HP offers an exceptional LCD monitor in the market with the HP ZR30W LCD monitor, a 30″ monster that offers impressive color resolution. It comes with an S-IPS.How should you go about determining what size monitor to buy? It’s simple – go out and purchase the biggest, baddest display you can afford, because really, you only get one shot at this thing called life, so why waste it staring at a 23-inch panel…….
Suffice it to say, when HP asked if we were interested in evaluating their new ZR30w display, we answered ‘yes’ before they were finished giving us their pitch. We didn’t need to hear the rest – the fact that this is a ginormous 30-inch display built around a sexy S-IPS panel is all we needed to know. S-IPS, or Super In-Plane Switching, is the Rolls Royce of display panels and almost always offers significantly better color reproduction and far wider viewing angles than the much more common (and cheaper to produce) Twisted Nematic (TN) panels. S-IPS displays also tend to tap deeper into your gold reserve than TN-based monitors, and when you’re talking about 30 inches of screen real estate, things can get expensive awfully quick. Or at least that used to be the case.
The market for 30-inch monitors is growing, but that’s not the same as saying that your options are plentiful. You’ll have a far easier time finding high-res 24- and 27-inch screens to toss together, but if you’ve got your mind set on a single LCD workspace, HP’s ZR30w has to be on the short list. Coming in at an altogether respectable $1,299, this panel offers oodles of pixels (2,560 x 1,600) and top-shelf image quality. Critics over at Hot Hardware were thoroughly pleased with the results, keeping in mind that this was designed for the creative professional.
Pitted against other 30-inch displays on the market, the ZR30w is one of the least expensive models around. And unlike your other components, it’s probably not going to become obsolete in 6-12 months, so we tend to view the price point as a positive in this case. Barring any manufacturing defects or unfortunate acts of God, a quality monitor can potentially last several years without being any worse for wear.
Right off the bat we have to give HP kudos for listing the ZR30w’s typical contrast ratio rather than the dynamic one. Contrast ratios measure the range between the brightest and darkest points a display can produce, and the higher the contrast ratio, the deeper the blacks, resulting in better detail in low light scenes. In an attempt to one-up the competition, monitor makers have begun listing dynamic contrast ratios. These are measurements of the brightest whites and darkest blacks a display can possibly produce, just never at the same time, so it’s not as useful as a typical contrast ratio.
The rest of the spec sheet is pretty typical of a 30-inch monitor, save for the 30-bit panel. According to HP, the ZR30w comes capable of delivering 4.1 million pixels and a staggering 1.07 billion displayable colors, enough to cover up to 100 percent of the sRGB and 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color ranges. It’s clear HP is targeting graphics professionals and anyone else who values color accuracy above all else.
Specifications and Features :
||2560 x 1600|
||7 ms (GTG)|
||178º / 178º (Horizontal / Vertical)|
||<2W standby / 185W maximum / 135W typical|
||Ring – Tilt Adjustable|
|I/O Ports||5 USB 2.0|
|Dimensions (with stand)
||27.3″ x 23.3″ x 10.9″. (WxHxD)|
|Power Cord, D-sub Cable, HDMI to DVI Cable
Quick Start Guide, Ring Stand
||3 Years (Parts, Labor, On-Site Service)|
They did knock the lack of ports (only a DisplayPort and DVI connector are included), but the lack of inputs was just about all they could kvetch about. Performance was deemed “exceptional,” color reproduction was said to be “superb” and it even managed to hold its own while gaming. You may not be a big fan of the plain styling, but those source links are definitely worth a look if you’ve been teetering on this here fence.
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