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Eizo CG210 lcd displayEizo 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?

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:

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

Panel Size and Type 54 cm (21.3") TFT colour LCD panel
Viewing Angles (H, V)  170°, 170° (at contrast ratio of 10:1)
Brightness / Contrast 250 cd/m2 / 550:1
Response Time 30 ms (typical)
Native Resolution 1600 × 1200
Active Display Size (H, V) 432 * 324 mm / 17.0 * 12.8"
Viewable Image Size

Diagonal: 540 mm / 21.3"

Pixel Pitch 0.270× 0.270 mm
Display Colors 16.77 million from a palette of 1.06 billion
Available Cabinet Colors Gray, Black
Dot Clock Analog: 202.5 MHz, Digital: 162 MHz
Scanning Frequency
(H, V)
Analog 24 – 100 kHz, 49 – 86 Hz
Digital 31– 100 kHz, 59 – 61 Hz (VGA Text: 69 – 71 Hz)
Input Signals Analog: RGB Analog, Digital: DVI Standard 1.0
Input Terminals DVI-I 29 × 2 (switchable)
USB Ports / Standard 1 upstream, 2 downstream / USB Standard Rev. 2.0
Plug & Play VESA DDC 2B
Power Power Requirements AC 100 – 120 V, 200 – 240 V: 50 / 60 Hz
Power Consumption 75 W (typical)
Power Save Mode Less than 2 W
Physical Specifications Height Adjustment Range 82 mm
Tilt / Swivel / Pivot 40° 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 Weight With Stand: 10.2 kg / 22.5 lbs
Without Stand: 7.0 kg / 15.4 lbs
Auto Brightness Functions Auto Brightness Stabilization
Auto Adjustment Functions Auto Adjustment, Range Adjustment
Display Mode Options Fine Contrast (sRGB, Custom, Calibration)
Hardware Portrait Display Function ActiveRotation II
ScreenManager OSD Adjustment Functions Screen Adjustment Clock, Phase, Position, Resolution, Range Adjustment (Auto), Signal Filter, Screen Size (full screen, enlarge, normal), Smoothing (5 stages), Border Intensity
Colour Adjustment Brightness, 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 Settings Analog: PowerManager (VESA DPMS)
Digital: PowerManager (DVI DMPM)
Other Settings Signal 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 Standards TCO'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 Accessories AC 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
Warranty Five 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.

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The views in this article represent those of Keith Cooper.
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