New monitor: NEC LCD2070NX

So… I’ve finally got a new monitor for my machine! After reading tons of online reviews I decided for the NEC MultiSync LCD2070NX, a 20″ LCD display with a native resolution of 1600 × 1200 pixels. Take a look at it:

The NEC 2070NX

The monitor comes in two colors: all grey (which they probably call “silver” :-) and black/grey. Mine is the black/grey one — I don’t know why it was cheaper than the all grey one?

My desk with the NEC 2070NX I picked it up at Digitec Friday afternoon and hurried home as fast as I could! Connecting it was easy and after adjusting my X server I got a nice, crystal-clear image with 1600 × 1200 pixels running at 71 Hz. The new display is increadibly sharp compared to my aging PHILIPS 201P (which I bought in August 2000). It is actually almost too sharp, at least that was what I thought at first, but now I’m getting used to it! :-)

Since this is my first LCD monitor I had been reading a lot of reviews and tests online. Finding such tests proved more difficult that one would expect because of all the idiotic price comparison sites out there. They all write something like “Prices and reviews for ⟨product⟩ at ⟨site⟩”, meaning that Google will list them first when you search for the product number together with words like “review” or “test”. The problem is that these sites almost always lie by claiming to have reviews but in reality there are none.

Searching the newsgroups was more effective, as was searching specific sites such as Anandtech and Tom’s Hardware Guide, so in the end I did find some reviews. Reading through the reviews for big LCDs was strange: there always seemed to be something wrong with them! They would either be too slow for gaming (not a concern for me) and movies (a bigger concern for me, especially since we’re using my computer as our TV), or they would have poor colors / contrast / brightness! Reading the very comprehensive Contemporary LCD Monitor Parameters and Characteristics guide at X-bit didn’t really help: it explains how the characteristics of LCD panels are much worse than what we’re used to from good old CRT monitors, and how the manufactures constantly try to make their products look better by inflating the specifications. Sigh!

The G400 graphics card But since I couldn’t keep using my computer through an SSH connection from Stéphanie’s laptop I bought one anyways :-) And I’m very pleased with it! I’ve checked it for dead pixels with some online test images and I haven’t found any — all 1.92 million pixels (5.76 million subpixels) seems to be in order! The image is — as already mentioned :-) — very sharp, and that is with a normal VGA cable, not DVI. The credit (once again) for this goes to Matrox for making the amazing G400 graphics card! I’ve had it for almost five years now and it’s still one of the best for 2D graphics: fanless (a must!) and sharp.

One day I’ll probably upgrade to a G550 Dual-DVI or something similar to get DVI output, but it will only be if the G400 burns out or I buy a second monitor… for now what I have it just great!


  1. Simon:

    Hi Martin

    I’m thinking about buying the same monitor. Please tell me about your experience with it when using it to watch TV or movies. Or did you not care about this anymore?
    Would be nice to hear about this from you,


  2. Martin Geisler:

    Hi Simon

    I’ve been watching a lot of TV and DVDs on the monitor and they all played flawlessly.

    In general I would say that I have been positively surprised with the quality of the LCD monitors I’ve tried: I’ve never seen any ghosting or had any problems with playing DVDs or watching TV on them.

  3. Simon:

    Thanks for your answer, that helps me for my decision.
    Seems like I will go and get one of these monitors…
    Have a nice day,

  4. Roman:

    Hello, after 2 days of nonstop googling, I found this. The very important thing I wanted to know is finally answered - D-sub quality at max resolution. Now one last thing: in the night, when lights are off and screen is suposed to by totaly and all black (while monitor on, of course) - example Black screen saver, how much light it pass? How deep “black” is black? Also, pls if u can or already did, can u try to play some dark game in such conditions(or watch darker movies)? For example, on my Benq FP767 games like thief or doom3 looked horrible -washed out and many objects faded with black. Also, how’s your eye’s strain in night when browsing web while minimal or no light in the room? Did u saw other lcd’s somewhere so u could compare all above? Ma current benq is bad for my eyes in night even when lowering contrast to 40% hw AND to 50% on graphic card… thnx much in advance..

  5. Martin Geisler:

    Hi Roman, I’m glad that you found some info here that you could use.

    Unfortunately I don’t use the monitor anymore (it is a my girlfriends parents), so I cannot do any current tests about the blackness of it at night. All I can say is that I don’t remember having problems with using it in the evening for coding and watching movies (of all brightnesses).

    After having the monitor for maybe six months it started acting strange: it wouldn’t turn on when I booted the machine, it would just act as if it was in sleep mode. Power-cycling it often helped, but not always.

    I had NEC come and replace it, which they did with no questions asked. Some time later the replacement monitor had the same problem, and NEC replaced it with a third. That monitor has been working nicely ever since.

    I would still buy a NEC even though I had two monitors from them that had to be replaced, for the monitors were great when they turned on. And NEC replaced the monitors promptly when I reported the errors.

    I hope this helps a bit with your buying decision.

  6. Roman:

    Hello again, so I have it! Oh man, now I understand why all that fuss about S-IPS panels… its great, and somehow it feel like semi-widescreen, probably because my old one had up to 1280×1024 which is 5:4. Right now everything works, and I RECOMEND this one for all that somehow googled to this page like me. Even samsung with its S-PVA can go to… Now, with my Mos-Fet pioneer amplifer and Jamo e-750 speakers, Im finally satisfied. Still, many users reported some troubles, mostly high pitch/freq. voice probably from some tranformator etc., in stand by mode I also heard VERY little but my friend that have whole different lcd had same and said that he got used to.. will see this night but 1 thing is sure - go for S-IPS panels! Curently only some EIZO, NEC and LG have these, and its rare. Now some tech: -with classic analog conector in max 1600×1200@60Hz picture and text is still very sharp, it HAVE fill/full, 1:1 and aspect-preserve pixel ratio, its most probably true 8bit but didnt found option to turn off overdrive like some other nec models, now most important thing that I didnt found about this model on the net: how black is black? at least double better than my TN+film benq fp767, in night without light and after tunning its black ENOUGH, and brightness is regulating by backlight lamps which is great, it have picture sharpness level option, like nvidia drivers,I dont know if ati have this too but here its done by hardware for 100% not driver which is cool(dont know about GPU’s), colors are superb as viewing angles, overal desktop on this lcd feel accurate and big/grand. It costed me about 550eur and its worth. Its better than HP 22″wide with samsung S-PVA panel and sure better than ANY TN panel u’ll find on normal shops. Its little darker on bottom right corner but no “jumply” and overal its very homogenne backlight and for this size perfect. I tried some games 3D and 2D and overal its perfect again, in fact, better than my old TN. Didnt noticed input lag as well. Ok, hope it help someone, now off to my Amarok+In Flames…

  7. Ferdi Küçük:

    Hi Martin
    Seems like I will go and get one of these monitors…

  8. Hubert Spraderling:

    The advantage of blogs is that everyone can represent his views - and that’s when this blog especially great.

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