A New 30" Contender: HP ZR30w Review

by Brian Klug on 6/1/2010 6:30 PM EST


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  • prof.yustas - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the review, but I think most people would be more interested to see a review of HP ZR24w. Are you planning to review it? Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Hey, yeah we're definitely working on getting the ZR 22" and 24" displays for review. I know that everyone is very excited for us to get those and start working on em - at least I know I am! Should be within the month.

  • kenyee - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Only negative is it doesn't do 1:1 display of 1080p inputs...it scales it up to 1200 lines all the time. A bunch of ZR24W owners have filed bugs w/ HP, but no word on getting this fixed yet :-P
    If Anand could check this and gripe as well, it might help :-)
  • CSMR - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Good review, useful data.
    I do think the input options are just right for this: DVI+displayport. This is a PC monitor so these are the right options. Devices that use hdmi (consumer electronics, smartphones etc.) generally can't output 2560x1600.
  • icrf - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Yeah, but my personal Dell 3007 WFP-HC's DVI-D only means I can't hook up my work Dell M6400 laptop, as it has VGA and DP outputs only. I need a docking station for the two to mate, though I can't convince myself or the office that it's a worthy expense.

    More inputs is always better, even if there are downsides to the others (clarity, lag, etc).
  • softdrinkviking - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    while i agree that added connectivity is always a good thing,
    if the lack of extra inputs shaved a $100 off the price, then it's why i, and a lot of other folks will buy one.
  • GoodBytes - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Display Port can be converted easily with an adapter to HDMI (with audio if your laptop supports audio with DP) or even DVI without any difficulties. And the adapters are fairly cheap and small. Reply
  • erple2 - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    Does HDMI even have the bandwidth to support the native resolution? I don't think so - it's limited to at most 1920x1200.

    It therefore makes perfect sense to me to not include an HDMI connector.
  • platinum__1 - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    As of HDMI 1.3 the max resolution is 2560x1600p at a 30 bit pixel depth. HDMI 1.4 will do 2k and 4k over single link to a resolution of 4096x2160p at up to 36bit pixel depth. (referenced from wikipedia for concise comparison charts). That is not to say that any given HDMI output to a device, or for that matter, a display port adapter will be able to deliver it due to the individual ports build, but it is possible under the right circumstances. Reply
  • samhall - Monday, January 09, 2012 - link

    just wondering if anyone knows how to connect an xbox up to this monitor. I have connected it by getting an addapter for the DVI-D port but cant get anything on the screen.
    Can someone help Please??????
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link


    $150 CAD - if that's a tough sell, how did you convince them to buy you a monitor that costs over $1000?!
  • theangryintern - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    that's weird. We order docking stations with every single laptop we order. When people are in their office, they all want dual 22" displays. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    I'm happy with my Dell U2410 and its HDMI, DVI x 2, Display Port, etc. inputs. :-) Reply
  • ghitz - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    We're talking about 30" here! Reply
  • thorr2 - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    I have the LG W3000H-Bn that I got from newegg. I am very happy with it although it is on the green side before calibration. It would be interesting to see a professional review of it to see how it compares to the others. It is definitely cheaper than a lot of the competition. Reply
  • zsero - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Sorry, but there is a big misunderstanding in this article:

    > I have no trouble believing that HP's claims about 1+ billion colors are totally accurate - you have to
    > see it in person to believe it. There are just some colors I'm used to not seeing represented very
    > well; reds and blues especially, and the photos that I have looked at are spectacular.

    Color gamut and the number of colors are totally different things!

    But what is _missing_ from the article is that:
    1. Using 24 bit color (8-bit per color) with a calibrated display profile you get visible banding.
    2. Using 30 bit color (10-bit per color) you can calibrate a monitor without visible banding.
    3. For 30 bit color you need DisplayPort and a professional graphics card + driver + OS + software support. For example newest professional Nvidia Quadro or Matrox cards, with a good combination of software and OS!
    4. What you have seen was less than 16 million colors, as you have used DVI and a calibrated output from a consumer graphics card.
    5. The billion color thing is nothing but the good sounding fact that 2^30 > billion (actually it's 1 billion, 73 million, 741 thousand and 824)
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    I totally agree and I'm glad someone caught me ;) To be honest, I'm still a bit confused about the 32-bit color setting in windows in the display driver window and how that relates to the 30-bit claim. It would seem to me that 32-bit true color is indeed being driven, no? There's definitely no banding visible, at least from what I've scrutinized.

