Last year, I tried to spruce up my sad bedroom with an electronic art display — the EO2. Over the past few months, I’ve been testing the EO2’s competitor: the Meural. As compared to the EO2, the Meural is more refined. The display’s anti-glare finish, white matting, and 27-inch display make it look like it belongs in a gallery. That’s the idea, actually, and it instantly makes my room more sophisticated.
What is it?
The Meural is an electronic art display. You choose art from Meural’s app and website. The company has partnerships with lots of major museums, so they provide big-name art. I frequently displayed Van Gogh, for example. It’s definitely a step up from the “Starry Night” poster you had in your dorm room. Unlike the EO2, which requires a subscription, art is included in the cost of the Meural display.
What’s so special about it?
Meural varies greatly from the EO2. It includes gesture controls, and, for once, they make sense and work. Yes, they really work. I, too, was shocked. You can swipe in the air to the left or right to change the displayed art. You can swipe up for more information on the art, like who created it and what it is, exactly. It’s sort of like a museum placard. Swiping down gives you access to your settings, like its Wi-Fi and sleep mode. The key differentiator is the type of art you can access. Electric Objects is sort of like the Tumblr of electronic art displays. The company partners with and commissions really cool digital artists, whereas Meural seems to have more stock of classic paintings and photos. Personally, I enjoyed Electric Objects’ art more, especially its videos, but I infinitely prefer Meural’s display. So take that as you will. The Meural costs $595 whereas the EO2 only costs $299 for the display and $9.99 for the monthly Art Club subscription.
How easy was it to set up and use?
Set up was extremely easy. You can hang the display either vertically or horizontally, and the available art is tailored to that orientation. Wi-Fi pairing is relatively easy, too. Meural walks you through pairing. But once it’s up on your wall, I found it be slightly difficult to use because I never could get my app to find the Meural on my network. I typically had to reset the device and pair it again for it to work. That said, if you load it up with art from the start it’s possible you’ll never really need to control it from the app because it has local storage. Still, it’s brutally frustrating to deal with connection issues every single time I wanted to check out the app. This is a huge pain point and one that needs remedying.
How well did it work?
Other than the connection issues, the display worked well. It stayed on during the day and turned off immediately when dusk hit or I closed all my blinds because it has an ambient light sensor. I ended up having to add art through Meural’s website because of those pesky connection issues. This is a huge ask and makes zero sense. I don’t want to take my laptop out to add art to my art display. Using the gesture controls to switch between art was easy, and they honestly might be the most reliable and useful gesture controls I’ve ever used.
Am I happier or more fulfilled?
I’ve enjoyed having the Meural on my wall for the past few months. It does bring me happiness, and I like that I can tailor it to the vibes of my room / how I’m feeling on a specific day.
Should you get one?
I consider Meural a luxury item. If you’re going to invest in an electric art display, I’d consider Meural, especially because art is included in the cost. That said, $595 is a lot of money, so you have to be sure it’s something you want and would use. It certainly spruced my room up, and I think it would be a lovely addition to any home, if you’re willing to deal with persistent connection issues.