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And the Oscar goes to...
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn't issue awards for display monitors, but those aspiring to the academy's Scientific and Technical Awards will undoubtedly have used technology that's inside the MultiSync PA301W monitor from NEC Display Solutions. Its 14-bit 3D lookup table (LUT) is used in the film industry to predict how colors will appear when projected onto the silver screen.
And for graphic designers, art and production staff, photo editors, and all manner of digital artists and other mortal professionals for whom color accuracy is critical for output, there's no better technology today than the 10-bit color palette in use in NEC's high-end digital display. It displays more than 93 percent of the NTSC's color gamut at 98.2 percent of Adobe's RGB gamut.
The technology was obvious in grayscale and color gradient tests, where absolutely no banding was visible when viewing the CRN Test Center's standard test images; shading transitioned from full to none as smoothly as could be. We dare you to try that with your monitor; we can almost guarantee that you'll see banding when you click this page.
But not with the $2,299 MultiSync PA301W, whose IPS panel drives a native resolution of 2560 x 1600 with absolutely no color and contrast distortion at all but the sharpest viewing angles. The all-digital monitor offers four inputs in all; two DVI-D (dual-link) and two DisplayPort. There's a dedicated (and proper) input button; no need for a ridiculous trip to the menu.
There are no HDMI or VGA ports. But NEC makes up for that in spades with a built-in KVM switch, a feature we've praised on other MultiSync models. Why is this useful? These days, it's common for people to use multiple PCs with a single monitor. But what about the peripherals from those PCs? NEC's built-in USB switch automatically transfers the keyboard and mouse connections to the PC that's currently being viewed. Brilliant, right?