    I did space on trying DisplayPort though, I'm going to give that a shot in a second here and will probably update if I find something interesting! ;)

  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    I now follow completely what you mean. I tried using DisplayPort and DVI both to pass 10-bit Deep Color to the ZR30w, but apparently that feature isn't implemented on the ATI HD5870. I'm hoping to try it on a 2010 MBP, but it'll be some time before my miniDP to DP adapter arrives so I can test.

    Until then, I'm not entirely sure what the status is, but realize this is an important concern and chief feature of the ZR30w. I'm going to continue to investigate. Honestly, I don't expect the gamut to change that much, but it would indeed be interesting to see if 10-bit deep color does work as advertised. I might need a better workstation card. I'll update when I find out.

    Cheers and thanks!
  • prof.yustas - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Excellent. Thank you. In addition, it would be very useful to hear your take on the best 24-inch 16:10 (not 16:9) display out there, which is another way of asking for the DELL U2410 vs. HP ZR24w comparison. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/ has reviewed both, if you're interested. Reply
  • phoible_123 - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Will this connect directly to a Macbook pro with a mini displayport -> displayport cable?

    I've been able to connect a MBP to other displayport monitors, and would like to know whether you can drive a dual-link display this way.
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    I spent a greater part of today searching around town for a miniDP to DP adapter, but couldn't find that nor the cables. I'm under the impression that it will work, and might even pass the 10-bit deep color data too. I'm hopefully getting an adapter soon.

  • kasakka - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    I have a Dell 3008WFP that I've connected to my late 2009 Macbook Pro with a mini-Displayport to Displayport cable using this cable:


    It works perfectly and avoids the issues with the overpriced Apple mini-DP to dual link DVI adapter.
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, June 09, 2010 - link

    Hey, just letting you know that the ZR30w does work driven from the 2010 MBP over a mini Display Port to Display Port cable. Flawlessly, really. No problems at all thus far!

  • Mishaux - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    Hey Brian,

    I realize this is a few years late, but I am trying to make this work with a mid 2010 15" MBP and having no luck. Did you have to do anything other than plug it in?

  • Mumrik - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    Nine bucks for a G520!?!??!

    Screw LCDs :-D
  • Bolas - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    So... what's the refresh rate? 60 Hz? 75 Hz? 120 Hz? 240 Hz? I didn't see the refresh rate on the table of specifications, and that would be something worth knowing for people in the market for a high res 3D display. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    The refresh rate over DVI is still 60 Hz, at least as reported in the display manager.

  • GoodBytes - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    60Hz, it's always 60Hz for computer monitor using IPS or PVA panels.. well today... it might change later. Reply
  • Bolas - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    I figured it was 60 Hz, but you'd think that they would spell that out in the specs. Pity it doesn't have pivot feature, but whatever. Reply
  • Mumrik - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    They basically never have. It's really a shame though - to me the ability to put the monitor into portrait mode with little to no hazzle is one of the major advantages to LCD monitors. Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Tuesday, June 01, 2010 - link

    brian, i think it's important to remember that

    1. it is unlikely that people can perceive the difference between 24 bit and 30 bit color.

    2. to display 30 bit color, or 10 bit color depth, you also need an application that is 10 bit aware, like maya or AutoCad, in which case the user would most likely opt for a workstation card anyway.

    i am unsure, but i don't think windows 7 or any other normally used program is written to take advantage of 10 bit color depth.

    from what i understand, 10 bit color and "banding" only really has an impact when you edit and reedit image files over and over, in which case, you are probably using medical equipment or blowing up photography to poster sizes in a professional manner.

    here is a neat little AMD pdf on their 30 bit implementation
  • zsero - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I think the only point where you need to watch 10-bit _source_ is when watching results from medical imaging devices. Doctors say that they can see difference between 256 and 1024 gray values. Reply
  • MacGyver85 - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    Actually Windows 7 does support 10 bit encoding, it even supports more than that; 16 bit encoding!
  • softdrinkviking - Saturday, June 05, 2010 - link

    all that means is that certain components of windows 7 "support" 16 bit color.

