If you’re old enough like me to remember buying CRT displays, then you remember wanting one from NEC. From the earliest MultiSync displays NEC made some of the finest CRT displays of anyone. They were never cheap, but it was easy to see the difference and to understand where your money was going. With LCD displays it is harder to find the difference between a good model and a high-end, professional display like the NEC PA242W. Thankfully SpectraCal added some tools to CalMAN to help me illustrate what makes it different.
Out of the box, the NEC PA242W offers a huge selection of adjustment. You will probably want to open the manual to see what they all are, since there are far more than a conventional display. It allows for five display presets where you can pick your color gamut, white point, gamma, and more. What is even more impressive is that when you select these the NEC PA242W is dead accurate. Not “closer to accurate” like most displays, but accurate. Even without a single bit a calibration the NEC PA242W will be more accurate than almost any other display you can buy. Having five presets makes it easy to work in different color gamuts, such as sRGB and AdobeRGB, without any issue.
The optional SpectraView software makes it easy to add even more presets and calibrate them to be totally accurate. The NEC PA242W is easily the most accurate display I have ever used, though it is priced like it. My full review at AnandTech has dozens of charts and data on it, as well as even more commentary on just how accurate the display is.