The Good A truckload of connections and extras; impressive performance in sharpness and color tests; sharp picture quality with DVD and Blu-ray playback.
The Bad Built-in sound gets distorted at high volumes; its look is somewhat clunky with the speaker bar attached; a tad expensive.
The Bottom Line Although it costs more than competing 30-inch LCDs, the Gateway XHD3000 goes a long way toward justifying its high price with a long list of features and outstanding performance.
Gateway XHD3000 Monitor (30-inch)
A 30-inch LCD from any of the handful of vendors that sell such a monitor--Apple, Dell, HP, Gateway, and Samsung--will set you back some. The Gateway XHD3000 is one of the more expensive models in this class of LCD, with a list price $1,699. It can be found online for $100 or $200 less than list, but the Samsung SyncMaster 305T, by comparison, carries a list price of $1,329 and can be found for as low as $1,200 at the time of this writing. The Gateway XHD3000 earns its high price, however, by serving up a huge list of features, including DVI, HDMI, component-, and composite-video connections, as well as built-in speakers and an optical audio jack. The Gateway XHD3000 also impressed us with its incredible viewing angle, smooth and sharp DVD and Blu-ray playback, and a deep color palette. The Samsung SyncMaster 305T proved itself to be an excellent performer as well, which means you should spend extra for the Gateway XHD3000 only if you need the additional video and audio features.
The Gateway XHD3000 is basically a 30-inch version of the "fairly sleek looking" 24-inch Gateway FHD2400 that we reviewed a few weeks back--with some key differences. This time the one-inch thick bezel is not a glossy black but a dark gray with a matte finish. The bezel is offset by a silver metal overlay that runs along the bottom with Gateway's logo on it. The screen rotates 30 degrees to the left and right, but there is no option to adjust the height. The screen tilts back 30 degrees as well, but it does not pivot as the FHD2400 does.
The speaker bar--optional on the 24-inch model--is included with the display this time and easily attaches to the bottom of the bezel. With this you are able to listen to audio from your PC--or whatever HD device you have hooked up--solely through your display. The footprint of the stand is 9 inches deep and 14.8 inches wide at the front of the display. The stand feels sturdy, and the display never feels wobbly, even after giving your desk a good bump. Adding style points to the XHD3000 are the power and onscreen display (OSD) menu buttons lit by a cool, blue LED on the bottom-right side. Overall, like its little brother, this is a fairly sleek-looking monitor that looks just a bit clunky with the speaker bar attached.