    it does not mean that 16 bit color is displayed at all times.

    scRGB is a color profile management specification that allows for a wider amount of color information that sRGB, but it does not automatically enable 16 bit color, or even 10 bit deep color.

    you still need to be running a program that is 10 bit aware, or using a program that is running in a 10 bit aware windows component. (like D3D).

    things like aero (which uses directx) could potentially take advantage of an scRGB color profile with 10 bit deep encoding, but why would it?
    it would suck performance for no perceivable benefit.

    the only programs that really use 10 bit color are professional imagining programs for medical, and design uses.
    it is unlikely that will change because it is more expensive to optimize software for 10 bit color, and the benefit is only perceivable in a handful of situations.
  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I have an idea for how to improve your latency measurement.

    Get a Matrox DualHead2Go Digital Edition. This outputs DVI-I over both outputs, so each can do either analog or digital. Test it with two identical displays over both DVI and VGA to make sure that the DualHead2Go doesn't directly introduce any lag. Compare with two identical displays, one over DVI and one over VGA, to see if either the display or the DualHead2Go introduces lag over one interface over the other. (I'd recommend trying multiple pairs of identical displays to verify.)

    This would rip out any video card mirroring lag (most GPUs do treat the outputs separately, and those outputs may produce lag,) and leave you solely at the mercy of any lag inherent to the DH2Go's DAC.

    Next, get a high quality CRT, preferably one with BNC inputs. Set the output to 85 Hz for max physical framerate. (If you go with direct-drive instead of DualHead2Go, set the resolution to something really low, like 1024x768, and set the refresh rate as high as the display will go. The higher, the better. I have a nice-quality old 22" CRT that can go up to 200 Hz at 640x480 and 150 Hz at 1024x768.)

    Then, you want to get a good test. Your 3dMark is pretty good, especially with its frame counter. But there is an excellent web-based on at http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/response_time.php (part of a wonderful series of LCD tests.) This one goes to the thousands of a second. (Obviously, you need a refresh rate pretty high to actually display all those, but if you can reach it, it's great.)

    Finally, take your pictures with a high-sensitivity camera at 1/1000 sec exposure. This will "freeze" even the fastest frame rate.
  • zsero - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    In the operating systems 32-bit is the funniest of all, it is the same as 24-bit, except I think they count the alpha channel too, so RGB would be 24-bit and RGBA would be 32-bit. But I as far as I know on an operating system level it doesn't mean anything useful, it just looks good in the control panel. True Color would be a better name for it. In any operating system if you take a screenshot, the result will be 24 bit color RGB data.

    From wikipedia:
    32-bit color

    "32-bit color" is generally a misnomer in regard to display color depth. While actual 32-bit color at ten to eleven bits per channel produces over 4.2 billion distinct colors, the term “32-bit color” is most often a misuse referring to 24-bit color images with an additional eight bits of non-color data (I.E.: alpha, Z or bump data), or sometimes even to plain 24-bit data.
  • velis - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    1. Reduce size to somewhere between 22 and 24"
    2. Add RGB LED instead of CCFL (not edge lit either)
    3. Add 120Hz for 3D (using multiple ports when necessary)
    4. Ditch the 30 bits - only good for a few apps

    THEN I'm all over this monitor.

    As it is, it's just another 30 incher, great and high quality, but still just another 30 incher...

    I SO want to replace my old Samsung 215TW, but there's nothing out there to replace it with :(
  • zsero - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    Gamut will not change between 24-bit and 30-bit color, as it is a physical properties of the panel in case (+ lighting).

    So the picture will be visually the same, nothing will change, except if you are looking at a very fine gradient, it will not have any point where you would notice a sharp line.

    Think about it in Photoshop. You make a 8-bit grayscale image (256 possible grey value for each pixel), and apply a black to white gradient on its whole size horizontally. Now look at the histogram, you see continuous distribution of values from 0 to 255.

