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NEC Multisync P221W-BK Review

NEC MultiSync P221W-BK Life Pixel Infrared Conversion

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio


Good LCD computer monitors for digital darkrooms are expensive, and are usually an overlooked piece of equipment (sometimes due to the very scary price tag). The computer monitor is what you base your digital edits on. Now it would be crazy doing color correcting to your pictures when you are not sure what you actually are seeing on the monitor. Calibrating your display helps for sure, but do you really know what you are adjusting on your pictures? Can your monitor show all the colors that your camera can? I would say that the computer monitor is the most important aspect of digital editing / photography. If you are serious about what you are doing you need a good monitor.


Type: LCD

Viewable Size: 22"

Color Gamut: 96% AdobeRGB

Brightness: 300cd/m2

Contrast Ratio: 1000:1

Resolution: 1680 x 1050

Viewing Angle: 178° horizontal, 178° vertical

Pixel Dot Pitch: 0.282mm

Response Time: 16ms Black-to-Black (8ms Gray-to-Gray)

Input Connectors: 1x VGA, 1x DVI-D

Panel Life: Not Specified by Manufacturer

Colors Supported: 16.7 million out of a palette of 1.05 billion

Price: $472.95 USD

OR: Bundle with SpectraviewII & Calibrator. Price: $ 705.99 USD


  • 96% AdobeRGB Color Gamut
  • Price, very affordable compared to the specs.
  • Black, is really black. Outstanding performance


  • Slow response time 16ms.
  • European buyers will not be able to get NEC's Spectraview II utility, if they don't buy the bundle from the US.
  • Slow screen refresh rate @ 60hz


This is an amazing LCD screen. Of course one of the best specs is the 96% AdobeRGB Color Gamut, which you normally wouldn't find in any screens even close to this price. The closest you get is the Lacie 324 monitor with 95% AdobeRGB, but it's way more expensive($979.95) The other competition is Eizo's ColorEdge CG222W 22.2", with 92% Adobe RGB color gamut($1,399.00).
The other big plus with this monitor is the 10Bit LUT(look Up Table) Which allows the user to calibrate the screen itself, and not the graffix card with a colorimeter. The optional software for this is spectraviewII. This is not available for people living in Europe. I mention this as I'm using Windows XP 64, I could not access the LUT with X-rite's i1 match software. With NEC's spectraview this was no problem and calibration was really fast. For people using x86 versions of windows, or Mac OS-X this should not be a problem using third party software to calibrate the monitor.
This monitor exceeded my expectations by far. Hats off to NEC for this screen. I don't take my hat off for NEC Europe, who decided to make their own version of Spectraview that costs more than the monitor. When I talked to NEC Norway, their explanation was simply: we don't work with NEC USA or any other NEC office except for the Europe offices. So if you want Spectraview, buy the bundle they have at B&H. I highly recommend using Spectraview over other calibration software, as you can switch between different calibrations with the spectraview software, it takes approx. one minute to switch between stored calibrations.

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NEC Multisync P221W-BK Price: $472.95 USD


NEC P221W-BK-SV(bundle with Spectraview II & Calibrator) Price: $ 705.99 USD

LaCie 324 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor with Hood and Software Price: $979.95

Lacie 724 24" Widescreen LCD Computer Display. Price: $2,099.00 USD

Eizo ColorEdge CG222W 22.2" Widescreen LCD Display. Price: $1,399.00 USD

Eizo ColorEdge CG241W 24.1" Widescreen LCD Display. Price: $2,145.99 USD

Eizo ColorEdge CG221 22.2" Widescreen LCD Display. Price: $4,299.95 USD

Gamut comparison

NEC P221W Monitor Gamut  vs Adobe RGB
Mouse over image to see Adobe RGB gamut compared to Monitor gamut

NEC P221W Monitor gamut vs Adobe sRGB
Mouse over image to see Adobe sRGB gamut compared to Monitor gamut


NEC Multisync P221W-BK Review © 2009 Fredrik A. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.