Announcing New HP LCDs
Yesterday HP launched three new Value LCD monitors, the S2031, S2231 and S2331 coming in at 20” 21.5” and 23” respectively. These are essentially entry-level models with average specifications and connectivity. All models feature 16:9 anti-glare displays with a 72% color gamut. They have a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and a dynamic contrast ratio of 15,000:1 (not that we care about dynamic contrast… it's a feature best left disabled in our opinion). Response time is 5ms, like the vast majority of TN panels.
Connectivity comes in the form of VGA and DVI-D (with HDCP), with no other extra ports like USB, audio, or HDMI. Given that there are no speakers built into the casing, the lack of HDMI isn't a huge drawback, and you can always use an HDMI-to-DVI cable if you need HDMI connectivity. The larger S2231 and S2331 have 1920x1080 Full HD (1080p) panels, which will make the most of any high definition content you want to view. The S2031 drops the resolution down to HD+ (1600x900) and has a slightly higher dot pitch.
HP also states that these new models have an environmental conscience as they utilize recyclable plastics and packaging. The S2031 features a two-lamp panel, which means it contains 50 percent less Mercury than the conventional four-lamp panels on the larger models. However, this means it has a maximum brightness of 250nits compared to 300nits on the larger models. This isn't a huge problem, as we recommend a brightness setting of 150~200nits for most users.
Aesthetically, the new LCDs feature relatively attractive glossy black bezels and tilt adjusting stands; all three also support 100x100mm VESA mounts. As long as you keep your fingerprints (and dust) away from the exterior, the displays will look quite nice. These LCDs will be available from select retailers on May 16 and from HP Home & Home Office from May 26. Recommended pricing starts at $150 for the S2031, $190 for the S2231 and $220 for the S2331, which is reasonable for the specifications.
While it’s difficult to get excited over these entry-level LCDs, the S2231 looks tempting with its 1080p resolution and good brightness coming in under $200. However, there are still cheaper alternatives out there with similar or slightly better specifications. Dell currently has their 23” 1080p ST2310 on sale for $169, and you can find a large number of 23" 1080p LCDs at Newegg and other vendors starting at $185, with various rebates on some models. Street prices on the HP LCDs may be slightly lower than the announced pricing, but we recommend looking at warranties as well. We've had a few LCDs fail at 12-24 months, so models with 3-year standard warranties might be a better investment.