The NEC MultiSync EA231WMi has a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, meaning that it has an aspect ratio of 16:9. While you lose vertical space compared with a 16:10 screen, this also explains why this screen doesn't cost upwards of £450. The really interesting aspect of this screen is that it's the first 23in 16:9 monitor to use IPS rather than TN or PVA panel technology.
As we saw with the HP LP2475w, IPS technology means awesome image quality and colour accuracy, although it often means a higher price than TN. Fortunately, that's not the case here, as the NEC can be found for about £300.
That's not all either; it has an ECO mode that lowers the power consumption from 43W to 28W (although arguably you wouldn't want to use this while gaming as it dims the screen), and the stand is good too - the screen can tilt and pivot, and you can adjust the height too - all the adjustments are easy to apply.
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The OSD is navigated using a jog dial on the front of the panel; this works well and is much swifter than using buttons. The brightness of the screen can be set to adjust automatically according to the brightness of the room via a light sensor, but we found this too distracting. Moving the jog dial up or down adjusts the volume of the mediocre built-in 1W speakers, or any headphones connected to the NEC's 3.5mm jack.
This connection is located on the side of the panel next to two USB 2 ports. Inputs include DVI, D-Sub and DisplayPort, with cables for all bar the latter included in the box. Two more USB 2 ports are nestled among the display inputs. Truth be told, there's very little wrong with the NEC in the way of ergonomics and features, you might be put off by the white and silver colour scheme of our review model.
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A black version is available, but NEC isn't clear about which product code you need to look out for if you want it. NEC confirmed to us that the black version has the suffix 'BK', but it's worth checking which colour you're ordering with the reseller too.