Spreadsheets aren't likely to be the first thing you think of when presented with a 24-inch wide-screen display. As HP's largest office-LCD product, however, the HP LP2465 shuns multimedia features for business simplicity; this monitor omits component and S-Video ports, a media card reader, and picture-in-picture. While the HP LP2465 provides a crisp and very bright picture, along with enough screen real estate for creative professionals and the busiest of multitaskers and a solid three-year warranty, the Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP remains the better deal. When we reviewed Dell's 24-inch wide-screen LCD in June, it listed for $949; Dell is now selling it for $747. HP lists the LP2465 for $989, and you can find it from other online vendors as low as $723. Even at its lowest price, the HP LP2465 doesn't give you enough of a price break to choose it over Dell's more versatile display.
The HP LP2465's design of a silver bezel framing the screen with a black base uses the opposite color screen of the Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP, which has a black bezel and a silver stand. We prefer the black bezel because it offers the best contrast to whatever it is you're viewing on your screen: an Excel sheet, an image in Photoshop, or a DVD. The LP2465's overall design is pleasing, however. The narrow bezel measures 0.75 inch thick on the top and the sides and 0.9 inch along the bottom. Four buttons for the onscreen menu (OSM) sit along the bottom front of the monitor's edge, and the menu is easy to navigate. The OSM gives you a fairly standard array of adjustment options plus some extras: you can control individual red, green, and blue color values; check the number of backlight and total usage hours; and calibrate colors. You can adjust the brightness, the contrast, the resolution, and the white point via a keyboard and mouse after installing HP's Display Assistant software (included on a CD-ROM, along with a thorough user guide).
For such a large display, the HP LP2465 is impressively stable and flexible. The 7.2-by-11.7-inch base makes the display much less prone to wobble than other LCDs we've reviewed, including the Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP and the HP LP2065. You can swivel the display 45 degrees in either direction, tilt it forward 5 degrees and back 25 degrees. When lowered all the way, the display rests 3 inches above your desk, and it can be raised up 5 inches so that the bottom edge of the display is 8 inches above your desk. The display pivots between landscape and portrait modes, and it can also be hung on a VESA wall-mount.
The cable management is simple but not always effective. A groove alongside each edge of the stand is covered by a thick piece of rubber. You can tuck the power and the video cables into the top of the stand and run them inside the grooves and out the back of the bottom of the stand. No plastic pieces to remove, figure out how to snap back into place, or break. Still, we connected our test unit with one of Belkin's PureAV DVI cables, and it proved too thick to run inside the groove--a minor inconvenience.
The screen itself is nearly identical to the Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP's; both displays provide a 1,920x1,200 native resolution, a 0.27-inch dot pitch, a rated 6ms pixel-response rate, a rated 1000:1 contrast ratio, and a wide 178-degree viewing angle. The differences occur with the features Dell and HP add to the panels. Dell gives you a media card reader; component, composite, and S-Video ports; and picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture. The UltraSharp 2407WFP is also HDCP compliant, which means it'll display copy-protected HD content. If you don't harbor plans to connect the LCD to any part of your home theater, the HP LP2465 is well outfitted, with its two DVI connectors and four USB 2.0 ports, plus one upstream USB 2.0 port. HP also earns points by including the needed cables: two DVI cables, two DVI-to-VGA cables, and a USB cable. Granted, it's not intended for multimedia use, but even if you or your office has no need for advanced video ports, we bet you would find use for the media card.