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HP 2311gt review: HP 2311gt

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Text: Black text on white looked clear, without any obvious color tint problems. Fonts were clearly visible down to a 6.8 size.

The monitor displayed each preset with an annoying green tint; however, through some deep OSD customization I was able to minimize the green look. Not abolish it completely, but definitely reduce its effect. While each preset is tailored well to its intended function, here are my recommended settings if the green is too oppressive.

Attribute Setting
Preset Custom
Contrast 87
Color temperature Custom (RGB)
Red 255
Green 140
Blue 160

Movies: I tested the HP 2311gt using the Blu-ray version of "Avatar." The Movie preset provides a good experience, displaying high contrast and a vibrant look; however, there was a definite green-tint push. This is especially apparent in faces with light complexions. Instead of having a healthy dose of red, the faces have a sickly green look to them.

Turning on Dynamic Contrast deepens black levels even more, but unfortunately simultaneously crushes dark gray, so I don't recommend doing so.

Games: When evaluating the look of games on a monitor, the two most important features to consider are vibrancy and color. If the monitor can display games with a bright and vibrant cleanness, this goes a long way. If colors also pop with fullness and depth, games can usually look great.

Dragon Age II on the HP 2311gt in the Gaming preset had high vibrancy with colors that popped suitably. However, like the Movie preset, the dreaded sickly greenish tint reared its ugly head, but can be alleviated with the settings I recommend above.

3D Games: I used Dragon Age II as a test game for 3D. Once the game was launched, it took me a few seconds to realize just how specifically the 3D effect requires you to sit. You'll need to be about 2.5 to 3 feet away from the screen in order for the effect to work properly. Any closer and you're seeing double (my arms wouldn't allow me to sit much farther away).

To test refresh rate, I used DisplayMate's motion graphics tests and stared at a number of colored blocks as they moved around the screen at various speeds. The 2311gt displayed noticeably more streaking than the Samsung SyncMaster PX2370 during the test.

Photos: For faces and light-colored hair, the 2311gt's colors sometimes dip ever so slightly into a greenish hue compared with the PX2370, but the bright colors of clothing and environments pop vibrantly.

Viewing angle
The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually from 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 the monitor's panel type, picture quality at suboptimal 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.

The 2311gt uses a TN panel and its viewing angles match other TN monitors in that colors begin to shift when viewing from about 6 to 7 inches to the left or right. As always with TN panels, the above and below viewing angles are the worst offenders. From these angles, graphic or text detail is at its most difficult to see.

This is typical of the vast majority of TN panels, though, as it's one of the limitations of the technology. At $260, the HP 2311gt is still relatively cheap for a 3D monitor. Just understand you likely won't be creating art for the next great Web site with this one. I'd suggest a more professional IPS-based monitor like the Asus PA246Q for that.

Power consumption
The HP 2311gt achieved fair power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 33.4 watts. The Samsung SyncMaster PX2370 drew a similar 25.01 watts in the same test.

In our Sleep/Standby test, the HP 2311gt drew 0.41 watt and the PX2370 pulled a lower 0.29 watt. Based on our formula, the 2311gt would be slightly more expensive to run than the PX2370, with a per-year pull of $10.25 per year, compared with the PX2370's $7.65 per year.

Juice box
HP 2311gt Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 33.4
On (max luminance) 34.9
On (min luminance) 12.3
Sleep 0.41
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 34.9
Annual power consumption cost $10.25
Score Fair

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Hewlett-Packard backs the 2311gt 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 the company says it replies to within an hour.

The HP 2311GT is one of the cheapest ways to get 3D on a monitor. It's not the best-implemented 3D (and maybe not even second-best), but it does give you what it says it's going to. The $170 HP 2311x is pretty much the exact same monitor, however without 3D features. So, in effect, with the 2311gt you're paying an extra $100 or so for passive 3D. Now, if 3D is something you're looking for, this is currently one of the cheapest ways to get it. However, if you're just looking for a capable monitor, the 2311x should be much better-suited to your needs.

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