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HP's new 27-inch monitor skimps on features

HP's new 2709 monitor. Higher price and fewer features than a previous model.

HP's 2709m looks sleek, but it seems to lack a few features. HP

When I first received the press release for the 27-inch HP 2709m on Thursday, I admit to being only mildly interested in the monitor. I'd just reviewed the HP w2558hc and figured, how different could it be?

Well, it is different from the h2558hc, but probably not in the most positive way.

First, although the new 2709m is 1.5 inches longer in screen size than the w2558hc, its resolution is smaller. The w2558hc has a resolution of 1,920x1,200, while the 2709m's resolution is is only 1,920x1,080.

Now, I've talked a lot about 16:9 versus 16:10 lately, and usually--like in the case of 21.5-inch monitors versus 22-inchers--16:9 is the best way to go, as you get more usable screen space on a slightly smaller monitor. However, in this case, that's true only in the reverse.

Not only does the 16:10, 25.5-inch w2558hc have more screen real estate than its larger cousin, it--by all accounts--has more features than the 2709m as well. The w2558 has a built-in Webcam, a microphone, four USB ports, a task light, compact flash and SD Card/Memory stick reader slots, and can be used as a digital photo frame: all of which the 2709m does not have.

Also, the 2709m costs $500 direct from HP, while HP sells the w2558hc for as low as $430.

Here's a quick list of what the 2709m has to offer:

  • 27" Diagonal 16:9 screen
  • 1920x1080 Full HD resolution
  • 5 ms On/Off response times (typical)
  • 3 ms Gray to Gray response times
  • 400 nits brightness
  • 1000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • 30,000 Dynamic Contrast Ratio
  • 92% Color Gamut
  • Integrated 2-watt/ch speakers
  • 1 VGA port
  • 1 DVI-D port w/HDCP
  • 2 HDMI port w/HDCP
  • Swivel & Tilt

Now, the 2709m's performance could very well justify its comparative lack of features, but seeing as I don't have a unit in yet, I can't say either way. I'll have to wait a couple weeks--until we get one in--to find out.