The E231W is an impressively flexible and eco conscious display, but it isn't complemented with similarly impressive performance. While it is possible to establish a good image through manual adjustment, many of the environment and automatic settings can be frustrating to work with, so if hassle-free picture quality is more important that the other benefits on offer, it may disappoint.
Impressive eco credentials; smooth height/tilt/swivel stand; DisplayPort connectivity.
Auto-brightness and environment presets can be ineffective; overall performance could be better; awkward menus.
23in W-LED display, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, DVI-D, DisplayPort, VGA interface, 1000:1 contrast ratio (25,000:1 dynamic), 5ms response time, 550 x 381 x 214mm, 6.2kg
NEC may not be the first manufacturer you think of when it comes to modern LCD displays, but the firm actually does a good trade in screens designed more for commercial and professional use.
The E231W is the latest of these, offering a fairly standard set of modern specifications that includes a 23in white LED backlit display, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 5ms response time and a 25,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.
The screen offers DVI-D and DisplayPort inputs, along with a standard VGA for analogue, but lacks any kind of internal speakers.
It was initially refreshing to see that NEC has opted to place the controls at the front of the display rather than underneath, thereby making them more accessible.
However, opting for a small directional control for navigating menus instead of more typical left and right buttons makes it awkward to use. The menus are also rather archaic and not particularly intuitive.
You'll still find a range of display modes including standard, text, movie, gaming, photo and dynamic, but sadly there are no custom presets available. An auto-brightness mode combines with the built-in light sensor to adjust levels depending on the environment.
NEC claims that the N231W is particularly suited to the modern office, and there are two very good reasons why. The most important of these is energy efficiency, with the screen offering 50 per cent reduced consumption compared to TFT displays in addition to the power savings offered by the automatic light sensor.
NEC claims that the display also radiates less heat, uses less packaging (to which we can attest after seeing the surprisingly small box in which it was delivered), uses recycled plastics in production and is free of hazardous materials such as mercury and arsenic.
Backing all this up is a dedicated Eco tool that helps keep track of carbon emissions and cost savings which, while really for information purposes, is a nice addition and from a green standpoint underlines NEC's efforts in this area.