NEC MultiSync LCD4215 review

NEC's MultiSync LCD4215 is a commercial grade LCD designed to offer robust performance for businesses. We take a closer look in this review to see if it lives up to its claims.

Limited viewing angles are also a notorious weakness of LCD technology in a digital signage environment. But we were pleased to note that with the LCD4215 - which surprisingly for its money uses a relatively high-spec S-IPS LCD panel - colour saturations don't fall away too dramatically at all when viewing the screen from the side.

One thing that does diminish with angled viewing, though, is the screen's black response. Dark image content becomes increasingly lost in a sort of grey fog the further down the screen's side you walk.

This is actually extremely common with LCD screens, but it nonetheless means that you'd be well advised to leave any presentations you create for the screen looking as bright and black-free as possible.

Making this even more sensible advice is the fact that the LCD4215's black level response isn't up to much even when you're watching it head on. An obvious grey veil seems to hang over anything that should look black, making dark scenes look unconvincing and obscuring subtle detailing in dark areas.

To reiterate what we said earlier, this sort of black level situation is a common by-product of the extreme brightness seen as the main requirement of a digital signage display, so we're not going to take the LCD4215 to task too heavily for it. We just want you to realise that this screen might not be your best option if you want to run a lot of contrast-rich video on it, or your company logo happens to be predominantly dark.

Verdict

Given its ‘entry-level’ price point, the LCD4215 actually has quite a lot to offer its target market. The provision of the software editor for free is a particularly friendly touch for small businesses that don’t mind a little DIY, and the display’s connectivity and adjustments both go further than we might have expected for a sub-£800 ex VAT price point. However, a fairly marked lack of contrast in the LCD4215’s images and a limited viewing angle could persuade some users to look elsewhere. But provided you can work around its limitations, it really does offer the retail, video conferencing and corporate display markets great bang for their buck.

Display technology: LCD (S-IPS TFT) Native Resolution: 1,366x768 (optimum 1360x768) Connectivity: Analog: DVI (with HDCP); Analog: RGBHV (BNC); Analog: Composite (BNC + RCA); Analog: Component (BNC); Analog: 1 x S-Video; Analog: 1 x D-sub 15 pin; Analog: 1 x D-sub 15 pin output; Analog: Composite (BNC) output; 2 x Cinch (RCA); 1 x Head-jack 3.5 mm; 2 x amplified speaker signal; 1 x Cinch (RCA) Features: Picture in picture mode, can be used in 4x4 ‘tiled’ configuration, portrait or landscape use supported, automatic cooling system, PD-grade panel; free Digital Signage software design package; RS 32 connection with other NEC panels PC compatibility: 1920 x 1080; 1600 x 1200; 1440 x 1050; 1280 x 1024; 1024 x 768; 832 x 624; 800 x 600; 720 x 400; 640 x 480 Video compatibility: 480i; 480p; 576i; 576p; 2 x720p (50 and 60 Hz); 2 x 1080i (50 and 60 Hz); 2 x 1080p (50 and 60 Hz) Power usage: 210W (max) Contrast ratio: 800:1 Brightness: 500 cd/m² Colour: 16.77 million Dimensions (off stand): 1022.9 x 613.5 x 133mm Weight (off stand): 21.6kg

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