Recently I had the pleasure of spending a little over a month with the Multisync PA322UHD 4K monitor from NEC, and after using this beast for all my video and photo editing…I’m not sure I’m going to be able to go back to my laptop screen. The NEC PA322UHD is an incredible high end, color accurate professional display that can produce some of the best images in the industry and is clearly designed and targeted towards the high-end coloring/editing visual professionals.
Once the box showed up at my door, my first impression and thought was to call a friend to help me actually maneuver it into my home! Buyers be warned, it’s HUGE and heavy! Once I had it unpacked and ready to connect to my computer, I pretty much fell in love right away. Upscaling at 1080p over the HDMI connection left a little to be desired, but once you make the swap to the proper thunderbolt/4k connections, that’s where the magic happens. I went from squinting over a 15” display swapping desktops to go back and forth to find all the tools and apps I needed to use…to being able to have pretty much EVERYTHING at my fingertips on a single screen, and at an incredibly beautiful native resolution.
Speaking personally, once you’ve started shooting in 4K, one of the biggest pains is not being able to actually view your footage in its proper format after the fact, especially when you try and it nearly blows up your device. The first 4k video I rendered after connecting the PA322UHD my jaw nearly hit the floor. Even with the slight delays in response time from my outdated macbook pro, it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. With incredibly accurate color, a display size that makes the max resolution incredibly readable/useable, and excellent edge to edge consistency at nearly any angle, this is by far the best 4K UHD display I’ve seen to date (And yes, I’ve been to CES).
The PA322UHD display uses a wide gamut white LED backlight and an IGZO technology IPS-type LCD panel that delivers excellent image quality with lower power consumption than comparable LCD displays while delivering 99.2 percent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space. After running the device through it’s own SpectraView calibration as well as multiple passes through Datacolor Spyder Pro’s calibration in multiple settings, I can confirm this as incredibly accurate.
On top of all the other features, here are some of the other benefits of the PA322UHD Multisync Display as detailed in the official press release from NEC:
- Native resolution of 3840 x 2160 with 10-bit color support
- 350 cd/m2 brightness and 1000:1 contrast ratio
- Support for a multitude of refresh rates, including 24, 30, 50, 60, 85, 100, and 120 Hz modes
- The USB 3.0 hub (two up, three down) with DisplaySync Pro, which is a high resolution keyboard / video / mouse (KVM) switch that can control two computers with only one keyboard and mouse
- Two DisplayPort inputs, and the options of two DVI-D and two HDMI, or four HDMI inputs as well as an OPS compliant option slot for additional input flexibility
- The stand supports both landscape and portrait modes, and the display will automatically rotate the image when the display is rotated
- Color and white Digital Uniformity Correction with 93 percent more correction points than previous MultiSync PA Series displays
- Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture mode, which splits the screen in half or in quarters to up to 4 full HD images in one more multiple color spaces in real time
- Two internal 2W speakers for business-class multimedia sound
- Free MultiProfiler software for complete control of picture modes, enabling additional presets like REC 709 and simple ICC profile emulation
- Details on optional accessories can be found here
The MultiSync PA322UHD-BK ships with a four-year limited 48-hour advanced exchange parts and labor warranty, and is available from B&H (and other retailers), for approximately $3000.
- Multiple Connection options, Speakers, as well as a USB3.0 Hub
- Insane color accuracy (99%)
- Tons of work space as well as “Picture in a Picture” options
- Consistent and stunning 4k resolution
- Heavy duty, high quality, and professional build & design
- Weight! 55lbs for the whole box, and approximately 31.3 lbs for just the monitor
- The Price. At about $3,000 it’s a bit out of reach for the average pro-sumer, but in their defence, this is aimed at the more professional level market.
- At 4K, this thing will strain your computer and leave you with a noticeable input lag if you don’t have a newer and more powerful system. You’ll definitely want a good 4k capable video card and a powerful processor. My 2011 model MacBook Pro was straining at times to keep up with me.
After some pretty extensive use, (and revelation that I need to invest in a new power computer), my only opinion on downsides about this display are the weight, and the price tag. If you’re using an older computer/device that doesn’t quite have the video processing power the newer models have, you will definitely notice some overheating and/or response latency when running at the full 4k, but it’s arguable that it’s worth the wait. As a photographer and timelapser, the monitor packs a lot more punch that I actually need versus a $500-1000 competitor model, however, a working professional in the video and VFX world, or an absolute color-perfectionist, I could see this being a dream come true device for you. Is this device worth the price tag? Absolutely! But the average working photographer may have to pinch a few pennies while we wait for the price on this guy to come down a little.
We give the NEC Multisync PA322UHD 4K Monitor a 91% for exceptional quality, connection options and color accuracy at the cost of weight and price.