    Now make some huge color correction, like do a big change in gamma. Now the histogram is not a continuous curve, but something full of spikes, as because of the rounding errors a correction from 256 possible values to 256 possible values skips certain values.

    Now apply a levels correction, and make the darkest black into for example 50 and the brightest white into for example 200. What happens now, is that you are compressing the whole dynamic range into a much smaller interval, but as your scale is fixed, you are now using only 150 values for the original range. That's exactly what is happening for example when you use a calibrator software to calibrate a wide-gamut (close to 100% AdobeRGB) monitor for sRGB use, because you need to use it in not color aware programs (very, very common situation).

    For actual real-world test, I would simply suggest you to use the calibrator software to calibrate your monitor to sRGB, and have a look at fine gradients. For example check it with the fullscreen tools from http://lcdresource.com/tools.php
  • Rick83 - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I feel that Eizo has been ahead in this area for a while, and it appears that it will stay there.
    The screen manager software reduces the need of on-screen buttons, but still gives you direct access to gamma, color temperature, color values and even power on/off timer functions as well as integrated profiles - automatically raising brightness when opening a photo or video app, for example.
    Taking all controls away is a bit naive :-/
  • MamiyaOtaru - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    are they always s-ips? I love my lp2065, but I had to find one that was advertised specifically as s-ips since not all of them were D: Reply
  • Teemax - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    Excellent review! I appreciate the efforts in measuring the input lag!

    Looks like my Dell 3007WFP finally has a worthy replacement.
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    Yes, I'm glad to see it compared to a CRT rather then a "good enough" LCD with unknown input lag. Reply
  • Earballs - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I guess I have to assume it's 60Hz? Reply
  • Earballs - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    redacted. Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I've given up on the idea of moving to 30" from 24". I use my monitors mostly for Photoshop, video editing, publishing, etc. I've found that even IPS displays of various types show a change in brightness and contrast in the sides from sitting at the distance required for this work. Because of the large size, you're always looking at the edges at an angle that will make the difference noticeable.

    I've been looking at the new 27" displays for that reason. Apple's new 27" iMac doesn't have as much of a problem because of the slightly smaller size, but with the LED backlighting, they only claim an sRGB gamut. It's pretty good, but not for what I need.

    Is the NEC on your to do list? I hope so. The Dell 2711 hasn't proven to be all that great.
  • omf - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the detailed review! It seems rare to get good, technical data in reviews these days...

    I'm surprised you haven't included tests for the Dell 3008 display, though. I've heard mixed things about it and would love to see some test results.

    Thanks again!
  • R4F43LZiN - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I would like to see a full "how to calibrate your display" one of those days here on AT. I mean, there are a few of those on the internet, but none with the kind of detail and technical aspects that we've come to expect from a AT article. Reply
  • MauveCloud - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    "Considering other 30” displays include a plethora of input options"

    From my research of 2560x1600 monitors, only the Gateway XHD3000 (which I use now, though I had to get it repaired a couple of weeks ago - I did the research on possible replacements) and the Dell 3008WFP have component inputs, or are you referring to 30 inch televisions, with native resolution 1920x1080, rather than 2560x1600?.

    "The ZR30w has no OSD. If you recall, neither did its predecessor, the HP LP3065. At that time, HP claimed there were no ICs that could drive an OSD at native 2560x1600 resolution. Apparently this is still the case."

    My Gateway XHD3000 has an OSD at 2560x1600 (albeit not fullscreen), and so does the Dell UltraSharp 3008WFP.
  • phoible_123 - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I've used this cable to connect a macbook pro to my 23" NEC monitor with Displayport:


    It actually transmits sound as well if the monitor has an integrated speaker.
  • boe - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I've been waiting to buy some monitors for years as the 3008WFP had it's share of issues and Apple hasn't released a new LED backlit 30" yet.

