Eizo ColorEdge CG245W Computer Monitor Review
A serious monitor for serious users.
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The Eizo ColorEdge CG245W is a serious monitor for serious users. Built for graphic designers and photographers, this monitor offers high-end features such as a built-in calibration system, screen hood to block reflections and support for multiple color gamuts. You'll pay a high-end price for these features, though, with the price being around $2800. But while that might put it beyond the budget of most users, professional graphics users will find it represents good value.
The stand allows for a lot of adjustment. As well as being able to lift the monitor by 6.8 inches, it also allows it to tilt up by up to 30 degrees. A rotating base also allows it to rotate: useful if you are showing a design to a group of people and want them all to be able to see the design straight on.
In the Box
As well as the display itself, you get:
- DVI cable
- DisplayPort cable
- USB cable
- Power cable
- Removable screen hood
- User guide and software CD
We measured the maximum contrast ratio of this display at 587:1, from a black level of 0.442 cd/m2 and a peak white of 248 cd/m2. More on how we test contrast.
The screen of this display was very uniform, with no blemishes or other issues on the white screens in our tests, and only some very minor issues on the dark screens with the corners of the screen being slightly lighter than the center. More on how we test uniformity.
The color temperature of this display was extremely stable: we only saw a very, very small variation in the color temperature of the whites on the screen, ranging from the brightest whites to the dim greys. More on how we test color temperature.
A smooth color curve makes for good colors on screen, with small color changes in the images being accurately reflected on the screen. The excelled here, producing very accurate colors that reflected the colors in our test images. More on how we test color curves.
The color gamut of this display was similarly spot-on, with the only minor error being a slight shift in the blue. More on how we test color gamut.
This display fared somewhat poorly in our viewing angle test, with the contrast ratio falling to 16:1 at a 45 degree angle. That's a big drop, but this monitor is not designed to be used in a group setting: it is designed to be used by one user.
We usually calibrate the monitors that we test with an X-Rite i1 Display Pro, but that wasn't needed with this one. Instead, we used the self-calibration feature of the display, where it flips down a sensor and shows some colors on screen, then re-calibrates its own settings.
Two DVI ports are offered, as well as a single DisplayPort and a USB input. There are no VGA, HDMI or analog video inputs available. This limits the ability to connect to laptops or older computers, but if you are spending this much on a monitor, you are probably spending far more on a computer to go with it.
A 2-port USB 2.0 hub is built into this display, but the ports for connecting devices are only located on the back of the panel in a position that is somewhat hard to reach, making it unusable for devices like USB thumb drives.
Controls & Menus
The controls are located on the bottom of the bezel. When the on-screen menu is open, these double as navigation buttons. We found the controls and menu to be easy to use, but the structure of the on-screen menu does require some button pressing to navigate.
Screen Hood - A screen hood is included with this display, which is made of several clip-together plastic pieces. This shields the screen from reflections from overhead lighting, and is very useful for designers and others who require precise color matching. This hood can be adapted to work with the screen in both portrait and landscape mode. It is a little flimsy, though, and had a habit of falling apart when removed. It's quickly reassembled, but it is somewhat annying to have to keep doing.
Self-Calibration - A hardware calibrator is built into the top of the display: select self calibration from the on-screen menu and this flips down to measure the colors of the screen and adjust the display accordingly. This doesn't do anything that you can't do with an external calibrator, but having it built into the display means you don't have to rely on the operating system to set the correct monitor profile. Instead, the monitor does it all for you, which is also useful if you use it with several different devices.
Unicolor Pro & Color Navigator Software - As well as the built-in calibrator, the display also comes with software that can work with most calibration devices on the market, and which can also simulate the screens of other devices. This could be useful for programmers who want to see how the colors in their programs are going to look on devices such as an iPhone or tablet. The free UnicolorPro software can also simulate the three common forms of color blindness, so a designer can see how their products will look to people with these common conditions.
It is perhaps cruel to compare a $200 monitor to a $2800 one, but it is a lesson in how a bit more performance can cost a lot more. It comes as no surprise that the Eizo is the better performer, but the Viewsonic is a good enough display for most users. The Eizo trounced the Viewsonic in every test, is better designed, more flexible and easier to use, but the Viewsonic has the advantage of being about $2600 cheaper.
It is no surprise that the Eizo is the better performer in most of our performance tests, but the Samsung proved to be no slouch, posting good scores across the board. So, if extreme color accuracy is not that important to you, then the Samsung is the better (and less expensive) pick. But if you are looking for a more professional, precise monitor for photography or design, the Eizo is the one to choose, as long as your bank balance can stand it.
It is no surprise that the Eizo is the better performer in most of our performance tests, but the HP postied good scores across the board as well. So, if extreme color accuracy is not that important to you, then the HP is the better (and less expensive) pick. But if you are looking for a professional, precise monitor for photography or design, the Eizo is the one to choose, as long as your bank balance can stand it.
The ColorEdge CG245W is not cheap. At about $2800, it is way more expensive than most monitors, and most of the features it offers are not needed by most users. But those who need them will find them real time savers. Features like the self-calibration, screen hood and the ability to simulate color blindness could be invaluable to professional designers and serious photographers, and for these users, the price is probably worth it.