed more to my taste).

 

Anybody who has played with both NEC and Eizo and has some comments to panel, UI (buttons, menu, functions) and especially calibration workflow with OEM software and calibration devices ?

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I wonder how the Dell UltraSharp Monitors with Premier Colour fare?

 

I have been putting off a monitor for a while now too; aways gravitated torwards the Dell because of its relatively affordable price... (compared to Nec and Eizo...)

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I do not work for any monitor company. I currently use an HP monitor put out by their commercial division. I settled on it as I wanted a matte screen. The new Apple screens had a glare issue for me.

 

Mine is a 30" IPS called the HPZR30w which has now been superseded since I bought mine 2-3 years ago. One can also buy an extended warranty for 5 years. It came with a 3 year warranty if I remember correctly. No camera and speakers are extra, but only about $40.

 

Calibrates nicely with x-rite products.

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If you get the NEC, be sure to include the Spectraview software. Either that or get an Eizo.

 

Jeff

That's the plan - although I have a calibration workflow that acts in creating monitor profiles to the OS, I want to benefit from these modern panel's ability to calibrate directly within the display.

 

Anybody has first hand experience comparing Eizo and NEC or has a pointer?

It looks so far that there are only two options - I will pin it down to the calibration workflow and to local availabilty of warranty and service (always an issue with products bought within China mainland).

 

I have an NEC PA24W here. You might find articles from my supplier here in Australia useful.

Monitors For High Quality Imaging Work

 

Great read Geoff! Thanks for sharing.

 

Regarding the comment about Apple display's stupid glossy finish - yes, I consider Apple displays exclusively as temporary solutions (they are great for everyday office work or coffee shop users though).

They are generally of low quality (both laptop and desktop screens) not exceeding specs and product life of the lowest grade panels I buy from Asus, Samsung, Dell, …

 

The longest time an Apple display kept up relatively high standards in daily use was still disappointingly less than a year.

With my daily workhorse laptops I usually get at least one, often two replacement displays over the course of the 3 year Apple Care warranty - they simply die or develop significant issues (nonuniform brightness and significant clipping shadows being the major issue with ALL Apple screens so far).

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One issue I had with NEC is that I once 'upgraded' my Mac O/S without first checking if Spectraview was still supported with the new version; it wasn't and it took Apple over 6 months to release an update. My fault, as I should have checked…and my Mac Pro model did not offer an easy switch of internals to accommodate the change.

 

Jeff

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Yes and printer drivers can be a problem and photostreaming is broken by the newest updates which really frosts my cupcakes....Gaah!

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Whatever you choose, don't choose Apple displays. They are not good displays for photo editing or video grading, as the color reproduction and gamut support aren't good.

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I use two Eizos. ColorEdge CG245W and an older ColorEdge CG210. When one goes, I will replace it with another Eizo. My photographs print the same way they look on the screen. The 245 is self-calibrating (the tool is built-in, you still still need to run the software).

 

I don't know whether newer models allow Thunderbolt daisy chaining. I don't think mine do--never thought about it.

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