The HP 2310e is a stylish-looking monitor with a great build quality that makes it feel more expensive than its $250 price tag. It delivers great performance, useful connection options, including DisplayPort, and a robust onscreen display (OSD). While its performance is somewhat lacking compared with the Samsung PX2370, its $50 lower price goes a long way toward making up for it.
Design and features
From a strictly sexy aesthetic design standpoint, the 23-inch HP 2310e hits a high-water mark. Both its screen and bezel are a glossy piano black, and its corners are smooth and rounded. The initial panel depth is a very shallow 0.4 inch, one of the thinnest we've ever seen. The panel extends back another 1.25 inches to include the connection options, bringing its full depth to about 1.65 inches. The right and left bezel are 0.9 inch in width and the distance from the bottom of the bezel to the desktop is 2.6 inches. The full width of the display is 21.9 inches, about the same as the Samsung PX2370.
The rectangular footstand has a smooth, gray, almost glittery-looking finish and is 10.6 inches in width and 5.6 inches in depth. Knocking the panel from the sides produced virtually no wobbling; however, when knocked from the back the monitor tends to topple quite easily. At the top of the neck of the stand is a hinge that allows the panel to tilt back 10 degrees. Directly above the hinge are three connection options aligned horizontally: DVI, HDMI, and Display Port. The connections face outward and as a result are very easy to access. About 3 inches above the connections is a circular, glowing white HP logo that looks really cool in the dark.
At the middle of the bottom of the bezel is a silver, raised HP logo. On the far right side of the bezel is the power indicator light/power button, which glows a cool light green. In between the logo and power indicator are seven vertical slashes. Touching near these slashes activates the OSD array, which appears along the bottom of the bezel as glowing white LED touch areas/buttons. The OSD buttons include a source button, a preset shortcut menu button, an enter button, and a menu button. There's also a plus and minus button, which allows you to navigate up and down in the menus and adjust attributes. As an alternative, rubbing your finger across the slashes is a more elegant navigation solution. Navigating the OSD, which consists mostly of vertical menus, took a few minutes to get warmed up to. A couple of buttons have additional functions beyond their primary use; for example, the menu button acts as a back button once in the menu. Also, we found no way to go back in the menu without completely backing out and closing it. Once we got used to the initial quirkiness, we found the interface to be mostly unobtrusive. Also, thanks to the LED buttons, calibrating in a dark room should prove painless.
Presets include Movie, Photo, Gaming, Text and Custom. Each preset automatically adjusts the contrast and color temperature in an effort to be more appropriate to the task at hand. The OSD also includes individual Brightness, Contrast, and Sharpness options. Color options include three color presets: 9,500K, 6,500K, and SRGB. Also, the Custom preset allows you to adjust the red, green, and blue values separately. The OSD also includes the option to turn off the various LEDs on the monitor (like the OSD buttons) to save power.
|Connectivity:||HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort|
|Ergonomic options:||10-degree back tilt|
|Included video cables?||DVI|
|Number of presets:||5|
|Picture options:||Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness|
|Color controls:||RGB controls, Color Temperature: 9,300K, 6,500K, SRGB|
|Additional features:||Dynamic Contrast Ratio mode|
We tested the HP 2310e through its DVI input, connected to a Windows Vista PC and a DVI cable from our ever-growing DVI cable hoard. The display posted a composite score of 93 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests--only a couple points lower than the Samsung PX2370's 96. We didn't see much compression at the light or dark ends of the various color scales tests that populate our test suite, but we did notice that the color wasn't as accurate as on the PX2370. In some tests the red looked slightly orange; however, when we switched to the Custom preset and lowered the green down to about 195, we saw a marked improvement. Unfortunately, the colors still didn't pop as well as the PX2370's colors did.
Thanks to the 2310e's lower brightness, it performed better than the PX2370 in our dark screen test, showing only slight clouding on the top and bottom middle edges of the screen. Also, in our Motion Bitmaps test we saw noticeably more streaking on the 2310e than the PX2370 showed; however, this did not carry over to our real-world games and movie tests.
In text, we saw no color problems with black text on a white background. Fonts were visible down to a 6.8 size.
We tested the HP 2310e in its Movie preset, using the Blu-ray version of "Avatar." The 2310e displayed the nighttime scenes in the movie without missing any of the dark details, like the hair of the Na'vi. The display also showed the picture with vibrancy and with mostly accurate color. However, the picture was slightly--only slightly--greenish compared with the PX2370. When we lowered the green attribute to 195, however, we saw more accurate, but less vibrant color. Also, the picture was not quite as sharp as the PX2370's.
Because of our intimate familiarity with World of Warcraft (WoW), it remains the best tool for judging color quality and vibrancy in games. We looked at WoW in the HP 2310e's Game preset and found the display delivered a vibrant image with a good level of pop to the color. Not quite as eye-popping as the PX2370, however.