NEC’s new EX231Wp is a business monitor with a 1,920×1,080 resolution PVA panel and a fully-adjustable stand. PVA (Patterned Vertical Alignment) is a variant of the more common VA technology, and is meant to give better contrast ratios than normal VA panels – which themselves are typically superior to standard TB panels in this respect.
While you’re paying about £100 more for the EX231Wp compared to similar 23in monitors, it’s worth pointing out what your premium is paying for. Not only are you getting a superior panel technology, but the fully adjustable stand gives you more versatility in positioning the monitor, and gives you the option of viewing in portrait mode, which is great when you want to view a whole page of a document at a time.
You also get a single-port USB hub – more of a pass-through – which is positioned at the top of the monitor, so it’s intended for a webcam. Finally, you get a host of options for monitoring your monitor’s carbon footprint; the EX231Wp’s lets you put in how much you pay for power and calculates savings based on your choice of Eco mode.
As well as standard Brightness and Contrast controls, the EX231Wp has Eco modes which limit how bright you can set it – Eco mode 1 limits the Brightness control to a maximum of 80%, for example. The EX231Wp also has both ambient light and proximity sensors, so it can adjust the brightness automatically based on the room’s lighting, and switch the monitor off if you’re not using it. We’re sure the monitor will save you money over time, as even without all the power-saving technology the monitor only draws 25W at its maximum brightness, which is less than most models we see.
The EX231Wp’s design is minimalist, with a thin bezel and stand made from a plain, matt-black plastic. The stand clips easily into a square bracket at the rear of the case, leaving a gap that acts as a carrying handle. The telescopic stand can lift the screen from 94mm to 204mm, and its clever joint can swivel through 90 degrees, from landscape to portrait, as well as offering a few degrees of tilt.
The EX231Wp’s screen is designed for brightly-lit offices, and has an anti-glare matt finish to cut down on reflections from overhead lighting. This dulls colours slightly, which is a shame as otherwise we think it would give the excellent Hazro HZ27WC a run for its money. Despite this, images are still much more realistic than on normal TN panels, which can make colours look over-saturated.