A high-quality widescreen monitor for advanced photo enthusiasts and professional photographers who require a controlled colour workflow.Announced in late December, Eizo's new FlexScan SX2262W monitor has been designed for professional photographers and serious photo enthusiasts who like to produce large inkjet photo prints. Compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, it's one of the few screens of its size with a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. This is higher than the 1680 x 1050-pixel native resolution of most 22-inch monitors and enables it to display roughly 30% more information in the same amount of screen space. . . [more]
Announced in late December, Eizo's new FlexScan SX2262W monitor has been designed for professional photographers and serious photo enthusiasts who like to produce large inkjet photo prints. Compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, it's one of the few screens of its size with a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. This is higher than the 1680 x 1050-pixel native resolution of most 22-inch monitors and enables it to display roughly 30% more information in the same amount of screen space.
Despite being offered at a lower price than the company's ColorEdge monitor range, FlexScan monitors are unquestionably first-class products. Indeed, the FlexScan SX2262W shares many characteristics with its ColorEdge siblings that make it ideal for image editing. It provides the same viewing angles, colour adjustments, display colour range, look-up table and internal processing and digital scanning frequency as the ColorEdge CG222W. Both ranges carry five-year warranties.
Design and Ergonomics
An elegant widescreen panel with a narrow (approx. 15mm wide) textured, dark grey bezel, the FlexScan SX2262W has a 16:10 aspect ratio and a pixel pitch of 0.247 x 0.247 mm. The screen also supports a brightness of 280 candelas/square metre plus a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and provides a wide viewing angle of up to 178 degrees at a contrast ratio of 10:1.
The lower front bezel of the monitor carries buttons controlling all major adjustments. This line of buttons is initially enigmatic but once you master the menu system you'll find most of the adjustments you require - and perhaps a few you never thought you'd need.
The FlexScan SX2262W monitor set up for image editing. (Source: Eizo with screen insert by Photo Review.)
At the left hand end of the buttons is a built-in Auto EcoView sensor that can detect ambient light levels and adjust the screen brightness to provide good viewing brightness plus optimal power consumption. The focus is more on the latter than the former, however. The associated EcoView Index function displays the power saving ratio, power reduction and CO2 reduction achieved at the current monitor brightness and allows users to take account of these factors when setting the brightness level of the monitor.
The screen in use, with the control buttons - and related icons - circled in red and the colour adjustments interface displayed.
Power management adjustments.
The EcoView display, showing power consumption and CO2 reduction status.
The menu also lets users change the Fine Contrast mode to suit different applications. It contains three customisable ‘user' settings plus pre-sets for Text, Picture, Movie and an sRGB mode for displaying pictures taken for display on normal computer monitors and TV sets.
FineContrast options provided via the main menu.
The FlexScan SX2262W comes with a specially-designed FlexStand that is counter-sprung to be widely adjustable. You can raise or lower it vertically through 174 mm, tilt it backwards through 30 degrees (but not forwards) and swivel it on its stand through 172 degrees. You can also rotate the screen through 90 degrees to provide a portrait view.
Three of the many positions the monitor can be adjusted to for viewing ease and comfort. (Source: Eizo.)
The bearing-less design of the stand reduces mechanical wear and the amount of torque required to adjust the height of the screen. No special equipment is required to make these adjustments; you simply grip the edges of the bezel and move the monitor slowly into the desired position. A quick release lock lets you detach the monitor from the FlexStand so it can be placed on another VESA-compatible mounting device, such as an optional arm.
When changing between landscape and portrait orientation you have to adjust the display setting on your computer accordingly. Some graphics boards lack these adjustments and won't support screen rotation, although most of the better quality graphics boards (those suitable for digital imaging) should provide support (you can confirm this via the user manual).
Three USB 2.0 ports are provided for connecting other digital devices. There's one upstream port for a computer connection plus two downstream ports, which can be used for peripheral calibration devices, such as spectrophotometers. A USB hub function is set up automatically for these ports when the upstream connection is made. Users can also connect up to three computers to the monitor via the DVI-I and DisplayPort connectors on the back of the monitor. A switch on the monitor changes input each time it is pressed.
A ‘cable holder' sleeve is built into the back of the stand to keep cables in place and prevent them from being tangled with other cables on your desk. There's also a slot for a security lock that complies with the Kensington MicroSaver security system. Mounting points are provided for attaching the optional i-Sound L3 speakers to the rear of the panel. Without them, the monitor provides no support for audio playback.
The 52-page user manual is supplied in PDF format on the Utility Disk, which also contains the bundled software (see below). A printed setup guide and 22-page ‘Precautions' manual are also supplied in multi-lingual format, the former in English, German, French and Japanese and the latter in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Greek, Russian and Japanese. The monitor comes with power, digital signal, analog signal and USB cables, along with a multi-lingual recycling information sheet and limited warranty for five years or 30,000 hours of use.
