I have a confession to make – when I was still at University, I remember telling one of my fellow course mates that I didn't like big monitors. He'd got a big 22-inch Formac CRT based on Sony's FD Trinitron tube and I didn't see a benefit to such a big screen – I'd probably end up just hurting my back when I was moving across London into new student digs.
My, how wrong was I back then – ever since I first laid eyes on Apple's 30-inch Cinema Display down at the then relatively new Apple Store on Regent Street in summer 2005, I'd decided that I did want a big monitor after all. But it wasn't until after Dell had released the UltraSharp 3007WFP that I actually managed to score one – and then that wasn't enough because I wanted two of them on my desk. I'm a multi-monitor lover, after all.
Regardless, using a 30-inch monitor for general desktop work is an absolute joy and for the first time I felt that maybe I didn't need two monitors on my work machine – I could leave my 15 Firefox windows, umpteen MSN Messenger conversations and the various other applications I run on a daily basis open and still be able to work efficiently without losing things. My desk is cluttered, as is my Windows desktop – desk tidies have never been a solution and the only way to cure the problem is to have more space.
It's the same with my Windows desktop too – I've tried all manner of things to keep it organised, but I find myself losing things more often than not. The only cure seems to be more desktop real estate and a 30-inch monitor with its 2,560 x 1,600 native resolution has acres of space on tap.
Several display manufacturers have tried their hand at making a great 30-inch monitor, but I don't think any of them have succeeded yet. There have been drawbacks with all of the 30-inchers I've seen so far – the 3007WFP had generally sub-par image quality, and while the 3007WFP-HC was an improvement in that area, it needed a lot of tweaking to get the colours looking even remotely accurate.
Of course, if you've got a calibrator in hand, you could extract excellent image quality from the 3007WFP-HC, but I maintain to this day that even Dell's 30-inch displays aren't aimed at the market that would calibrate their displays. After all, any serious graphics professional, CAD engineer or film editor cares about colour accuracy and image quality above all else and as a result they tend to lean towards NEC and Eizo – two companies with reputations for delivering consistently stunning image quality and colour accuracy.
Click to enlarge
The NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi is the company's first entry into the 30-inch display market and my, what an entry it is. The best 30-incher I'd seen before NEC's latest widescreen monitor arrived on my desk was the HP LP3065, which featured a convenient three dual-link DVI ports (all of them HDCP compliant) and great image quality from its S-IPS panel.
Today, I'm here to tell you why NEC's display is not just a good screen, but a great screen. Interestingly though, NEC has chosen to not skimp on quality in order to meet a price point, which of course poses the question – does the LCD3090WQXi's high price lead to it being poor value? That's what we're here to discuss.