Eizo CG245W Review
The CG245W is a new wide gamut monitor from Eizo that features an automatic recalibration ability. It has a very wide color gamut, encompassing more than the AdobeRGB gamut, it has good uniformity across the screen on all colors, a top notch IPS panel giving a wide viewing angle, it can handle moving pictures with speed, and it also has a DisplayPort input which is a vital link in the chain of signal processing which makes it possible to view images in higher than 8-bit resolution. It has what is becoming the usual assortment of desired features on high end displays: It is a wide screen (20 inches wide) which allows for 2 sheets to sit side-by-side in your display area, has high-bit internal color processing to reduce banding.
But beyond the usual excellent specifications we're used to seeing on an Eizo, what really sets the CG245W (and its big brother, the CG275W) apart is the ability to calibrate itself using its built in colorimeter. If you think about it, this is going to mean more to the industry than merely saving you the step of hanging a puck on the monitor every month. It can be set up once and then it will automatically recalibrate your monitor from then on - even when you're not around, when you're going home for the day, or in the middle of the night. This also opens up the possibility that displays can be maintained remotely. Large companies can ensure that every monitor on every work station is calibrated.
Self-calibration with Swing Sensor
Built into the top bezel of the display is a sensor for calibrating the display. This swing sensor is programed with the Eizo ColorNavigator software and swings down to take color measurements about an inch from the top of the screen. It's not clear what kind of sensor this is, but it has been used for some time on Eizo's line of displays for the medical market. In the high end graphics market, this first-of-its-kind sensor now makes it possible to ensure that a display is automatically calibrated with or without any user intervention. The ColorNavigator settings allow you to use the internal swing sensor or any of the regular external sensors that ColorNavigator supports.
Eizo recognizes that there might be some variation between this sensor and the instrument you use to profile your other displays, so they provide a "Correlation Utility" program which measures a series of patches using the swing sensor and your regular colorimeter or spectrophotometer at the same time. This way any difference in the measurement in the other instruement can be compensated for. Eizo also recognizes that measuring so close to the top edge of the screen is less ideal than measuring the center of the screen. So they have compensation for that as well, which includes their very good uniformity equalizing processes. One of the purposes of the Correlation Utility is to be able to have this display match other displays that don't have the swing sensor (in other words, to be able to calibrate using the same sensor as on other displays.)
As is becoming standard on most new Eizo's, the CG245W has a very wide gamut which includes all of AdobeRGB according to my tests. The gamut volume will vary depending on the software and instrument used for measurements. The Eizo specifications claim 98% of the AdobeRGB gamut - but in my testing it's basically all there and then some.
- Approximate gamut volume = 1,358,000 Cubic Lab values
All of Eizo's recent CG models feature a Digital Uniformity Equalizer. Eizo's advertising claims their Digital Uniformity Equalizer, "ensures a Delta-E difference of 3 or less across the screen when the monitor leaves the factory."1 While our recent tests of other CG models showed that their displays stand up to that claim, the early demonstration model of the 245 we were testing showed slightly more uniformity variance than that. The average dE between various locations on the panel are mostly in the sub-1.0 to 1.5 dE range, with one corner-to-corner comparison being around 2.00. The worst uniformity issue I found on my demo unit was between the upper right corner and the lower left corner. There, the very worst single color difference was 3.59 dE. If that's the worst it gets, then it's still really very uniform. Numbers like this means that the display has very even color across the screen. Most differences are less than the human eye can detect and the worst is barely seen by the human eye.
Visually looks uniform.
The display is designed to run between 60 and 120 cd/m2. At 60, there are no problems with shadow detail, banding etc. In order to run the display at brightness levels outside of this range, you need to click a warning checkbox to extend the range - and then the range can go from 30 to 200 or more. You can even set it to minimum and maximum - and I was able to get it to bottom out at 28.9 cd/m2 and it will top out at 251.8 if you want to run it that high (and Eizo does not recommend it.)
Angle of view
The specs report an viewing angle of 178ø which seems to be about right. There is no problem viewing image uniformly from one side of the display to the other. If viewing extremely off-axis, we will see changes in color and brightness as is expected. Up-and-down variation is a bit more pronounced than the side-by-side variation.
16-bit Internal processing.
ColorNavigator software is required for properly calibrating this display using the internal swing sensor. This works on any recent ColorNavigator version going back to version 5.4.2 (released in April, 2010). ColorNavigator is available from the Eizo website and is free to download and use.
Rotation and monitor stand
Rotates between vertical and horizontal. There is no "automatic" image rotation though. This display has a newly designed stand which enables the display to be lowered right onto the tabletop or as high as 8 inches off the table. It can swivel left and right 360 degrees on a platform that moves with the display and at the same time contains a stationary base under the stand which remains in constant contact with the table top. It can be positioned from a bit more than fully upright, to laid back about 33 degrees.
Highlights / Shadows
I am able to distinguish highlights and shadows of 1 L value difference in Photoshop.
Much importance is place on an LCD monitor's ability to reproduce blacks and near-blacks well. This is one of the main complaints about LCD displays from those who are used to a CRT. Blocking a backlight with liquid crystals is quite effective, but it's not as good as not having that light blasting away to begin with. When looking at black measurement numbers, the lower the number, the darker and therefore the better.
Using a DTP-94 on the 245 calibrated
- to 60 cd/m2 luminance, the black luminance was .16
- At 120 cd/m2, the black point was .26
This is a little bit higher than we expect to see on this class of monitor, but considerably lower than the typical LCD display which runs around .30
Banding / grayscale
Even at low luminance levels, (60 cd/m2) I could not detect any colored banding on a gray scale gradient. The gray looks very neutral.
- A very cool new feature in this model is the on-screen button guide. When fiddling with any of the buttons on the front, you no longer have to guess or turn on the overhead light to see which button is which. The labels show up on the screen directly above each button so you can see what you are doing.
- New to these 245 & 275 models is an internal temperature sensor. Since changes in temperature and high brightness of a display can cause color changes in the display, this built-in temperature sensor detects and automatically suppresses changes in color and brightness caused by fluctuations in the surrounding temperature.
- The 245 also has the ability to do HD video (1080p) with an HDMI to DVI adapter.
- 1920 × 1200 native resolution
- 850:1 contrast ratio
- 270 cd/m2 brightness
- DVI-I and DisplayPort inputs
- Monitor hood included
1 See the glossary for a definition of deltaE.
June 10, 2010