In 1968, Hakui Electronic Corporation was born in Hakui, Japan. In mid-1985, HEC began to sell monitors in the United States under the Eizo brand. Eizo is the Japanese word for "image", and the company has been involved in image displays for almost 40 years. Eizo is not known as much as they should be (which is one reason for this review) as they are geared towards the professional market. Walk in to a medical office or hospital's diagnostic imaging department and you would have a good chance of seeing the Eizo brand on the monitors which display the imaging results. Take a peak inside the graphics department for a website design company and chances are you would also see the RGB Eizo icon on the monitors.
Display Panel: 24.1" TFT color LCD panel
Resolution: 1920 x 1200 Native
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Brightness (Typical): 450 cd/m2
Aspect Ratio: 16:10
Viewing Angle (H/V): 178/178
Dimensions: 22.3" (W) x 14.1" - 18.9" (H) x 9.1" (D)
Video Inputs: Digital DVI-I 29-pin x 2
USB2.0 Ports: 2 "downstream", 1 "upstream"
Warranty: Five Year Covering Parts and Labor, 3 Years on Backlight
MSRP: $1,699.00 | Check Price / Purchase
Personal History Of Using Eizo
I purchased my first Eizo monitor back in 2001. I happened to come across Eizo monitors while surfing the net and inquiring what professionals recommended. After a rather long period of time reading what professionals used, I decided to make my purchase. I acquired an Eizo F980.
Receiving the F980 was quite an event. Since the F980 is about 80lbs due to the CRT being rather large, the shipping box itself was enormous and added another 20lbs and more. After placing the monitor on my desktop, it extended 21" from the wall. This was actually considered pretty good, considering the F980 was a 21" class monitor and had the footprint of a typical 19" CRT. Still, it was large. But once I turned the F980 on the colors were simply amazing. I've been hooked ever since.
Using the Eizo F980 over the last several years, what intrigued me are two things. The first is the color and image quality of the monitor itself. Second, great customer service. Eizo has always been quick to respond to my emails, however trite and seemingly insignificant.
Over the last 5 years, I've had to ship the monitor to Eizo once for calibration and tune-up which is common for CRT monitors of this size and the degree of image quality it displays. Since the F980 was still in warranty, I only paid to ship it to them.
Taking The LCD Plunge
After coming across Eizo's latest announcement back in late February 2006, Eizo's ColorEdge CE240W and posting it on DigitalDingus, I told myself the technology of LCD was becoming about as good as CRT--maybe even better. At that point, I figured it was time to save my pennies and it was time for an LCD. In October, I purchased the Eizo CE240W.
The Eizo ColorEdge CE240W
The Eizo CE240W is a 24" LCD monitor, capable of displaying 2.3MP (megapixels) of data on the screen. The actual amount is 1920 x 1200 (2,304,000 pixels). The aspect ratio on the CE240W is 16:10, which means you would need a movie with an aspect ratio of 1.67:1 to fill the entire screen. The television widescreen standard is 16:9, which means an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 would fill the entire screen.
For those inquiring on what kind of LCD panel the Eizo CE240W is comprised of, the answer is a TFT S-PVA Samsung LCD panel.
The LCD Hesitation
I'm sure many CRT owners are still hesitant which is yet another reason for this review and this subject alone warrants a separate article (which will probably follow sometime in the near future). Some LCD potential buyers who are looking for high-end quality of their LCD monitor may not understand most current LCD panels only display at an sRGB gamut. If you want your LCD to display the most colors possible and as close to a professional graphics CRT as possible, the CG Series is offered by Eizo which they say are the "Premium Edition" monitors. When Eizo says this, you can be certain the monitors will take a nice chunk out of your bank account. They are not cheap. But justifiably so as they are in a special class known as Wide Gamut LCD Monitors. We're talking about $5,000 for the CG221 (22.2") and around $3,000 for the CG211 (21.3").
Are Wide Gamut LCD Monitors Really Necessary?
Well, this is another question which could easily turn into a book, but just to give you an idea, purchasing a wide gamut LCD monitor is like purchasing a high-end AV Receiver. Now, think about it for a moment and see if you can figure out what I'm going to say next...
Your best connection, is your weakest point of that connection.
Not only can you apply this to AV equipment, but any analog or digital device. Just because you have a $5K monitor does not mean you will get the true colors the monitor can display. Why? Because you have many connections which are in between the monitor and your PC which are more than likely inferior. For example, is your video card capable of displaying a wide gamut of Adobe RGB? Probably not. What about your DVI cable? How about your operating system? These are just a few factors which can easily make your $5K LCD monitor as functional as one which sells for $1500 as only provides sRGB. Now, what you will benefit from, is if all of these factors are upgraded to support the proper color space (i.e., gamut). But when all of these components will be upgraded to match your wide gamut LCD monitor is a wild guess. So, for now, my suggestion is to avoid wide gamut LCD monitors unless you happen to be fortunate enough to have a digital workflow which is a constant wide gamut from the point of your image editor to the LCD display.
For now, the Eizo CE240W appears to be the better choice of selecting a high-end LCD monitor display.