    I'm looking forward to getting a couple of new monitors but not until some higher end models come out with a clear improvement over my 3007wfp's.
  • xismo - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I find it a bit dissapointing that you don't list the configuration this was tested on. For example I don't know the gpu the monitor was running on and therefore I wouldn't know whether the gpu had 10-bit support. It would be nice if you could try to add test of 10-bit support as well, how it performs with smooth gradients and so on. As you probably know not too many graphics cards support 10-bit, but all of the workstation class cards do, which I think is appropriate for testing with high end monitors. Reply
  • xismo - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    After reading the comments I see there was a discussion about 10-bit support, sorry for not seeing that earlier. At least I'm not the only one concerned about this :) BTW 5870 does not have 10-bit support as almost all of the other gaming video cards. And using a mini displayport on a macbook pro will not make the geforce 330m have 10-bit support either. Displayport as well as dual link dvi are the only types of connection that are able to process 10-bit color, but you still need a matching video card. Any workstation card like quadro or firepro should be just fine. But yeah including how each monitor displays gradients would be a huge advantage for me, as this is one of the things I'm looking for in a new monitor. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    Hey there! Thanks for the comment, yeah I'm working on getting us either a workstation GPU or some other way (whole workstation) to really test the 10-bit aspect. It'll happen this week or next and then I'll update. I realized after posting that I forgot to make sure it was working over 10-bit. And you're right about the 5870-it doesn't have 10-bit support. Guess that's one of those arguments for a more expensive workstation version of the card!

    Brian Klug
  • awaken688 - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    I'm surprised no one has really complained about the brightness limitation. For professional photographers and graphic artists (the target audience), this would be rough to have no way to see below 150nits as a real means to check for print accuracy. For some of our print shops, 100 nits is accurate to print.


    Did you try adjusting the brightness via the video card as well? I have a monitor that on 0 brightness is still too bright, but I can then go into nVidia's control panel and lower the brightness using that to achieve the correct brightness or lower the RGB manually (which I understand isn't an option for this monitor). Just wondering. Nonetheless, this should at least be able to hit 120 nits for imaging professionals. Good article though. I like the monitor reviews for sure.
  • Soldier1969 - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the review, not a bad price for a new 30 incher compared to other brands. Those people here that want 24" reviews those are a dime a dozen and for the poor. I had a 24" 1920 x 1200 monitor long before most did since 2007 when they cost a fortune. So glad I jumped to 2560 x 1600, gaming on them owns everything else out there! Blu ray looks fantastic! If youve never experienced computing on a 30 incher your missing out! Reply
  • kasakka - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    The lack of OSD is what kills this for me. I find that without it getting accurate colors is more difficult and if you want to also use the display for gaming, some games may totally ignore calibrated color profiles or software adjustments. The lack of a scaler is a bit annoying too, but since graphics cards can do that at least in Windows, it's not really a problem.

    Regarding inputs, I currently have a Dell 3008WFP and its gazillion inputs is a huge minus for me. I only need one DVI and one Displayport, so having to cycle thru all the useless inputs is annoying. More annoying is the 3008WFP's (and the 27" Dell U2711's) circa 5 second delay when swithing resolutions or inputs. But I guess I'll stick with the Dell until someone comes out with something better.
  • pmeinl - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    Does the AG coating of the ZR30 have this annoying sparkle effect like other current IPS panels (ex: U2410).

    Working on my two U2410 (programming, text processing) causes me eye strain.
  • pmeinl - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    As some people do not see the sparkle problem, here is a thread with a picture of it:
  • B3an - Thursday, June 03, 2010 - link

    So just to be clear... does this display do more colors than the Dell 3008? Reply
  • B3an - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    Anyone? Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, June 09, 2010 - link

    It depends on what you mean by colors. For real world color gamut, just compare the gamut to the 3008. I don't think we've tested that one yet.

    Otherwise, this is a 10 bit per channel monitor, so if you have an aware application you can drive more colors.
  • fenry - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    The HP LP3065 had lower power specs! These are the numbers from HP:

    LP3065 ZR30w
    176 185 Max Pwr (Watts)
    118 139 Typical Power (Watts)

    Maybe they mean it's more efficient when it's OFF (<2 Watts).

    How do they get away with this being part of their advertising???

