Subjective Image Quality Analysis
In addition to the battery of targeted tests, we also tested the 24WMGX3 in a selection of more real-world scenarios. This was done using a pair of displays cloned (the pretty accurate LCD2690WUXi was the second display) in our graphics card driver – we tested the 24WMGX3's performance by editing photos, watching video, gaming on both the PC and Xbox 360, browsing the Internet and also writing this review.
Out of the box, we found that the MultiSync 24WMGX3's sharpness was, well, too sharp but there were no visual artifacts around black text on a white background. Thankfully, the company includes sharpness adjusting capabilities in the OSD menu – the default setting is 50 percent sharpness, but we found 19.6 percent sharpness delivered the best results, but you may find your own preferences are different to mine.
Image editing was great, but it wasn't excellent – white saturation was a problem when we were manipulating the images we've used in this article. All of our studio shots are taken on a white background and we found some very slight differences between the 24WMGX3 and the 2690 that didn't go in the 24WMGX3's favour – it was just a little less accurate and it was by no means criminally so. When it came to editing images we'd taken during a walk around Virginia Water Lake last weekend, there were no such problems – the only slight blemish is white saturation, as was evident in our synthetic tests.
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Watching video and playing games using the MultiSync 24WMGX3 was awesome – not only were the images vivid and vibrant, but there was no visible banding, ghosting or input lag. Burnout Paradise
looked stunning over both HDMI and Component connections and, because it's a high-speed game, we gave the MP Modes a try.
NEC incorporates three MP Modes into the 24WMGX3 and according to the manual, they're designed to reproduce moving images clearly with "suppressed blurriness and reduced shaking, even for fast moving images.
" It does this by inserting black frames, which consequently makes the screen look darker and duller. The one we found the best was Level1, which is designed for moving images with little movement – for the game we were playing, Level3 should have been the most ideal, but it wasn't.
What's more, when we tried it again while playing Trackmania United
on the PC, we felt a slight headache coming on after a few minutes because of the slight flicker that's more apparent at shorter distances – it was only acceptable when we sat further away from the screen. And despite Level1 being acceptable while playing games while sitting back from our desk, we felt that turning black frame insertion off actually made things look better and more vibrant – we didn't turn it back on again.
In addition to Burnout
, we roamed around the African savannah that is Far Cry 2
for a couple of hours – it looked simply stunning, although we would have preferred the game to have implemented widescreen in a different way. We'll save that diatribe for another day, though.
Overall, then, NEC's MultiSync 24WMGX3 gets most things right and delivers some great image quality without evidence of input lag. All is not perfect though, as you may experience some slight ghosting in certain fast moving scenarios and white saturation isn't as good as it could be.
Some of the additional features are useful, but others aren't so useful – the remote is an interesting inclusion and it really dictates the direction of the 24WMGX3. And as an entertainment and productivity hub, it works pretty well thanks to its huge array of connectivity options. Some would argue that there's no use for all of these inputs, but if you've got your PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii all in your bedroom, it’s an ideal solution that doesn't compromise on the image quality front.
Probably its only downfall is the MultiSync 24WMGX3's price – it's over £620 (including VAT)
at the time of writing and that makes it quite an expensive albeit desirable monitor. For that price, we'd expect a 24-inch monitor to do something special
, especially when BenQ's excellent FP241W
is available for well under £450
these days and that has almost as many input options as the 24WMGX3.
Ultimately, the NEC MultiSync 24WMGX3 monitor gets very close to being the best 24-inch monitor for gamers and enthusiasts, but the minor image quality niggles are enough for us to not make a solid recommendation when it's nearly £180 more than a monitor that took the market by storm almost two years ago. It's good, but it's not quite that
What do these scores mean?
- Image Quality