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And while there's no need to visit the menu for switching video inputs, we liked the PA’s on-screen display and the way it's controlled. When the OSD is active, on-screen labels appear near the monitor’s physical controls, which wrap around lower right portion of the bezel. This simple little trait pretty much eliminates wrong navigation and accidental resets. There's also a feature that compensates for long cable runs.
The unit is on the bulky side at 18.5 inches high (minimum) x 27 inches wide and 10 inches deep at its base. The pedestal stand raises the panel effortlessly to its maximum height of 24.5 inches in landscape mode. Pivot the monitor to portrait mode and a clearance of 29.25 inches is needed.
The PA301W also is a bit power hungry, consuming about 90 watts during normal usage. The monitor offers two "Eco mode" settings, which reduce screen brightness and power consumption. In normal mode, brightness by default is set to 220 cd/m2. In Eco Mode 1, brightness is reduced to 200 cd/m2 -- an almost undetectable amoun t-- and power usage drops to from 90 to 86 watts. Eco mode 2 drops usage to 66 watts and brightness to 100 cd/m2, a level that was a bit on the dim side for our liking. In power save mode (when the source PC is off), less than one watt was detected. Most others we've tested consume at least one watt in power save mode. The units runs relatively cool, measuring 98 degrees at its hottest point (at the top of the panel). Its weight with the stand is 41.5 pounds.
For color accuracy, the MultiSync PA301W will be hard to beat. At a list price of $2,299 with DVI-D and DisplayPort cables and a four-year warranty that includes the fluorescent back light, customers will have a specific need for its capabilities. And for such customers, the CRN Test Center recommends the NEC Mylti-Sync PA301W. Options include a monitor hood and color calibrator.