HP ZR30w review: HP ZR30w

Photos: The HP ZR30w delivered clear photos with good color saturation and accurate color tints.

Viewing angle: The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors as the manufacturer intended them. Most monitors are not made to be viewed from any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when not viewed from optimal angles. On the other hand, IPS panels usually show only minimal color shifts with angle changes. The HP ZR30w has an LG H-IPS (Horizontal In-Plane Switching) panel, and when viewing it from the sides, we perceived the screen as darkening about 15 inches off from center, meaning its viewing angle is more than twice as wide as that of a typical TN panel.

Recommended settings and use: The HP ZR30w does not have an OSD, and only brightness is included as an adjustment option. Not surprisingly, this severely limits the amount of customization possible with this monitor. The display does include a Dynamic Contrast Mode, but maybe you already know how we feel about dynamic contrast.

As with most IPS-based monitors, HP gears the ZR30w mostly toward professional use requiring accurate color reproduction; however, the monitor is also great for watching movies, playing games, viewing photos, and general use. Gigantic, high-res screens usually are.

Power consumption: The HP ZR30w showed poor power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 141.7 watts, compared with another 30-incher, the HP LP3065, which drew 133.62 watts in the same test. Both monitors' numbers are understandable given their gigantic screens. In our Sleep/Standby test, the ZR30w used 1.23 watts and the LP3065 pulled 1 watt. Based on our formula, the ZR30w would cost $43.12 per year to run, compared with the LP3065's $40.55 per year.

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

CNET Labs DisplayMate tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Juice box
HP ZR30w Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 141.7
On (max luminance) 141.7
On (min luminance) 71.39
Sleep 1.23
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 87.9
Annual power consumption cost $43.12
Score Poor

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
HP backs the ZR30w with a three-year limited parts-and-labor warranty that covers the backlight--the same great deal other vendors, such as Dell, provide. HP includes free shipping labels and in-home service, as well as support through its 24-7 toll-free number. Just be aware that the free service ends after one year and HP will charge you after that. HP's Web site offers Web chat and e-mail support that, according to the company, it replies to within an hour.

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