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Planar PX2611W review: Planar PX2611W

Planar PX2611W

Eric Franklin
Eric Franklin Former Editorial Director
Eric Franklin led the CNET Tech team as Editorial Director. A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, chauffeuring his kids around town, or absorbing every motivational book he can get his hands on.
Expertise Graphics and display technology. Credentials Once wrote 50 articles in one month.
5 min read

The 25.5-inch Planar PX2611w is heavy, stocky and at an average price of $800, should only be considered by professional artists who require an In-Plane Switching (IPS)-based panel. While the monitor features five USB ports, excellent color reproduction, and viewing angles, its feature set just doesn't come close to what's being offered by the Hewlett-Packard w2558hc.


Planar PX2611W

The Good

The Planar PX2611w's IPS panel allows for wide viewing angles. Also, its color accuracy when viewing photos is stellar and it includes multiple USB ports.

The Bad

The Planar PX2611w doesn't have HDMI support and has a bulky and heavy design

The Bottom Line

Priced at $800, the Planar PX2611w should only be considered by professionals who require an IPS-based panel.

Design and features
The Planar PX2611w is a behemoth, with a 25.5-inch screen and a huge circular footstand that measures 11.4 inches in diameter. Knocking the display from the sides produced only minimal wobbling as its wide footstand and 24-pound weight helps keep it stay put. The bezel measures 0.75 inch on all sides.

The screen height is adjustable by about 2 inches, and sits about 2.5-inches from the desktop at its highest point. The display's full width is 23.5 inches; slightly shorter than the HP w2558hc's 24.5-inch length. The Planar's panel is 3.5 inches deep from bezel to back.

The neck of the display is designed with a hinge at its base and the top. This lets the screen tilt all the way back so that it's facing directly up. If the display were a touch screen, this would be useful, but since it isn't, we don't see anyone using this feature. We did appreciate the cable router on the neck that keeps loose cables nice and tidy. Also, the panel swivels 180 degrees to the left and right.

Video Connection options include a DVI and a VGA port, with one USB upstream to the right of the VGA. On the left side of the panel are four USB downstream ports aligned vertically. The onscreen display button array is located on the lower right-hand corner of the bezel and includes four buttons and a small nub-like "joystick." The OSD includes controls for many options including brightness, contrast, sharpness, and color temperature, plus six video presets: Standard, Movie, Photo, Gaming, SRGB, and Text. Each preset changes the brightness, contrast, and--in some cases--color temperature. We felt that each preset met the intended goal for the task at hand.

The Planar PX2611w's 16:10 aspect ratio has a 1,920x1,200-pixel native resolution. The 16:9 monitor trend currently sweeping the market has given many smaller monitors higher resolutions than they were capable of at 16:10. A 22-incher (or 21.5), with a 16:9 aspect ratio, now has a potential high-definition, native resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels as opposed to 1,680x1,050 pixels. Still, we understand why Planar chose 16:10 for the PX2611w, since with such a large screen, they'd want to make sure that users have the highest resolution possible to take advantage of its size.

Manufacturer's specifications:
Resolution: 1,920x1,200 pixels
Pixel-response rate: 5ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Brightness: 400cd/m2
Connectivity: DVI, VGA
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? DVI, VGA
Backlight type: CCFL
Panel type: IPS
Aspect Ratio: 16:10

We tested the Planar PX2611w with its DVI connection. The display posted a composite score of 88 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests. We compared it with the 25.5-inch HP w2558hc, which scored an 88. The PX2611w scored well in most of our color tests, but really faltered in our two color ramp tests, which look for LCD's capability to render gradations of primary colors smoothly, uniformly, and consistently. In our test, the PX2611w wasn't able to show these gradations smoothly at all. On the black screen test, we saw clouding at the top right-hand corner and bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

The Planar PX2611w achieved a brightness score of 308 candelas per square meter (cd/m2)--much lower than Planar's claimed 400 cd/m2 max. The HP with its brightness of 387 cd/m2, came in significantly higher than the Planar.

Our Kill Bill Vol. 1 DVD ghosting test yielded noticeable ghosting on the Planar. We played the movie in the Planar's Movie preset and appreciated its deep blacks and its ability to achieve accurate and vibrant colors.

Unreal Tournament 3 looked great running at 1,920x1,200 pixels, with nice contrast between the dark and light colors. We didn't see any blurring or evidence of input lag.

We also used DisplayMate Motion Bitmaps Edition to test the refresh speed and noticed that the Planar had more trailing than the HP. We also looked at a number of high-resolution photos with DisplayMate Test Photos Edition in each monitor's photo preset and the Planar delivered more accurate and unsaturated colors.

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 w2558hc uses a TN panel, which gets overly bright or overly dark when viewed from nonoptimal angles. The Planar was made with an IPS panel, which usually shows only a slight change in the gamma correction at the most with angle changes. Indeed, we noticed that the Planar's screen hardly brightens at all when viewed from the sides, top, or bottom.

Juice box
Planar PX2611w Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 89.43
On (max luminance) 89.43
On (min luminance) 40.61
Sleep 1.81
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 70.58
Annual energy cost $27.96
Score Poor

In the power consumption tests, the Planar PX2611w drew a whopping 89.43 watts in its Default/On mode--slightly more than HP's TN-based w2558hc, which drew 92.8 watts. Based on our formula, the PX2611 would cost $27.96 per year to run--compared with the w2558hc's $28.94 per year.

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

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Planar PX2611
Acer G24
V7 D24W33
HP w2558hc

DisplayMate test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Planar backs the PX2611 with a three-year parts and labor warranty that covers the backlight. Also included is free two-day advance replacement for three years including prepaid shipping both ways. Planar's Web site offers both chat and e-mail support.


Planar PX2611W

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 6Performance 7Support 8Setup 0
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