    I've been paying careful attention to power draw of large monitors from some time, so I am extremely disappointed at HP for this misleading advertising. Check it out for yourself!
  • xismo - Friday, June 04, 2010 - link

    I'm looking forward to the updated review. And honestly the workstation video cards are not that expensive. It's not like you need to get the Quadro FX 5800 to test 10-bit support in photoshop or maya. Like I mentioned earlier almost all of the workstation video cards have native 10-bit support so getting a Quadro FX1800 will actually cost you less or the same as 5870. Also ATI Firepro are generally cheaper and are just as good. NVIDIA hasn't updated their workstation cards for a while, while ATI released one just recently. But obviously if you'd like to get $3000+ high end card like the 5800 I can't stop you :) Reply
  • ProDigit - Saturday, June 05, 2010 - link

    I don't care if it's a big screen, I just don't find a lot of justifying a screen that consumes about as much as my common desktop (The EeeBox for instance consumes roughly 20-25W, this screen 150-180W).

    Personally they would have done better with a LED backlit screen!

    The price is also too much!
    The last monitor you reviewed was a $300 26" screen, this one is only 4" larger diagonally, and boosts the 1080p resolution to 1600p, but still no reason to be almost $1k more!

    Sorry to say, but this monitor is not a good buy; and unless you're busy professionally, you're better off buying 4x $300 26" monitors instead!
  • jiulemoigt - Sunday, June 06, 2010 - link

    Considering even though they are only 10-12 bit displays I would have expected that any monitor claiming to have good color accuracy would be compared to the LCD3090W-BK-SV or LCD3090WQXi-BK. Reply
  • doclucas - Monday, June 07, 2010 - link

    HP claim that there is no IC available for 30" is plain bullshit! There are many 30" that come with excellent OSD, such as my Dell 3008WFP (I also own HP LP3065 which I don't like compared to the Dell). Dell still make the best quality (affordable/mainstream) monitors, period. Reply
  • Gilbo - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    Those monitors can implement OSD because they also have scalers.

    Scalers for 30" monitors have high input lag unfortunately, which makes them less desirable for some people.
  • CannibalisticH0b0 - Monday, June 14, 2010 - link

    My main problem with this review is the inconsistent competitors used for comparison in the tests. The main thing I wanted to compare with other 30" monitors was input lag... yet no 30" monitors were compared with the new HP on that page. I agree that the figure looks low, but it would be nice to have that same exact test done (and shown) with the Dell 3007WFP, for example, which I believe is/was still the king of 30" monitors for gaming. Reply
  • mcklevin - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    I would like to see how this fares against the apple cinema display. I recently purchased and returned the LG 3000H-BN because of a signal defect. However when it did work, I did notice that the anti-glare screen coat was highly distracting at the corners and off angle on a dark screen, especially in a dark room. Is it the same way with this display? In a lit room is a black screen noticeably gray? Reply
  • mcklevin - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    I now have had this monitor for a week, and it has performed quite well, it is a very solid professional looking build. The anti-glare screen does not sparkle like the LG screen, and the black levels are better as well. Text looks much better than the LG too.

    Right now I do not have a calibrator. The color accuracy is pretty good, It does get hot it the high end like many of the wide gamut monitors. Dropping the digital vibrancy to 44 in the nvidia control panel has helped a lot with the saturation. The viewing angles are nice, horizontal I would give an 9, vertical 7. I didn't notice input lag in Mass Effect 2. I use this monitor for Cinema 4D and Aftereffects.
  • AlphaJarmel - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    So this monitor is pretty much useless for gaming as Windows will ignore the calibration. Reply
  • SoCalRich - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link


    Thanks for your review!!!

    I have a new 17" MacBook Pro i7. I was curios if you were able to hook up your MBP to this monitor using the displayport cable?

    I think this would be a great monitor for my Photoshop & Lightroom editing. I've been looking at the 30" ACD. This looks like a better monitor.

    I'm still a little confused about how you make any adjustments w/o OSD????
  • SoCalRich - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    My new 17" MacBook Pro i7 uses the Intel HD Graphics for regular web surfing etc. It then switches to the NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M when I open Photoshop and Lightroom.

    I'm hoping these cards will support this monitor using the displayport cable.
  • tsittard - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    I picked this monitor up for a 3rd editing monitor to be used with Final Cut Pro, AJA Kona 3 card, and a blackmagic conversion box that goes from HD-SDI to dual link dvi-d.

