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.
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.
Resolution: 1,920x1,200 pixels
Pixel-response rate: 5ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
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.