For photographers, the features that stand out when selecting a monitor for image editing include the colour gamut, bit depth (and, thereby the colour palette displayed), the brightness and colour uniformity and stability and the ability to fine-tune parameters like brightness, gamma, saturation, hue, gain and colour temperature. All must be adjustable - and the latter are particularly critical for colour control and necessary for monitor calibration.
According to Eizo, the FlexScan SX2262W can reproduce 95% of the Adobe RGB colour space, which means it can display almost all the hues and tones in photographs taken in Adobe RGB. The ‘universal' sRGB colour space is completely covered, ensuring accurate reproduction of colours in shots from digicams, camcorders, web pages and similar sources.
The FlexScan SX2262W also employs a 12-bit look-up table with a colour palette of 68 billion hues from which the most appropriate 16.7 million (8 bits) are displayed. This applies to both still images and video clips. Sixteen-bit internal processing ensures a smooth display of greyscale tones without banding.
Eizo's Digital Uniformity Equalizer (DUE) technology eliminates the fluctuations in brightness and chroma on different parts of the screen that plague cheaper LCD panels. To maintain high uniformity, a new temperature sensor detects and automatically suppresses changes in colour and brightness caused by fluctuations in the ambient temperature. Together, these technologies provide the high level of uniformity required for colour-critical work.
The Screen menu lets users change the display resolution from Full (the default setting) to Enlarged (1500 x 1200 pixels) or Normal (1280 x 1024). This enables users to display images at a specified resolution.
When working at less than the screen's native resolution or with aspect ratios other than 16:10, you can use a built-in scaling function to enlarge your work proportionally or expand it to fill the screen. This is particularly useful when using the monitor's single link input, where you can smooth or sharpen the image across five increments.
FlexScan monitors lack the full support for direct hardware calibration provided in the ColorEdge range, although they can be calibrated with software-based devices like the ColorMunki, Eye One Display and Spyder3 colorimeters. In overseas markets, Eizo also offers a simple, optional colour-matching tool, the Eizo EasyPIX, to help users match the monitor colours with photo prints. However, it's not available in Australia - yet.
The wide range of adjustments provided by this monitor also allows it to be calibrated effectively with more basic tools, such as Adobe Gamma and the Perfect-Pixs cards and software. The latter includes three B&W references: a Zone Card for checking and adjusting brightness, contrast and white point plus a greyscale card and a black/white/grey card for checking colour casts. There's also a Colour Patches card for checking the reproduction of the key primary colours: red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow. Six graduated colour scales are provided for fine-tuning colour adjustments.
The FlexScan SX2262W also supports UniColor Pro colour deficiency simulation software for users with impaired colour vision. This software can be downloaded from the Eizo website (www.eizo.com).
Although there's no software for Macintosh computers, for Windows users, the supplied software disk contains several applications for adjusting screen parameters plus the User's Manual in PDF format and a ‘read me' text file providing instructions for accessing files and loading the software. All applications are designed for Windows XP and Vista.
The bundled applications include:
- ScreenManager Pro for LCD, which lets users adjust the screen using the computer's mouse and keyboard. (The monitor must be connected to the computer via the supplied USB cable.) When installed, an icon will be loaded into the notification area on lower edge of the screen.
- WindowMovie Checker Software, which is used for checking the WindowMovie mode, one of the FineContrast modes provided. Designed to support viewing of videos from DVDs and TV broadcasts, it allows the brightness of the area outside the overlay video window to be adjusted to suit the viewer. It can also be used to adjust relative brightness levels when two applications are displayed on the screen simultaneously.
- EIZO ScreenSlicer, an application that divides a screen and lays out multiple windows efficiently.
ScreenManager Pro for LCD also includes an EyeCare Recorder, which displays pop up messages periodically to prevent the user's focus from remaining fixed on one area of the screen for long periods of time. The intervals between pop-ups are user-adjustable and you can include messages and/or reminders containing up to 255 characters.
On start-up, you need to configure ScreenManager Pro for LCD for the various applications you use by registering a FineContrast mode to each application. Double-clicking the icon launches the application and displays a window with six tabbed pages: Auto FineContrast, Colour Adjustment, Screen Adjustment, Hot Key, Timer and Sound.
ScreenManager Pro for LCD Auto FineContrast adjustments.
The Auto FineContrast page contains three dropdown sub-menus, the first with a list of popular applications that includes Photoshop, Picasa. WinWord, iExplore and the web browser you generally use, to name a few. If an unregistered application starts up, you can register it this interface or select a FineContrast mode to apply via the third dropdown window. The second window contains a list of modes that includes: text, picture, movie, EyeCare, custom, user 1-3, sRGB, CAD, game, External and WindowMovie.
