HP ZR30W review

27 Sep 2010

HP’s gargantuan screen delivers luscious image quality, but it’s light on features compared to some

HP ZR30W
Price when reviewed 
1,072
5

HP’s new flagship monitor is a sight to behold, and beneath its sleek good-looks lies the kind of performance to make any PC owner go weak at the knees. Its 10-bit IPS panel is capable of displaying a staggering 1.07 billion colours – if you have a 10-bit workstation-class graphics card, that is – and is partnered with a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. HP also claims the monitor covers 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space.

Delta E

Delta E is a figure that represents the difference between the desired colour and the colour displayed onscreen. Below 1.0 is indistinguishable to the human eye; an experienced viewer may notice differences around 3-4. We measure Delta E with a colorimeter before and after calibration.

Alas, it offers none of the high-end features of many of its professional competitors. There’s no onscreen display, nor programmable look-up tables to allow for hardware calibration. The front-mounted buttons do nothing more than flick between the DVI and DisplayPort inputs, adjust brightness, engage dynamic contrast and turn the monitor on and off.

Ridding the ZR30w of an OSD does have its benefits. Input lag is almost non-existent at 14ms – something gamers will particularly appreciate – and many users will have little desire to change the ZR30w’s out-of-the-box performance.

Even before calibration, the HP leaves most monitors looking drab. Brightness exceeds HP’s claimed 370cd/m[sup]2[/sup], measuring 385cd/m[sup]2[/sup], and colour accuracy is immediately impressive: our Lacie Blue Eye Pro colorimeter reported an average colour difference, measured in Delta E, of just 1.7. A measured contrast ratio of 875:1 was also impressive.

HP ZR30W

Calibration eked even more out of the ZR30w’s panel, and at our standard settings the Delta E dropped to 0.4. Our subjective testing bore out these results. The ZR30w laid bare every detail in our test photos, and our 1080p HD clips looked simply fantastic. As with all wide gamut displays, though, there is the thorny issue of oversaturated colours once you move outside colour-managed applications.

Few 30in monitors can lay claim to being particularly eco-friendly, but with the HP set to a sensible 120cd/m[sup]2[/sup] brightness, it drew just 67W from the mains. Evidently the H2-IPS panel at the heart of HP's ZR30W is a little more efficient than earlier panel technologies - we've seen other 30in monitors draw nearer 100W at similar brightness settings.

Those interested in print-accurate colours may bemoan the lack of hardware calibration, as well as the absence of an sRGB emulation mode, but the HP ZR30w still has the kind of image quality that will leave everyone else gasping. If you want a superb – and comparatively affordable – 30in monitor you can enjoy with minimum hassle, the ZR30w has no peer.

Details

Price ex VAT £912
Price inc VAT £1,072
Overall rating 5
Image quality 6
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 5

Main specifications

Screen size 30.0in
Aspect ratio 16:10
Resolution 2560 x 1600
Screen brightness 370cd/m2
Pixel response time 12ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Dynamic contrast ratio 3,000:1
Pixel pitch 0.250mm
Horizontal viewing angle 178 degrees
Vertical viewing angle 178 degrees
Speaker type N/A
Speaker power ouput N/A
TV tuner no
TV tuner type N/A

Connections

DVI inputs 1
VGA inputs 0
HDMI inputs 0
DisplayPort inputs 1
Scart inputs 0
HDCP support yes
Upstream USB ports 0
USB ports (downstream) 0
3.5mm audio input jacks 0
Headphone output no
Other audio connectors 0

Accessories supplied

Other cables supplied DisplayPort
Internal power supply yes

Power consumption

Peak power consumption 145W
Idle power consumption 67W

Image adjustments

Brightness control? yes
Contrast control? no
Colour temperature settings N/A
Extra adjustments N/A

Ergonomics

Forward tilt angle 35 degrees
Backward tilt angle -5 degrees
Swivel angle 45 degrees
Height adjustment 100mm
Pivot (portrait) mode? no
Bezel width 27mm

Dimensions

Dimensions 694 x 276 x 589mm (WDH)
Weight 13.000kg