HP DreamColor Z31x pro display brings P3, Cinema 4K and more

HP's dreamiest pro monitor to date not only offers wide-gamut Cinema 4K, it does some workflow tricks, too.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
2 min read

HP is beefing up their professional-level monitor.


HP follows up its $1,400 (£1,451, AU$3,123) 4K UHD DreamColor Z32x of last year with, well, that model on steroids.

The DreamColor Z31x Studio Display's panel is a tiny bit smaller -- 31.1 inches/79 centimeters vs. 31.5 in/80cm -- but it packs in Cinema 4K (4,096 by 2,160) resolution and a color gamut of 99 percent DCI-P3, plus 80 percent BT.2020.

It's a lot pricier, too, debuting at $4,000 when it pops up in the US in the fall. I don't have price or availability for other regions, but that translates to £3,120 and AU$5,300.

If you're not familiar with the DreamColor displays, they're intended to be partnered with workstations for professional imaging tasks. Being professional requires more than just being able to reproduce a lot of colors; for instance, it requires edge-to-edge color-and-luminance uniformity, no color or brightness drift over time and the ability to render tones exactly the same as the display sitting next to it. I'm sitting in front of one of its seven-year-old ancestors right now, and it still performs as well as the day I set it up.

Beyond color and resolution, though, HP added some nifty capabilities designed to streamline professional operation. There's a colorimeter built into the top bezel that flips down for calibration (you can still use X-Rite i1s and the like), and you can schedule calibration to occur while you're away from your desk. You can even schedule it to wake up 30 minutes in advance of your arrival to warm up.

It also has customizable overlays so that you can, say, display safe areas in hardware rather than in your video-editing software.

And for folks who use multiple systems, HP built a KVM switch in so that you can use a single keyboard and mouse without requiring an external device.

Other key specs include:

  • 10-bit IPS anti-glare panel
  • Natively supports 4K UHD, Quad HD, HD and other resolutions
  • Connectors: Two DisplayPro 1.2 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, one USB-C/DisplayPort, four USB 3.0 Type A ports
  • 250 nits typical brightness. It gets as bright as 350 nits, but only calibrates to 250 and uses the extra overhead to compensate for dimming over time.

Sadly, the brightness limitation means it's not HDR-ready like Dell's recently announced UltraSharp 27 UP2718Q; that would make it a lot more expensive, though.