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Last year, HP 'made the computer personal again'. Marketing hyperbole aside, this meant redesigning its laptops with a more consumer-friendly look and flogging them with a huge advertising campaign. This design strategy has now spilled over into HP's TFT monitors, represented here by the W2007v. It's a good-looking, zero-frills 20-inch display costing £169. Sounds ideal for anyone low on cash to splash, but does it make the grade?
We can't fault the look of the W2007v. Its best features are its glossy bezel with curved edges, and a silver outer bezel that protrudes from the top and bottom. The power button sits alone at the top right of the monitor, rather than at the front or side of the unit. This makes it easier to find than if it were grouped with the rest of the on-screen display (OSD) control buttons, which live at the bottom right.
The screen runs at a native resolution of 1,680x1,050 pixels, which is par for the course on a 20-inch display. HP has decided to use a glossy, reflective outer glass panel, in order to improve the appearance of colours and contrast. It does this to good effect -- the monitor's contrast seems higher than its 1,000:1 ratio suggests.
The W2007v coped well in our DisplayMate tests, showing the ability to differentiate between similar colours and tones. It only slipped when it couldn't tell the difference between some different shades of pink -- a few of them just showed up as the same 'generic' fuchsia.
Getting the best image quality out of the monitor isn't too difficult. HP supplies drivers and colour profiles on a CD, and the on-screen menu is extremely easy to navigate through. The menu button is clearly labelled, and the remaining three let you cycle up or down, or select an option. It's not at all complicated compared to some screens.
HP quotes a 5ms response on the W2007v, which again is about par for the course. We didn't find any noticeable instances of blurring or ghosting during fast-moving scenes, so we'll happily recommend this screen to gamers or fans of action movies. We threw some Premier League football footage at it and were pleased to see the ball and players kept their shape even when moving quickly.
Our favourite thing about the HP W2007v, however, is its price. At £169 (including VAT), it's about as cheap a monitor as you'll find on the Internet.
The reason for the monitor's low price becomes apparent when you start looking at its list of features -- or lack thereof. It's sadly lacking in connectivity, sporting only a D-Sub analogue port. Those of us with digital DVI ports on our graphics cards will need an adaptor, which isn't included in the box. Why HP left out DVI connectivity in the first place is beyond us -- this sort of omission is verging on the criminally insane.
It is aimed at the consumer market, but the W2007v lacks the bells and whistles that would appeal to Joe Tech. There's no integrated memory card reader, no integrated webcam. In fact, the only things that are integrated are the screen itself and two hidden speakers rated at a measly 2W.
Unsurprisingly, HP hasn't done anything fancy with the hinge mechanism either. The screen can be tilted back and forth but there's no height adjustment. Anyone keen on having the most ergonomic typing position may have to consider placing the monitor on a pile of books to bring it up to eye level. Or lower the height of their chairs a few notches.
Our final gripe is with the pre-set display modes. Pressing the + button on the front panel brings up the Quick View menu, which lets you cycle through modes optimised for movie, photo, gaming, text and a custom mode. These seem to make very little difference and will probably end up being ignored by most users.
The HP W2007v is a good looking, solid-performing 20-inch monitor. It has almost nothing in the way of extra features, but it offers better picture quality than the Dell E207WFP. If you're in the market for something very cheap and definitely cheerful, look no further.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Nick Hide