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HP 2709m review: HP 2709m

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We watched "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" on DVD, and, not surprisingly, we saw some ghosting in our ghosting test scene: a close-up of The Bride's big toe. Colors looked full and vibrant, but were oversaturated in the Movie preset. Unreal Tournament 3's colors also looked oversaturated in the gaming preset. The game moved fast, however, with no signs of streaking, trails, or input lag. On both games and movies, we did see some screen tearing in the middle of the screen every so often. Not constant enough to be overly distracting, but annoying and noticeable when it cropped up.

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 the colors and gamma correction as they were intended. Most monitors are made to be viewed only at that angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Like most monitors, the HP 2709m uses a TN panel, which gets overly bright or overly dark when viewed from nonoptimal angles. When we viewed the 2709m from the sides or below, the screen appeared to darken only a couple inches off from optimal. From the sides, text is still legible until viewing from about 80 degrees. When viewing from the bottom, the text becomes illegible at about 40 degrees. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.

Juice box
HP 2709m Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 85.51
On (max luminance) 92.53
On (min luminance) 36.48
Sleep 0.87
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 63.57
Annual energy cost $26.11
Score Poor

In the power consumption tests, the HP 2709m has a small 0.87-watt power draw on standby, but its On/Default power draw was a lot higher. The HP 2709m drew 85.51 watts in this state, compared with the 25.5-inch HP w2558hc, which drew 92.8 watts. The 26-inch Planar PX2611w drew 89.43 watts in its On/Default state. Based on our formula, the HP 2709m would cost $26.11 per year to run, compared with the w2558hc's $28.94 per year and the Planar's $27.96.

DisplayMate tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Acer G24 24-inch
Planar PX2611 25.5-inch
HP w2558hc 25.5-inch
HP 2709m 27-inch
Viewsonic VA2626WM 25.5-inch

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Planar PX2611 25.5-inch
HP 2709m 27-inch
Viewsonic VA2626WM 25.5-inch
Acer G24 24-inch
HP w2558hc 25.5-inch

Brightness in cd/m2
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Viewsonic VA2626WM 25.5-inch
HP 2709m 27-inch
Acer G24 24-inch
HP w2558hc 25.5-inch
Planar PX2611 25.5-inch

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors

Service and support
HP backs the 2709m with a one-year limited parts and labor warranty that covers the backlight. That's much less than other vendors such as Dell, which usually offers three years of coverage. Shipping labels and in-home service is included, as well as support through HP's 24-7 toll-free number. Just be aware that the free service ends after one year and HP begins charging after that. HP's Web site offers Web-chat support and e-mail support with e-mail answers within the hour.

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