The NEC Multisync 2180 UX is a faily old Panel ( I think TFT). Back then it was a top of the line product. One of the best ones you could buy when it comes to image quality. How well do you think this panel keep up with today's average products. I suppose the technology has evolved and you can get better quality for less money. This leads us to the ulitmate question: How much would be such a panel worth nowadays? How much money would I need to spend to get at least the same screenquality and size?

  • In addition to what has been said: Sometimes you get lucky and find used lcd buyers that are looking for that exact model because they want to add a second monitor to thier current setup which matches thier main LCD. – Troggy Oct 6 '09 at 15:37

The NEC was IPS based, however I'd say its aged worse then a consumer grade TN panels from the same era - IPS is great, but an IPS with a contrast ratio of just 1:500 means that a lot of the color advantage is lost. Combined with todays higher quality TNs that can produce much better blacks then they could 5 years ago, I'd venture to say that an average consumer would rate a Best Buy 21" TN as being the "better" monitor when it came to looks (though a synthetic test would show the NEC produced more accurate colors).

What all this means in terms of the monitors "value" is that you are stuck between todays cheap TNs (sub $200), which for the average consumer look a lot better then your IPS, and todays IPS and PVA panels, which have come down in price by a lot. If someone is interested in accurate color, they're likely going to be a lot more interested in a brand new IPS like this which costs what a consumer TN used to cost, then paying a premium for someones 5 year old, 500:1 screen. About the only market I see is for people who still want 4:3 aspect ratio on a large monitor - at that point you're competing with this (though at this time its known that Dell is playing a lottery with that one - you might get an S-IPS, you might get a S-PVA).


Good condition used LCD's are worth roughly US$9 per diagonal inch, adjust downward for missing features or condition problems (like no DVI, a monitor stand that doesn't adjust up and down, scratches on the screen, etc.)

Most modern panels are TN technology, which has limited viewing angles and color banding compared to the older, better, and more expensive MVA LCD's.

Modern TN panels are supposed to have faster refresh and less ghosting, but refresh is often measured grey-to-grey and is not realistic for color games and videos. In other words, the speed difference may not be as great as the specs indicate. If you can't drag windows and watch movies without significant ghosting, deduct a little more from the value.

  • Where do you get the ~$9/inch figure? Or did you just make that up from used prices you see? I think it is a good estimate, just curious is all. – Troggy Oct 6 '09 at 15:35
  • Yes, I derived it from shopping for refurb monitors. However the price pressure from new, cheaper monitors already seems to be driving it down lower than $9. Once has to consider all the factors, like having 1200 pixel height is more valuable to me than having a wider monitor and only 1050 or 1080 pixels in the vertical. – kmarsh Oct 7 '09 at 11:58

The display was at its time a super good display.

Here is a test: http://www.prad.de/new/monitore/nec_2180ux.html

The display is an old display, but there is no real alternative available today. So if the price is right, you can definetely get it. The price should be compared to the HP LP 2065, which is still sold new today and has a S-IPS screen with the same resolution and same qualities, only slightly smaller and a little better contrast of 1:700. I think the HP is 350$, so this should go for 200$ or so. Check the menu of the display when you buy it. They might have a lamp-use timer like the Eizo's. That way you know if it is used much.

Special advantages

  • It is the biggest 4:3 screen ever made (21.3 inch)
  • 1600x1200 is a hellufalot pixels, and a better resolution for most work than todays FullHD panels (1200 pixels vertical is perfect).
  • It has a pivot function, so 1600 pixels vertical is also possible, and viewing angles are perfect.
  • The IPS panel has good colour reproduction, still better than the 95% TN screens today, and the response for games is very decent too, better than 24inch+ TN panels so it's a nice gamer screen too. Only drawback is less contrast, around 1:600 (TN is 1:1000, despite many better/fake numbers in specs)
  • Its a great MAME display

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