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Eizo CG210 CG211 LCD display review

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Eizo CG210 (CG211) LCD display review

A high end LCD monitor for colour critical applications



Not all LCD monitors are created equal – not by a long way.

Keith was recently lent an EIZO CG210 and has written this brief overview of some of its functionality.

Eizo make a range of monitors including some for the high end graphics and photography market, — so, what do you get for that extra cash?

Eizo CG210

Note that the Eizo CG211 is now listed as a replacement for this monitor – the specifications are very similar and you might be able to get a good deal on remaining CG210s

What do you get?

Eizo make a range of high end monitors where the emphasis is on image quality, and performance to match the demands of professional users.

OK, that sounds like a bit of marketing speak – what do you actually get with a CG210 (or as of Nov 2006 a CG211 ) to make it worth while?

I’m going to mention some of the features and specifications of the CG210 from Eizo themselves, since apart from checking the evenness of the screen with my Eye One spectrophotometer (which it passed very easily), I’ve not got the equipment (or a long enough lifetime) to measure it all :-)

Eizo CG210 lcd displaySome key features:

  • 21.3″ monitor
  • 1600 x 1200 native resolution
  • 550:1 contrast ratio
  • 250 cd/m2 brightness
  • 170° viewing angles
  • Digital/analog inputs

14-Bit Processing

“Incorporates a powerful new EIZO-developed ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) with 14-bit colour processing capability (16 times more accurate than 10-bit)”

Effectively this means smoother gradations in tone on your screen – or less chance of showing any banding. It’s one of the reasons that it can be better to set LCD displays (especially laptops and cheaper monitors) to a native colour temperature, rather than a particular value.

You trade the ability to accurately set the temperature, for a better looking display. For most users, this -really- doesn’t matter (my laptop uses ‘native’ settings), but when it does, you will want to look at higher spec monitors.

Factory Adjustment of Gamma

“To ensure the most accurate and consistent colour gradations possible, EIZO carefully measures and sets every shade of R, G, and B from 0 – 255 on the production line with the monitor’s 10-bit Look-Up Table (LUT), to produce a monitor gamma value of 2.2. If a different value is preferred, the bundled ColorNavigator software can be used to assign a value ranging from 1.0 – 2.6 in increments of 0.1 or L*”

As before — if accuracy matters…

ColorNavigator Calibration Software

“This EIZO-developed software comes bundled with ColorEdge models and offers 10-bit hardware calibration when used with a GretagMacbeth, X-Rite, or ColorVision measurement device.”

Although I tested the monitor both on a Dual G5 Mac and my PowerBook, the pictures of it sitting on my piano look a bit better and also show the quality of the light in the room with the curtains closed :-) The pictures are white balanced to show the screen accurately. As before, better bit depth helps produce better results, but you do have to use the Eizo software to get the best results.

After plugging in, the monitor was immediately recognised and worked with both machines.

monitor type detection

Monitor type was autodetected

profile selection

A default profile was also available

Eizo colornavigator software

The start up for the Colour navigator screen – could we have a bit better use of English please?

The ‘Minutely’ option is actually what would better be described as ‘Advanced’ mode…

The default mode gives you two options:

calibration for print use

5000K for printing

calibration for photo use

6500K for photo

‘Minutely’ mode offers far more…

advanced monitor calibration settings

Advanced options

more profiling settings

Setting gamma

Note also the L* mode which I found gave an excellent greyscale, and might well be my choice for B/W work (although my Apple 23″ is just fine at native/G2.2)

The ColorNavigator software supports a number of hardware calibrators – only one I didn’t try was the OPTIX (send me one and I’ll include it ;-)

hardware monitor calibrations selevtion

I’ve got reviews and articles on some of these devices if you are not sure what they are and what they can do for ordinary monitors

Multiple monitors are supported with no problem.

Note that I’ve looked at the Mac version of the software — PCs are supported just as well

multiple monitor support

The software knows what shape your devices are…

eye one display

Eye One Display

Spyder 2 pro

Spyder 2

calibration with display 2

Calibration with the Eye One Display

Note Keith in background, playing piano, waiting for calibration to run – all devices took about the same time

calibration with Spyder

Calibration with the Spyder

Although you should use the supplied calibration software to make optimal use of the CG210 hardware, I tried out the Eye One Match software just to get these graphs showing the much larger gamut of the CG210 than my laptop – not terribly meaningful, but you get the idea…

gamut comparison

Gamut comparison

Hardware-Based Portrait Mode Support for Macintosh and Windows

“Provides built-in support for portrait mode with the EIZO’s exclusive ActiveRotation II technology.”

Now here is a function I’ve not used since the old Radius Pivot (about 15 yrs ago on Macs)

Look at the three pictures of the monitor connected to my Apple laptop. Rotating the display switches back to the small screen for a few seconds and then back to the portrait view.

horizontal display mode

changing horizontal display mode

vertical display mode

Vertical view

Useful, but I do like bigger screens (Apple 30″ next time for me :-)

Monitor hood

The sample looked at, came with a robust three part monitor hood that would be useful in ensuring that surrounding lighting minimised the influence on what you see. The environment shown here is not adequate for accurate colour work – if you don’t know why, then either you are not doing that sort of work or you -really- ought read up on it some more! :-)

See Why my prints don’t match my screen for some references

CG210 monitor hood

Monitor hood – image is the Northlight Images Black and White Test Image

hood side view

Side view

My own temptation would be to make such a screen with black card, felt and a hot melt glue gun, but then I do stuff like that ;-)