    Here's the link:

    I'm not getting any picture....
    I'm currently using the zr30w as a second computer monitor, which is working fine at 2500x1600 coming off my Mac Pro, but this is not what I intended...

    Is it not possible to send this monitor a 1920x1080 signal via dvi-d and have it upscale to fill it?

    I'm also using 2 hp zr24w's for my computer monitors, and I've hooked up the blackmagic box to one of those and everything works great...

    My settings inside of FCP are for a 1080 23.98psf 10bit signal, again it seems to work fine going into the ZR24w

    I sense that there should be a simple answer here but I'm not finding it....

    the blackmagic converter box also comes in a display port version, will that allow me to send the HD resolution to the zr30w?

    Mr. Klug, any suggestions?
  • B3an - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Brian - you mentioned you used to i1 Display 2 to calibrate this monitor, i have both this monitor and the i1D2, can you tell me what settings you used?

    I find if a default white point is not selected then the colours and especially greys have a red tint to 'em. Did you try it with the Eye-One Match 3 software that comes with the i1D2? Thanks.
  • humba - Sunday, August 15, 2010 - link

    Has anyone who actually got the monitor noticed a buzzing/humming noise coming from the screen as soon as there's a video input signal?
    The noise is similar to the feedback noise you get on an audio system if there's an issue with the grounding, and it only goes away if the brightness is increased to 80% or higher.

    I've already RMA'ed my device once (they sent out a replacement only hours after receiving the case which makes me thing it's a known defect), but the replacement exhibits the exact same behavior. I've gone through a bunch of different DP cables, tried with various DVI cables, too, on 4 different computers (HP EliteBook 8540p, Acer Timelize 3810TZ, Mac Mini 2009 and a self-assembled box) and went around the house trying different electrical phases but to no avail.

    And I seem not to be the only one since I found this test that mentions the same issue: http://www.productwiki.com/hp-zr30w/. And, strangely enough, the support documents at HP's site also has a support document (albeit a very old one ): http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/D... which doesn't really have any relation to the display in question other than the 80% brightness mentioned which seems to be the fix from 2003 on.
  • martinz - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    Yes. Mine did it, got it replaced, same issue.

    HP in the US confirmed they all do it below 80% brightness, but tried to claim all/most large panels do it.

    I think it is completely unacceptable for a monitor at this price - and I am shocked that HP don't agree. Otherwise, I like it a lot: great picture and build quality.

    In a busy office it would not be noticeable, and if you can live with the (for me) eyeball melting full brightness, or are not sensitive to ambient noise, it's not an issue either.

    For me it's a show stopper. Mine is going back, but not sure what to replace it with.
  • BikeDude - Friday, August 27, 2010 - link

    Do all displays support HDCP these days, or will I still need AnyDVDHD in the future if I have to replace my current 30" Apple Cinema display? Reply
  • fontajos - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Hi Brian,

    thanks for your extensive test on the HP Z30w. I just bought the z30w and was very disappointed by the strong blue at 9000 Kelvin. I installed the hp ICM profile but nothing changed. I want to have a 6500K screen (like all other monitors here). Is it possible to send me your ICM file or can you suggest me a way to get my white to real-white and not blueish-white? If the only solution is to use a hardware calibration, can you suggest me a product?
  • IceDread - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    Good review, very good to keep at it with input lag, very important for me.

    This monitor would be the perfect one if it just would be 120Hz!

    I so would love an ips panel at 30" with 120Hz!!
  • FXi - Friday, September 24, 2010 - link

    Even if it had an HDMI connector it wouldn't go higher than 1920x1080. Check out other high res HP monitors that have HDMI. Dell is the same way. Despite HDMI "being able" to output higher resolutions, ALL PC monitor HDMI inputs only recognize as high as 1920x1200 and most only do 1920x1080. So don't wish for an HDMI port. It won't do you much good. Reply
  • FXi - Friday, September 24, 2010 - link

    Since many folks debate the U2711 and the ZR30 and the U3008/3011, it would be interesting to see how things fall.

    As always, very disappointed the IPS hasn't YET managed after decades, to cure it's low contrast issues. Any TV owner will tell you that contrast and black level really make a display look fantastic and PC monitors are no different.
  • James5mith - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    Just wondering if anyone else has been able to get this monitor working on a Mac Pro with Dual-Link DVI.

