ColorEdge CG220 review

  • Expert Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

  • Price When Reviewed: 3189 . 117

  • Pros: The best handling of colour available from an LCD monitor, and fantastic display quality. Good ergonomics and high-level of user control.

  • Cons: Hugely expensive – a CRT could match it for quality at a fraction of the price, if you could buy one.

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We’ve only seen one LCD monitor so far that could be said to truly challenge the colour ability of the CRT: Barco’s Coloris Calibrator. Unfortunately, that model was withdrawn in December 2004 due to issues with the quality of components, and with CRTs on their last legs, there’s a gap in the market for high-end displays for creatives.

Now, Eizo is attempting to tackle the issue with its latest ColorEdge monitor for designers, the CG220. It offers the same focus on colour – being the first LCD monitor capable of displaying the whole gamut of the Adobe RGB colour space – and has an inevitably high price.

For an LCD, the ColorEdge 220 is enormous – though it will still take up less of your desk space than a LaCie electron22blue, for example. The 22-inch screen is surrounded by a thick black bezel and supported by a tree-trunk of a base. Around the monitor sits a small hood for keeping ambient glare off the screen. Part of the hood slides off to allow a calibration device to hang without having to remove the whole thing.

Eizo does it

A calibration device is a must. Eizo ships the CG220 with its own ColorNavigator software, which is designed to work with GretagMacbeth’s Eye-One device. ColorNavigator works with both Macs and PCs. It’s simple to use and offers a wide level of control.

After calibrating your monitor – and even before – the quality of the CG220 is immediately obvious. Even to the naked eye, the level of colour accuracy and depth is better than LaCie’s Photon20vision II, which is currently the LCD of choice for designers. Assuming the rest of your workflow from input (camera, scanner) to output (proofer, press) is properly calibrated, there’s currently no better way of making sure that what you see is what you get.

We examined the colour profile created by ColourNavigator and the Eye-One in Chromix ColorThink 2.1. The colour range available for output by the CG220 is the largest available on any LCD display we’ve seen by a wide margin – though it didn’t quite cover the Adobe RGB gamut (see diagram, below). It was also one of the most accurate we’ve seen.

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The 1,920-x-1,200 resolution allows a large amount of detailed information to be shown: an A4 spread – plus palettes – was perfectly readable in InDesign. Only the slow response rate of 37ms is a disappointment – but this monitor isn’t aimed at video professionals.
The ColorEdge CG220 is a fantastic monitor but the price is going to be too high for the majority of designers – though you can reduce it a bit by going for the Colour Confidence DisplayProof System bundle from TypeMaker, which essentially bundles the Eye-One calibrator and a colour management guide for the same £3,189 plus VAT price. TypeMaker also claim to check the monitor to a higher standard.
You’re essentially paying over £3,000 for a monitor created to match £700 CRTs. However, if your clients require that level of colour accuracy (or you’re just rich), the CG220 is an exceptional product. Those on lower budgets may want to wait for LaCie’s forthcoming 321 LCD Monitor, which claims to match CRTs for colour but is more affordable at just over £950 plus VAT.
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