Here are the full specs for the CG210 from Eizo

PanelSize and Type54 cm (21.3″) TFT colour LCD panel
Viewing Angles (H, V)170°, 170° (at contrast ratio of 10:1)
Brightness / Contrast250 cd/m2 / 550:1
Response Time30 ms (typical)
Native Resolution1600 × 1200
Active Display Size (H, V)432 * 324 mm / 17.0 * 12.8″
Viewable Image SizeDiagonal: 540 mm / 21.3″
Pixel Pitch0.270× 0.270 mm
Display Colors16.77 million from a palette of 1.06 billion
Available Cabinet ColorsGray, Black
Dot ClockAnalog: 202.5 MHz, Digital: 162 MHz
Scanning Frequency
(H, V)
Analog24 – 100 kHz, 49 – 86 Hz
Digital31– 100 kHz, 59 – 61 Hz (VGA Text: 69 – 71 Hz)
Input SignalsAnalog: RGB Analog, Digital: DVI Standard 1.0
Input TerminalsDVI-I 29 × 2 (switchable)
USB Ports / Standard1 upstream, 2 downstream / USB Standard Rev. 2.0
Plug & PlayVESA DDC 2B
PowerPower RequirementsAC 100 – 120 V, 200 – 240 V: 50 / 60 Hz
Power Consumption75 W (typical)
Power Save ModeLess than 2 W
Physical SpecificationsHeight Adjustment Range82 mm
Tilt / Swivel / Pivot40° Up, 0 ° Down / 35° Right, 35° Left / 90°
Dimensions (W × H × D)With Stand: 472 × 459 – 541 × 208.5 mm
18.6 × 18.1 – 21.3 × 8.2″
Without Stand: 472 × 373 × 69 mm
18.6 × 14.7 × 2.7″
Net WeightWith Stand: 10.2 kg / 22.5 lbs
Without Stand: 7.0 kg / 15.4 lbs
Auto Brightness FunctionsAuto Brightness Stabilization
Auto Adjustment FunctionsAuto Adjustment, Range Adjustment
Display Mode OptionsFine Contrast (sRGB, Custom, Calibration)
Hardware Portrait Display FunctionActiveRotation II
ScreenManager OSD Adjustment FunctionsScreen AdjustmentClock, Phase, Position, Resolution, Range Adjustment (Auto), Signal Filter, Screen Size (full screen, enlarge, normal), Smoothing (5 stages), Border Intensity
Colour AdjustmentBrightness, Independent 6-Color Control, Gamma, Temperature (14 stages in 500 K increments from 4,000 K – 10,000 K including 9,300 K), Saturation, Hue, Gain, Reset
Power Save SettingsAnalog: PowerManager (VESA DPMS)
Digital: PowerManager (DVI DMPM)
Other SettingsSignal Settings, Input Priority, Product Information (product name, serial number, resolution, operating time), OSD Menu Settings, Adjustment Lock, Languages (English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Swedish), ActiveRotation II, Off Timer, Reset
Certifications and StandardsTCO’03 (gray), TCO’99 (black), TÜV/Ergonomics (including ISO 13406-2), TÜV/GS, c-Tick, CE, CB, UL (cTÜVus), CSA (cTÜVus), FCC-B, Canadian ICES-003-B, TÜV/S, VCCI-B, EPA ENERGY STAR, EIZO Eco Products 2004
Supplied AccessoriesAC power cord, signal cables (DVI-D – DVI-D, DVI-I – D-Sub mini 15 pin), USB cable, setup guide, EIZO LCD Utility Disk (ColorNavigator software, HTML user’s manual, ICC Profile), adjustment certificate, quick reference, warranty registration card
WarrantyFive Years

Summary

CG210 back viewA very nice monitor, that in terms of evenness of illumination and overall image quality was superior to my Apple 23″ Cinema display. However, the Apple display is bigger (size matters) and just looks nicer on -my- desk.

The Cinema display even looks good from behind, where the Eizo could not be said to be attractive even by its greatest fans.

That’s all good and well, but you get an Eizo screen like this because you want colour accuracy and performance – you have to decide what is important to you for your work and whether the difference -really- matters from a business point of view.

The monitor is also part of “the SWOP-certified Remote Director — a monitor-based proofing system from Integrated Colour Solutions, Inc. SWOP certification means graphics professionals can use this system in place of hardcopy proofs and perform all colour checks on-screen.” Once again, if you know that this is important for your work, it should make a difference.

Not the best view :-)

What it comes down to, is what kind of work you do and how much care you want/need to take in getting colour as accurate as possible.

Don’t forget that to make the best use of this monitor (or one of the latest even higher spec ones) you need to understand why the features/functionality make a difference and all the other factors that make a come into play — such as the colour of the paint on the walls of your office.

When looking at a range of monitors, consider what meets your needs – not having used Eizo top end monitors before, I was impressed by the image quality. Certainly one I’ll be suggesting that clients might want to consider (Note that we do not sell hardware or software at all)

Our monitor was lent to us by Eizo UK who can provide more details on their entire range of monitors.

More colour management and printing related information

For information about printers, paper reviews and profiling (colour management) see the Printing section of the main printers and printing page, or use the search box at the top of any page. All colour management information is indexed on the main Colour Management page.

Some specific articles that may be of interest:  

  • Why don't my prints match my screen? A short article showing why there is more to getting your prints to match your screen, than just calibrating your monitor. It's the vital first step, but you do need to consider some other factors for best results.
  • Why are my prints too dark - some basic suggestions to this common problem.

 


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