Eizo CG303W 30" professional display, XRite Color Munki calibrator
I discuss a display and a display calibrator below, made by different companies.
Eizo CG303W 30" display
Update: Eizo was not aware of the mouse issue, and said they call me for details, but Friday has come and gone without a call. The mouse jump problem (see below) also exists on my 6-core Mac Pro. Hopefully it can be sorted out, but it’s hard to believe that Eizo has not seen this problem before, especially so since I have very credible evidence that it exists last year prior to a firmware update. Apparently, the issue still is not fixed.
Update 2: since I cannot yet calibrate the Zeiss (more on that below), I took a look with the stock profile the system finds (specific to the CG303W), and it’s poor— visible banding on a gradient, and too warm. So I cannot yet assess the display.
Eizo displays are top of the line units for professionals, so I was excited when Eizo graciously agreed to send me the ColorEdge CG303W for evaluation. Today I received it. The CG303W is a top of the line display which costs about US$5000. Physically, it's very nice: adjustment fore/aft, left/right, height/etc, black bezel. Two DVI ports (no DisplayPort). Even before calibrating (the system finds a profile for it automatically), it was apparent that it's an exceptionally high quality display.
The included hood is outstanding— but not very compatible with a 2nd display abutted to the CG303W for a continuous desktop, because the hood is 8 inches deep.
However, I immediately ran into two issues with the CG303W. I have not yet heard from Eizo on these issues, but the integrity of my reviews demands that I serve my readers first. My experience is a fact that any user could encounter, and therefore entirely relevant to prospective buyers. I'm sorely disappointed to have to say it, but it's what I'd want to know myself before buying.
(1) The CG303W has a fan, which vents out at the top of the display. Since the fan is right in front of me, the noise is more noticeable than my fully-loaded 12-core Mac Pro under my desk— and unacceptably distracting in my soothingly quiet office, no small matter when working 12-14 hours daily.
Auditory pollution 14 hours a day is a non-starter for me; it's a stressor. It's not that the noise is particularly loud, it's just that in a quiet environment it dominates. And I suppose that in even slightly noisy environments, one won't hear it. It might not bother many users, but it bothers me (perhaps I fall into the 15-20% of people who are "highly sensitive"). And some people just really are not bothered by such things, but I can't change my sensitivities any more than I can change the color of my eyes.
I'm told that smaller Eizo displays do not have a fan. In my view, a fan or lack thereof should be called out loud and clear in the marketing materials, but I cannot find the word "fan" anywhere in the marketing page, or the specifications.
(2) Mouse jump— I immediately noticed a herky-jerky problem with the mouse cursor, some might call it "mouse jump". I disconnected the Color Munki (not an Eizo product), as well as the USB cable to the CG303W. The problem persisted, even after several reboots and twiddling the Mouse control panel. I then disconnected the Eizo and reconnected my trusty NEC 30". The mouse problem, which had never before existed prior to the Eizo, disappeared immediately. I count on precise mouse movement in Photoshop and the like and cannot tolerate this issue.
If the Eizo folks can address these two issues, I'm all ears. But as it stands, either issue precludes using it for me.
Color Munki calibrator
The Eizo CG303W does not come with its own calibrator unit. The XRite Color Munki folks sent me an evaluation unit of the Color Munki spectrophotometer. The Color Munki (about $500) is multi-purpose display/projector/printer profiling device, highly respected by those working critically with color.
I tried calibrating the Eizo CG303W using the Color Munki. I tilted the display back to its limit, I positioned it as shown in the diagram, playing with the weighted strap appropriately (I've done similar things many times before with other brands). I guess I'm a dummy, because I could not get the Munki to balance and stay flat over the test target. Then I tried adjusting the zipper on the case, and it immediately separated (I forced nothing, it just came apart). I was not successful in rejoining the zipper, and since the Munki cannot be used without the case zippered around it, game over.
To put it simply: my NEC 30" has worked without incident for the past 18 months (ditto for the 27" PA271W). No mouse problems, no fan, and the BK-SV model comes bundled with its own calibrator that balances without issue on the screen. Click a few buttons and I'm done. I'll forgo theoretical superiority for a system that is simple and easy for the 98% result.