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SpectraView Reference 271 Display

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Quick review – SV Reference 271 display

SpectraView Reference 271

SpectraView Reference 271

As part of our recent review of the basICColor Discus colorimeter, we were kindly lent a SpectraView Reference 271 LCD display by NEC UK.

This is the higher spec version of the 27″ PA271 display

It’s very much aimed at the proofing, pre-press and design markets, where its wide colour gamut (~Adobe98) and internal 14 bit LUT allow it to be calibrated and profiled to great accuracy.

Basic Specs (from NEC – full specs)

  • Size – 27″
  • Aspect Ratio – 16:9
  • Colours – 10 bit per colour
  • 14-bit LUT for each RGB channel
  • Brightness [cd/m²] – 300
  • Contrast – 1000:1
  • Resolution (optimum) – 2560 x 1440
  • Response Time [ms] – 12

As a commercial photographer and fine art printer, I really appreciate the quality it offers, but I don’t work in these areas of particularly demanding colour accuracy.

The device comes with a full set of interface leads to connect to its wide range of input options, (2x DVI-D and DisplayPort amongst them)

sv271 interfaces

sv271 interfaces

It connected to my Mac Pro (ATI Radeon HD 4870 display card) with no trouble, working fine alongside my old Apple 23″ Cinema display (actually behind the 271 in this picture).

SR271 display with Discus calibrator

NEC SR271 display with Discus calibrator

As you’ll see, my normal work environment is not the grey painted temple to colour neutrality that you’ll find in some establishments…

I’ve also not fitted the light shielding you can see in the top photo.

Here’s the calibration/profile validation from using the Discus and basICColor software – the screen also comes with NEC’s SpectraView profiler software

SR 271 profiling data

SR 271 profiling data

I’d have to say that I was impressed by the evenness and excellent colour rendition.

The profiling with the Discus showed off the screen quality compared to normal profiling solutions (i1/spyder) and supported the internal hardware calibration too.

The high resolution might cause some difficulties with interface element size for general use – I found myself picking up my glasses far more often. Until more resolution independence is built into operating systems and applications, then this is an issue with -any- high resolution monitor.  The wide gamut of the monitor can also make interface elements and icons take on a very bright coloured look if you set the Gamma to something like L* rather than the more common Gamma 2.2.

The monitor offered far more inputs than I’d ever normally use, but I can appreciate their presence – particularly the DisplayPort connector, although you’ll need an adapter to the mini version found on Macs.

Personally, I have no need for multiple system support or picture in picture – but if you can’t connect to this monitor, you’ve an unusual computer setup.

Some physical aspects of the back of the case seemed a bit more lightweight and plastic than I’d thought – particularly the height adjustment catch was very stiff.

The menus were fairly easy to use, but one weird feature in the on-screen display stood out. There are some readings related to ‘carbon savings’ that are available – just what is this in aid of?   It seems just a bit over the top – but I suppose it will help tick a few boxes… there is far more in a similar vein at the NEC web site.


Well worth a look if your work requires extremely accurate and repeatable colour rendition.

Worked well, and very easy to set up on our Mac Pro.

Price  £1590 inc VAT from Native Digital, who arranged the loan monitor for us from NEC UK.

NEC offers a three-year warranty including backlights (as well as a five-year optional warranty) and a six-month warranty against pixel failure from the date of purchase.

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