HP F2304

The Good HDTV ready; DVI input; built-in component and S-Video inputs; nice embedded speakers; picture-in-picture functionality; decent video performance.

The Bad Expensive; limited adjustability; mediocre image quality.

The Bottom Line HDTV-ready jumbo LCDs are certainly worth buying (if you have the cash), but HP also sells a cheaper, more adjustable, and better-performing alternative to the f2304, the L2335.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Support 8.0
6.8 Overall

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HP F2304
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Review

HP F2304

HP f2304

Jumbo LCDs that double as HDTV-ready televisions are among the more enticing new convergence devices because they reduce clutter and just plain look cool. We appreciate the HP f2304's effort to bring the worlds of computing and entertainment together, but its high price and disappointing performance are hard to rationalize, especially when HP's own L2335 does nearly all the same things (better) and costs $500 less.

With its platinum-blue and black casing, embedded speakers, and array of video inputs, the f2304 is designed to match HP's new line of Media Center PCs, which come with (among other things) TV tuner cards that include personal video recording functionality. We like that kind of convergence, but it also evokes some concerns around the concept of a home theater/computing center. How do you create an ergonomic setup that is conducive to both up-close computer usage and at-a-distance TV viewing? We could see having an HP f2304 plus a Media Center PC in the bedroom--assuming your bedroom is also a home office--or in the kitchen. But how many of us have couches in the kitchen? And how many of us really want a computer setup in the space where our living-room entertainment center is supposed to go? Could it be that the answer to all of these questions is better convergence furniture?

Compared to displays such as the Apple Cinema Display and HP's business-oriented L2335, the design of the HP f2304 leaves a few things to be desired. It looks pretty good; the top and bottom bezels are slim, the speakers along the side edges give it the illusion of being extrawide, which in turn gives it home-theater appeal, and we like that the control buttons are tucked out of sight under the bottom bezel. However, it's not the most usable display we've encountered. The analog and DVI ports on the back panel are hard to access (we had to turn the whole display upside down to connect the cables), and although the component, S-Video, PC-stereo, and right and left audio inputs are conveniently located along the side of the back panel, they are covered by a plastic panel that is so hard to remove it took two strong Labs technicians and a writer several tries to pry it off.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand HP
  • Color Category black, blue
  • Diagonal Size 23 in
  • Native Resolution 1920 x 1200
  • Interface DVI, VGA (HD-15)
  • Image Aspect Ratio 16:10
  • Weight 22.05 lbs
  • Image Contrast Ratio 500:1
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