NEC AccuSync AS231WM: 23-inch Touch Monitor NEC introduced several energy-efficient AccuSync monitors: AS171 (5:4 17-inch), AS191 (5:4 19-inch), AS191WM (16:9 19-inch), AS221WM (16:9 22-inch), and AS231WM (16:9 23-inch). All have garnered EPEAT Silver, Energy Star 5.0 and TCO 5.0 credentials. NEC has improved energy efficiency by using only half the number of CCFL tubes in the backlight unit. Power consumption and mercury content are both reduced by 50%. Power consumption is just 20 watts in eco mode on the touch-enabled AS231WM. Connectivity options include VGA, DVI with HDCP. Other specs are a 1920×1080 pixel format, 1000:1 contrast ratio, a brightness of 250 cd/m² and a 5ms response time.

NEC wanted to improve its green quotient but also wanted these new monitors to be affordable. The AS231WM is expected to have a street price of US$269. Any LCD monitor that uses the typical CCFL backlight, which requires the use of mercury, a known carcinogen, is not a green monitor. Affordability is not an excuse to pretend a product is green when in fact it is not. With a focus on innovation and reducing manufacturing costs by employing new technologies in a mass scale I am certain single-sided LED-backlit LCD monitors can be sold for only a small premium over these non-green models. LEDs enable thinner models; smaller packaging also means less transportation costs per monitor. LEDs are solid-state so they are more rugged and turn on instantly. Most importantly LEDs do not require the use of mercury. Next time, I hope to see real green monitors from NEC.