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NEC MultiSync E273F review: A great-value and high-quality choice

A 27in USB-C monitor designed for large rollouts, the Full HD E273F lacks frills but delivers on the essentials

A photograph of the NEC MultiSync E273F
Price
£288 exc VAT
  • Extremely adjustable
  • Capable performance for whites
  • Strong docking capabilities
  • Good value
  • DisplayPort isn’t compatible with mini-DisplayPort adapters

NEC has designed the MultiSync E273F for the new – or at least, new-ish – world of hybrid working. One filled with laptop-based workers who hustle between home, office and coffee shop on any given day, and who would rather not bring their charger with them on their travels. 

That’s relevant here because the E273F features a USB-C input capable of delivering 65W to any connected machine; that’s enough power for all the best business laptops. In a hot desking environment, it then makes sense for the USB-A ports at the monitor’s rear to be connected to a keyboard and mouse, with a third USB-A port easily accessible on the side.

Naturally, if this monitor is to be used for hot desking then it must cater for all-comers when it comes to display inputs, so it’s reassuring to see both HDMI and DisplayPort present. One curiosity is that the DisplayPort isn’t compatible with mini-DisplayPort adapters, and when we tested this with our Microsoft Surface Dock (which includes a mini-DisplayPort output) the E273F wouldn’t display anything until we disconnected it. Something to tell your service desk before calls come in complaining about a broken screen.

If a monitor is to be used by a number of different people, then it also needs an intuitive onscreen display, and the E273F achieves this by using text rather than symbols. Press any of the four control buttons on the display’s front and you’re given access to Picture, Sound, Setup and Information, which you navigate by touching the corresponding button; labels appear for Enter, Down, Up or Exit. If your IT team wants to reduce the options then it can activate the OSD lock during setup, giving users the choice of brightness, contrast and volume.

As “volume” indicates, the E273F includes speakers, but think video calls and news bulletins rather than enjoying music or movies. Depth, subtlety and bass aren’t words you will be associating with the E273F’s 1W audio output, but it’s still good to have built-in speakers, and users can take advantage of the side-mounted 3.5mm jack if they connect over USB-C.

A photograph of the NEC MultiSync E273F from the side

Where this monitor surprises is its flexibility and slim bezels. We mention the two together because you could easily put a duo of these screens side by side in portrait format. Because the E273F rotates in both directions (which is by no means always the case), the centimetre-thick bezel at the bottom can be placed at either edge. It’s also joyously easy to twist the screen through a 340° circle – the main limiting factor is the short 1m USB-C cable that comes in the box – and 130mm of smooth height adjustment will make it easy for users to place the MultiSync in the right ergonomic position.

Then we come to the 27in panel itself. As you may have anticipated considering the price, it’s a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 panel rather than a 2,560 x 1,440 or even 4K display. While more pixels are always welcome, a Full HD resolution is enough to satisfy the needs of most office workers. We replaced our regular 4K 32in display with the E273F for three weeks during our tests, and in general use – such as web browsing, email, writing, Wordle – we found it to be perfectly sufficient. Sometimes even helpful, as you generally have one window open rather than a jumble. But there were times when we wished it was 1440p instead, especially when working in data-dense spreadsheets.

Naturally, we put the panel through a bunch of technical tests along with real-world ones. NEC quotes a typical peak brightness of 250cd/m2, and our unit hit 255cd/m2 with its native colour profile. This covered 86% of the sRGB gamut (out of a 96% volume) with an average Delta E of 1.43, 1,020:1 contrast ratio and 7048K colour temperature.

You can use the OSD to switch to its sRGB profile, which increased sRGB coverage a fraction (to 88%) but more tellingly adjusted the colour temperature to 6379K. So, closer to that gamut’s target of 6500K. If that doesn’t sound like much of a difference then you’re right, but we were more than happy with the crisp whites and colour coverage when using the panel at its native and sRGB settings. You can also jump to temperature presets of 7500K and 9300K if you prefer.

In many ways, then, this is a simple, conservative monitor. It won’t dazzle you with colours, but it will impress with its whites. It’s only a Full HD panel, but that panel comes wrapped up in a slim bezel and is supported by a flexible and solidly built stand. And while the MultiSync’s list price is around £290 exc VAT, it’s far more likely to be bought in bulk, with discounts to match. If you intend to update your office with hotdesking-friendly monitors in either black or white finishes, the E273F is a great-value and high-quality choice.

NEC MultiSync E273F specifications

Screen size

27in

Screen resolution

1,920 x 1,080

Screen technology

6-bit + FRC IPS panel (16.7 million colours)

Screen refresh rate

75Hz, 6ms response time 

Video inputs

DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, USB-C (power delivery up to 65W)

Audio inputs/outputs

3.5mm jack

Speakers

2 x 1W speakers

Ports

3 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports

Adjustability

Portrait mode, -5° to 25° tilt, 340° swivel, 130mm height adjustment

Dimensions

611 x 278 x 391-521mm

Weight

8.4kg  

Warranty

3yr RTB warranty

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