NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi review

Price when reviewed

The difference made by a good quality panel is often astounding. NEC’s latest professional TFT, the LCD3090WQXi, uses a huge 30in H-IPS panel, a technology which improves on the already impressive S-IPS with reduced backlight bleed and a smoother surface – and the results are fantastic.

With a 102% NTSC colour gamut and a perfectly even 350cd/m2 backlight, every test we threw at the NEC was expertly batted aside. It required no tweaking out of the box, with the Native colour setting producing perfectly neutral greys, but we were delighted to see the control labels appear on-screen to make the OSD intuitive to navigate should you wish to.

It sailed through our contrast and gradient ramp tests with ease, and we were impressed to see no backlight bleed at all on our black test screen; you can adjust the black level should you want it lighter or darker still, but it was pretty much spot on by default.

Colours were more vivid than on any standard monitor we’ve seen, with bloody reds and glorious blues making bringing images to life and making games like Crysis look simply astonishing – especially at the native 2,560 x 1,600 resolution.

But this is not really a monitor for gaming and entertainment, as the response time of an H-IPS panel is slower than your bog-standard TN display. Claimed at 12ms, our smearing tests showed up quite a bit of stuttering on fast moving objects.

No, this NEC is intended for proofing, image editing and any other professional work that requires desktop real estate and accurate colours. Our test photos were gloriously reproduced, with bags of detail at both ends of the scale – and there was no sign of the mottled finish we often see on monitors of this size.

With this use in mind, it’s understandable that inputs are limited to DVI-D and DVI-I ports, and the NEC compensates with a tremendously adjustable stand. Huge, solid as an oak and capable of lifting through a full 19cm, it also rotates, unlike other 30in displays we’ve seen, and swivels widely.

Viewing angles are good within around 45 degrees either side, and the OSD even has options for adjusting the backlight, and switching to Eco mode to reduce the 135W power consumption.

it_photo_6274There’s just one stumbling block you must consider before you shell out: the NEC’s peerless quality will set you back £1,439 exc VAT.

If you don’t balk at that, though, do bear in mind it’s actually quite a saving over comparable models from Eizo and Lacie at £2,500 and £3,500 respectively, and if you can do without the higher gamut of those, the NEC actually looks like quite a bargain. The rest of us in less demanding professions can just keep salivating from afar.


Image quality 6

Main specifications

Screen size 30.0in
Aspect ratio 16:10
Resolution 2560 x 1600
Screen brightness 350cd/m2
Pixel response time 12ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Speaker type N/A
Speaker power ouput N/A
TV tuner no
TV tuner type N/A


DVI inputs 2
VGA inputs 0
HDMI inputs 0
DisplayPort inputs 0
Scart inputs 0
HDCP support yes
Upstream USB ports 0
USB ports (downstream) 0
3.5mm audio input jacks 0
Headphone output no
Other audio connectors 0

Image adjustments

Brightness control? yes
Contrast control? yes


Height adjustment 190mm


Dimensions 687 x 343 x 479mm (WDH)

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