Saturday, November 28, 2009

Eizo S2402W-H

I wanted an HP LP2475W or an NEC 2490WUXi for a secondary display here in Taiwan. I was pretty sure they weren't going to sell any Dell 2408FPW.

Well just my luck, no HP, no NEC.

Lots of Acers, Asus, Benq, and even more from brands that I'd never heard of. Lots in the US $200-$300 range that were S-PVA panels.

Let me give you a little background on how things operate here in Taiwan.

There are no Best Buys. There are no Walmarts. There are no huge online e-tailers... There's no Fedex and no UPS. Hell, if you buy online, you're likely to get a courier drop ship the item to your house, sometimes same day delivery.

What we do have is a few electronics chain stores that are kind of like Best Buy (so I kinda lied) but they don't have any high-end equipment (just like Best Buy).

But you don't buy from these places.

Instead you go to these places (in Taipei) like Nova and Guang-Hwa where there's a building with multiple floors and each floor has these tiny little shops that average 50 square feet in retail space, most of which sell electronics. You can haggle, but these guys are competitive and the prices are pretty firm. Or maybe I just suck at getting a bargain because I also know that lots of these store fronts are actually owned by the same company and therefore are the same business...

Anyway, I digress. These places are pretty much mini-electronics conventions. They sell mostly the same stuff but they sell pretty much anything under the sun, or at least everything under the sun that's available in Taiwan...

Of course, multi-nationals based in other countries that don't manufacture in Taiwan get the short end of the stick because they can't compete with the manufacturers that make stuff within the country. Furthermore we're talking S-PVA panels for about $200-300 so import taxes make else pretty much uncompetitive.

So how did I wind up buying a TN panel in an Eizo S2402W-H?

Before going to Guang-Hwa, I had the HP LP2475W in mind. My backup plan was the NEC 2490WUXi. But after asking around a few stores, I realized that no one was going to have these models. After all these were H-IPS wide gamut panels that were truly competitive in the US selling for about $550 (the HP) to $850 (the NEC) and are well-known to be color accurate (after calibration).

Of course, no one had either of these models. To make a long story short, I gave up and was almost going to go home until I came across a store selling an LG unit that I was considering... then I noticed that they had an Eizo.

The salesperson admitted that the Eizo's were expensive but this Eizo S2402W-H was an entry-level Eizo (TN panel) for those that wanted an Eizo but couldn't afford the uber-expensive ones (like the CG 243W that I'm waiting for). Upon inquiry I found out it cost $510 which was less than the HP even though the HP has an IPS panel. Truth be told, no company really sells TN panel displays anymore because it's an obsolete technology. Only Eizo has the balls and the clout to manufacture a TN panel display and sell it for what other companies sell their S-PVA or IPS panel displays.

But I bought one.

Yes the viewing angles are pretty horrendous. I've gotta move my head around to make sure that I'm looking at the display straight on which changes with each corner of the display. Really a few inches really make a difference, particularly vertically. Actually horizontally speaking you'll also get some variance particularly as a reddish tint appears at the extreme angles.

But it's color accurate.

Out of the box, it was off by a little but much better than my Dell 2405FPW. Of course, I came prepared and I knew I was going to acquire a display for temporary use here in Taiwan so I brought the Spyder3 Pro. The awesome thing about the Eizo S2402W-H is that it has all of the controls that the Dell has and more. It has Kelvin presets, gamma settings, brightness and contrast.

But the best thing about the Eizo is how easily it calibrates to 2.2 Gamma, 6500K, and 150 cd/m2 (later readjusted to 120 cd/m2 because it was too bright at 150 cd/m2) because straight out of the box it was super close with the exception that it was too bright, running at 150 cd/m2. That being said, I feel that it was much easier to calibrate than the Dell 2405FPW. Maybe it's because I've done it now multiple times (feels like hundreds) on the Dell 2405PW as well as the MacBook. Or maybe because it's just closer to ideal from the start.

Anyway, I'm surprisingly happy with the Eizo S2402W-H. I thought I was gonna be disappointed because it runs off of technology from the Jurassic Era but I suppose Eizo doesn't disappoint even with it's entry-level displays.

I'll provide another update in a month.

If you're curious how the CG 243W and the S2402W-H stack up, here's the
spec comparison.

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