Designed for business users on a budget, the NEC MultiSync E241N-BK ($259) is 24-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) business monitor equipped with a fully adjustable ergonomic stand and three video inputs, and it supports NEC’s NaViSet Administrator management software. It aced our grayscale performance tests, and delivered rich, uniform colors in testing, but its green color accuracy was slightly skewed. Its sibling, the NEC MultiSync EX241UN-BK, our Editors’ Choice for midsize business monitors, offers better color performance and a lot more features, including a USB hub and more video ports, though it will cost you $120 more.
Design and Features
The E241N-BK uses a matte-black cabinet with microscopic top and side bezels and a half-inch bottom bezel that holds four touch-sensitive function buttons and a power button. The 7.7-pound cabinet has four VESA-compliant mounting holes, and is supported by a stand with a round base that has a sliding hinge for tilt, height, and pivot adjustments. The bottom of base has a Lazy Susan mechanism that offers swivel maneuverability. The 24-inch IPS panel has a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution and a non-reflective, anti-glare coating. It has a peak brightness of 250 cd/m2, a 1,000:1 native contrast ratio, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a 6-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response.
At the rear of the cabinet, facing downward, are DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA video inputs and an audio output, and the left side of the cabinet holds a headphone jack. This monitor doesn’t offer the DisplayPort output, DVI input, and USB ports that you get with the NEC EX241UN-BK, nor does it have the NEC EX241UN-BK’s ControlSync ports that allow you to control settings for multiple monitors. However, it does support NEC’s NaViSet Administrator software, which lets IT staff adjust settings remotely when the monitor is part of a Windows network. As with the NEC EX241UN-BK, the E241N-BK’s 1-watt speakers are loud, but tinny sounding.
In addition to Brightness and Contrast settings, there are six color presets, including 9300 (cooler), 7500 (warmer), sRGB, Native, User, and L/B (low-blue light). You can also adjust individual red, green, and blue intensity levels, but you don’t get the advanced 6-axis color controls that you get with the ViewSonic VP2468. As with other MultiSync models, such as the NEC MultiSync EA244UHD and the NEC MultiSync EA305WMi, the E241N-BK has a carbon meter that keeps tabs on the monitor’s carbon footprint and tracks energy usage and costs. It also has two ECO mode settings: ECO 1 sets the brightness level to 80 percent, and ECO 2 sets it to 40 percent.
NEC covers the E241N-BK with a three-year warranty on parts, labor, and backlight. It ships with a printed User Guide, a DisplayPort cable, and a VESA adapter plate for use with an optional VESA mounting kit.
The E241N-BK had no trouble displaying every shade of gray from the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test. Highlight and shadow detail was sharp in my test images, and scenes from Marvel’s Deadpool on Blu-ray showed crisp detail and rich colors. Viewing angles were wide, with no color shifting or fading.
Color accuracy out of the box was decent, but not ideal. On the chromaticity chart below, the colored dots represent my color measurements, as measured with a colorimeter and SpectraCal’s CalMan software, and the boxes represent the ideal CIE coordinates for color accuracy. As shown, red and blue colors are very close to their ideal coordinates, while green is just outside of its box. Fortunately, I didn’t notice any tinting in my grayscale tests due to the flaw like I did with the AOC P2779VC, and colors did not appear oversaturated.
While it won’t appeal to discerning gamers, the E241N-BK can handle light gaming duty. Its 6-millisecond pixel response did an adequate job of handling fast action, but minor motion artifacts could be seen in my Crysis 3 (PC) and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Sony PlayStation 4) gaming tests. Occasional screen tearing was also apparent, but not to the point of distraction. The panel produced a relatively short 10.3-millisecond input lag (the time it takes to respond to a controller command), as measured with a Leo Bodnar Video Signal Lag Tester, but not as short as our leader, the BenQ SW2700PT (9.5 milliseconds).
The E241N-BK is a bit more energy efficient than the NEC EX241UN-BK. It consumed 15 watts of power in testing while set to the sRGB preset with ECO mode disabled, 11 watts with ECO 1 enabled, and 9 watts with ECO 2 enabled. The NEC EX241UN-BK, also operating with the sRGB preset, consumed 18 watts (Off), 14 watts (ECO 1), and 12 watts (ECO 2), while the Dell UltraSharp 24 InfinityEdge Monitor U2417H consumed 14 watts in Standard mode (it does not offer an ECO mode).
The NEC MultiSync E241N-BK is a solid choice for businesses looking to lower budget costs. Its 24-inch IPS panel provided good grayscale performance in our tests, and colors appeared uniform and well saturated, but its green color accuracy was less than ideal. In order to keep costs down, this model lacks USB ports, but it comes with a fully adjustable ergonomic stand and works with NEC’s NaViSet management software. If you want better color performance and more features, consider the ViewSonic VP2468, our top pick for midsize, mainstream monitors. Its IPS panel delivered accurate colors and solid grayscale performance in our tests, and it has 6-axis color controls, as well as a USB hub, all for only $20 more.