HP ZR2740w review:

HP ZR2740w

To test refresh rate, I used DisplayMate's motion graphics test and stared at a number of colored blocks as they moved around the screen at predetermined speeds. Depending on the speed of the block movement--as well as the monitor--an afterimage of various sizes is left behind each block. By judging the size of the afterimage, I can attempt to predict how the monitor might handle fast-moving images in games.

Although the ZR2740w delivered tighter streaking than the U2711, it was still easily noticeable and much more than what I'm used to seeing with faster TN displays. During real-world games testing, however, my eyes saw no evidence of streaking.

Primary colors, as well as skin and hair looked accurate, with no signs of that green hue problem so many monitors are plagued with.

Recommended settings:
Due to the ZR2740w's lack of OSD options, I didn't use SpectraCal's CalPC for calibration. I simply tested the monitor as is, adjusting only the brightness of the display to my satisfaction.

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 colors as the manufacturer intended. Most monitors aren't designed to be viewed at 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.

Antiglare (AG) screen coating plays a part as well. Some viewers prefer the coating not be applied at all, while others favor only a limited amount. Still, others are completely indifferent; however, AG coating doesn't adversely affect quality and its merits, or lack thereof, are strictly a question of preference.

The HP ZR2740w uses a P-IPS panel, which provides it a wide viewing angle from all sides. The AG coating works fairly well here, keeping out most reflections; however, on a black screen viewed from an off angle, some blurry impressions of the environment are visible.

Power consumption:
Despite its LED backlight, the HP ZR2740w achieved poor power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 85.54 watts, compared with the Dell UltraSharp U2711's 93.72 watts in the same test.

In our Sleep/Standby test, the ZR2740w costs 1.2 watts, while the U2711 pulled a slightly lower 1.19 watts. Based on our formula, the ZR2740w would incur a per-year pull of $26.35 per year, compared with the U2711's $28.78 per year.

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

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP ZR2740w
Lacie 324i
Asus PA246Q

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Juice box
HP ZR2740w Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 25.54
On (max luminance) 97.54
On (min luminance) 28.7
Sleep 1.2
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 59.24
Annual power consumption cost $26.35
Score Poor

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
HP backs the ZR2740w 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.

It's difficult to be disappointed with a monitor that packs as many pixels into a screen as XD monitors do. That said, the lack of connection options and screen customizations aren't exactly increasing the ZR2740w's appeal. Price, on the other hand is a different story. While we'd all love to see the ZR2740w packed with features and sold at $700, that's just not a realistic expectation.

Simply put, the ZR2740w costs as low as $700 because of its missing features, and at that price, it's the most affordable XD monitor out there.

If you can't live with the limitations of brightness-only customizations, both the Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D and Dell UltraSharp U2711 offer similar performance, with many more options, albeit at higher prices.

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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