HP's Compaq Q2009 design is extremely pedestrian, but you'd expect that for a monitor in this price range. Its 20-inch LCD sits in a slightly rounded bezel with controls that run down the lower right-hand side. The stand is small, squat and plastic with a total tilt range of 30 degrees — 5 degrees forwards and 25 backwards. As with the recently reviewed HP 2309m, the monitor sits rather low on the average desk, and for most office working situations you'd be well served to place it on a thick phone book to ensure you're not craning your neck downwards at an awkward angle. At least that'll give you a use for phone books in this day and age, which is nice.
The 20-inch LCD panel in the Q2009 has a top resolution of 1600x900 with a claimed contrast of 1000:1 and brightness of 300cd/m². Refresh rate is stated at 5ms, which very clearly marks this out as a productivity screen, not a gaming or video one. That's an observation that's confirmed by the fact that the Q2009 only has two inputs — and one of those is for audio. This is a D-Sub input only monitor, and that means it's never going to be the most thrilling in terms of visual fidelity.
The Q2009 shares the similar HP 2309m's menu layout, and this means that it uses a single button to bring up either viewing modes, volume levels or correction menus, with the other buttons then being used for up, down and selection duties. It's no doubt a cheaper way to wire a set of buttons for HP, but at the user end we find it a bit fiddly for practical use, as you've got to perform extra button presses for simple tasks such as audio selection.
On the audio front, there's a simple word that can be used to describe the Q2009's bottom mounted speaker: tinny. For website sounds and the odd bit of YouTube viewing it might just be passable, but it's unsuitable for any kind of nuanced music or gameplay function.
Over D-Sub we weren't expecting the Q2009 to do much to impress us in DisplayMate's tests, and indeed it didn't. Colours weren't particularly crisp, and greyscale reproduction topped out a little low, but it would be unrealistic to expect anything else. Gaming and video tests gave us the same essentially murky outlook, but again that's going to be par for the course over this kind of connection. It's certainly not unwatchable, but there are a lot of better panels out there, generally at higher starting RRPs.
The Q2009 is an absolute case of getting what you pay for. If you need a screen to plonk yourself in front of for text reading or web page viewing, it's fine for that task. If you want video, gaming or genuine colour reproduction, it's not fine for that task, and it's priced entirely appropriately.