The other pages are self-explanatory and contain sliders for adjusting key parameters within each setting. For example, the Colour Adjustment page (shown below) provides adjustments for brightness, contrast, gamma, saturation, hue and separate R, G and B gain levels as well as an Outline Enhancer and Contrast Enhancer. There's also a Reset button that returns all settings to their default positions.
The Colour Adjustment page.
Screen Adjustment is only available for analog input because the screen is pre-set in the factory for digital signal input and no further adjustment is required. The Hot Key page lets you assign various monitor functions to hot keys on a computer keyboard. The Timer page lets you control when the power is turned on and off and sets an alarm to sound five minutes before the monitor shuts down. The Sound page adjusts the volume of connected speakers.
Timer settings in ScreenManager Pro for LCD.
The review screen was very easy on the eyes and appeared to be totally flicker-free. We saw no traces of colours in our neutral grey tests and both greyscale and colour gradients were smooth and evenly distributed. Colour reproduction was accurate straight out of the box and we found no evidence of banding
Neither did we detect the irritating ‘fizz' that can occur on monitors that require dithering to encompass a wide colour gamut. The claim that this monitor can cover 95% of the Adobe RGB colour space appears to be valid.
The ambient light sensor and Auto EcoView responded quickly and positively to changes in the viewing environment and ensured high-quality viewing that was easy on the eyes. These features make this monitor ideal for serious photo enthusiasts and professionals who don't have the space for a larger monitor.
When we calibrated the review monitor with the Eye-One Display2 colorimeter and Eye-One Match software, we found the colour temperature was a little high at 6700K instead of 6500K and the gamma was slightly high at 2.4 instead of 2.2. Both were easily rectified by going into the screen menu and selecting All Reset from the Tools menu.
The review monitor also provided an excellent platform for viewing high-definition video clips, although with no audio facilities, the movies were effectively silent. However, the high resolution and accurate colour reproduction make editing still images and video clips a pleasure.
With its premium price of $1700, this monitor won't be an impulse buy. However Eizo's five-year warranty ensures your investment should be well protected. Serious photographers will find the professional-level image quality and array of advanced screen adjustments this monitor offers will meet the majority of their needs, now and in the future.
Buy this monitor if:
- You're mainly interested in editing still images and require a high-quality, widescreen monitor on which to base a colour-managed workflow.
- You would like the maximum display quality for your dollars.
- You'd like to be able to monitor power consumption and want a monitor with effective power management and low power consumption in power save mode.
Don't buy this monitor if:
- You want to watch DVD movies on your computer.
- You want to edit video clips with soundtracks.
Panel Size: 56 cm (558 mm diagonal)
Active Display Size (H × V): 473.8 x 296.1 mm
Panel Type: VA (with overdrive circuit)
Viewing Angles (H, V): 178/178 degrees (at contrast ratio of 10:1)
Brightness: 280 cd/m2
Response Time (Typical): Grey-to-grey: 6 ms, black-white-black: 12 ms
Native Resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels (16:10)
Pixel Pitch: 0.247 x 0.247 mm
Display Colours: DVI: 16.77 million from a palette of 68 billion; DisplayPort: 1.07 billion from a palette of 68 billion
Wide Gamut Coverage: Adobe RGB: 95%
Look-Up Table: 12 bits per colour
Internal Processing: 16 bits per colour
Screen Adjustment: Clock, Phase, Position, Range (Auto), Screen Size (full screen, enlarge, normal)
Colour Adjustment: Brightness, Contrast, Independent 6-Colour Control, Gamma, Temperature, Saturation, Hue, Gain, Contrast and Outline Enhancer, Reset
Preset Modes: Colour Mode (Text, Picture, Movie, sRGB, User1, User2, User3), Auto Fine Contrast
EcoView Settings: Auto EcoView, EcoView Index
Video Input Terminals: DVI-I 29 pin x 2 (with HDCP), DisplayPort (with HDCP)
USB Ports / Standard: 1 upstream, 2 downstream / USB 2.0
Plug & Play: VESA DDC 2B
Power Consumption: 80 W (maximum), 45 W (typical), less than 0.9 W in Power Save Mode, 0W when power is switched off
Height Adjustment Range: 174 mm
Tilt / Swivel / Pivot: 30 degrees Up, 0 degrees Down / 172 degrees Right, 172 degrees Left / 90 degrees
Dimensions (W x H x D): With Stand: 511 x 347.5 - 521.5 x 240.5 - 256 mm; Without Stand: 511 x 333 x 85 mm
Net Weight: With Stand: 9.6 kg; Without Stand: 6.6 kg
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Rating (out of 10):
- Build: 9.5
- Ease of use: 9.0
- Viewing Quality: 9.5
- Versatility: 8.5
- OVERALL: 9.5