Features & Build Quality
NEC has kitted the MultiSync LCD3090WQXi out with a decent set of features and they start out with the H-IPS panel, which gives the monitor some impressive on-paper specifications. The 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles are impressive for a screen this large and I certainly wouldn't disagree with the figures quoted by the NEC spec sheet.
The 1,000:1 contrast ratio and 6ms (grey-to-grey) response time are right up there with other 30-inch displays (with an exception made for Dell's 3008WFP), while the quoted 350cd/m² brightness is higher than the 300cd/m² quoted for both Dell's 3007WFP and HP's LP3065. Unfortunately, it's lower than the claimed 370cd/m² and 400cd/m² for the Dell 3008WFP and Samsung 305T respectively.
That may be a concern for some of you, but on-paper specs are only worth the paper they're printed on – we prefer to look at the monitor's performance in a wide variety of both synthetic and real-world usage scenarios.
Although we know that NEC is using a similar panel to the one used in both Dell's and HP's 30-inch monitors, we asked NEC for clarification on who is manufacturing the panel, but the company wouldn't disclose the details. The representative we spoke to explained that component details for NEC's screens are not really disclosed outside of the factory, so we're unlikely to ever find out without taking the screen apart – and at over £1,500 apiece, I'd rather not run the risk of breaking it!
The screen's enclosure is characteristically deep and well put together – the bezel is thin and well-styled too at just 22mm thick. The casing, on the other hand, has a very distinct and chunky look to it. In fact, it's about twice as deep as the Dell 3007WFP we've also got in the office – it's around 12cm deep without the stand and, once that is attached, it's about 24cm deep. Some may see this as a problem if desk space is tight, but then you'd probably not be considering such a large monitor to begin with. On the other hand, I really like the chunky form factor – it gives the display a distinct feel of quality.
The stand, which falls under NEC's ErgoDesign branding, gives the monitor full tilt, swivel, rotate and height adjustment – and means it ticks all of the boxes on my ideal spec sheet. The tilt range is 35 degrees (-5 to +30), while the height adjustment functionality has an impressive (measured) 18.6cm range in landscape mode. The movement is positive and making adjustments is almost effortless when you take the size (and weight) of the screen into account.
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What's more, the large range of height adjustment enables NEC to include rotate functionality, making it the first 30-inch display I've seen with this feature – it's something that I find occasionally useful on the SyncMaster 215TW I've got at home. Obviously though, it's not going to be useful to everyone, but those who need a high-resolution portrait display are probably already in the queue to buy the LCD3090WQXi.
It's not only useful for reading long documents and webpages, but it's also a boon for anyone looking to edit large portrait images. When you rotate the display, it recognises that it's in portrait mode and adjusts the brightness accordingly – it also displays a handy warning to explain why the backlight has been dimmed.
Moving around the display, it's worth focusing our attention on the OSD system – the combination of keys, which include dedicated up/down and left/right buttons, make adjusting the display incredibly simple and intuitive. What's more, you're in for a surprise when you first press the menu button, as on-screen labels appear next to each button – why hasn't anyone else thought of this? You'd think something so simple would be more pervasive than it is, but that's more power to NEC in my opinion.