Price: £2,635 inc VAT
Pros: Very high-quality and accurate colour output. Paper matching. Excellent software. Bundled hood.
Cons: Pricey. Curious lack of DisplayPort for 30-bit colour.
Eizo’s ColorEdge CG303W is, quite possibly, the best monitor an artist or designer could hope for. It combines a superb panel, incredibly accurate colour output, and well-conceived controls supported by great software.
This 30-inch monitor has a high-quality IPS panel with a resolution of 2,560-x-1,600. While you can now get this resolution over 27-inches on Dell’s UltraSharp U2711 (or Apple’s 27-inch iMac), it feels more comfortable on the eyes over long periods at the larger size. Behind this is a processing system that works in a 12-bits-per-colour space to ensure that the colours output by your graphics card are accurately mapped to the CG303W’s own space.
The CG303W is capable of outputting 30-bit colour, and this is where it gets odd. This is only an option for Windows users, as you need an AMD ATI FirePro or nVidia Quadro board to do this. Most 30-bit sets up use DisplayPort as it’s native to the standard – but the CG303W uses dual-link DVI, which requires support for specific monitors to be built into each graphics card. It’ll work fine with the current generation of boards – but future support isn’t guaranteed.
Everything else about the CG303W seems so considered and tailored to the needs of creatives. The excellent bundled ColorNavigator software works with most standard hardware, including X-Rite’s Eye-One and DataColor’s Spyders. There’s also colour matching for paper, a bundled hood to keep lighting consistent and even a Screen Cleaner Kit (that’s also great for cleaning your glasses).
Slight 30-bit quibbles aside – this is an exceptional monitor that’s more than worth its high price.