    It would seem that DisplayPort bypasses the issue, but Dual-Link DVI fails to display. The monitor shows that it is getting a signal, the backlight is active, but the screen is blank. The Mac Pro thinks that the monitor is active, and has extended the display to it, but you cannot see anything.

    Odd, issue, and I've confirmed that the display and cable work on other systems. It is just the Mac Pro that is having the issue. Wanted to use this as a replacement for a 30" ACD, but it looks like I'll be returning it instead.
  • Matrices - Friday, November 19, 2010 - link

    It is so strange that you should mention this. I just received my monitor today and it has this exact same problem - except that it's defective across the board (on Windows 7 and Vista systems). Same symptoms, though: lights up, recognized by Windows, but displays absolutely nothing using the DVI. Nvidia cards don't have DP so I can't figure out if it's just the port that's defective or what. Anyway, I'm returning it, obviously. Reply
  • momofone - Friday, January 07, 2011 - link

    I have a Dell workstation with nVidia Quadro FX 4500 with dvi-d connectors and I have exactly the same issue - blank screen. Acts like something should be displayed, i.e. the backlight is active, but nothing, nada, totally blank.

    Shame. Looks like this monitor is incompatible with the FX series workstation cards. I can connect the Apple 30" ACD and it work fine though. Looks like I will have to think about another ACD.
  • eajohnson - Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - link

    I just bought a ZR30W last week and while it is performing well with no functional problems that I can see, the construction seems a little odd in that the panel is loose at the top (if I push very gently anywhere along the top of the panel, it can be pushed inward but stops after a few mm i.e. is not secured. Is this normal? Anyone know why it would be part of the design for it to be loose like that? At any of the other edges the panel appears to not be loose.

    I tried HP forums and calling HP tech support but they didn't seem to know, what I need is to find other owners that can try theirs and let me know if mine is normal or is defective.
  • SanFranShootr - Monday, January 03, 2011 - link

    I've read on some other sites that Mac owners who have the ZR30W are having screen flicker problems when they updated from 10.6.4 to 10.6.5.

    Does anyone know whether this 10.6.5 problem has been resolved?
  • Rohirm - Saturday, January 08, 2011 - link

    I have ZR30W connected via DP to Mac Pro Mid 2010 (HD5870). No problems here. Using OS X version 10.6.6 Reply
  • NetJunky - Sunday, February 06, 2011 - link

    I'm new on this website, but I have a question too. Will there be review of cheeper displays? Which one is better and why. Since I think, that not everyone can afford ZR30w.

    By the way, review was great. Very initeresting.
  • ranplett - Saturday, July 16, 2011 - link

    I've purchased this monitor, and returned it thinking it was defective. The second one I received was exactly the same. The monitor was calibrated several times with both the Spyder 3 Pro and i1 Display LT, and it exhibits banding in bright colored gradients, and a VERY obvious difference in tone from the top left to the bottom right. The top left has a blue/green color cast, while the bottom right is far more pinkish. I'm comparing it to a HP LP2475w (also calibrated). The HP 24" is very uniform and has no banding issues.

    I was really hoping this is a good montior considering the price, but it really isn't good for critical color work (photogrpahy/video). The review on this site claims that it is very accurate but I disagree.

    At this point it looks like I'm going to ask to return it in exchange for a NEC 27". The NEC 30" is $1000 more!
  • deon - Thursday, September 01, 2011 - link

    thanks for your comment mate! i was looking to buy it for color work, but after reading your review, i will probably go with NEC. It bums me out that NEC does not have a zero dead pixel return policy on their 2 grand monitors. Reply
  • deon - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    The price difference between HP 30 and NEC 30 is over 1200$!
    HP is around 1300$ and NEC 30 is over 2500$, but when i looked at the stats and numbers provided here, it seems like NEC is not worth of spending extra 1200$ and HP can be very good enough for doing professional color work (vfx compositing, color grading, photography).
    Is that so, or am i delusional? Can you please comment/clarify why i should or should not spend extra 1200$ on NEC, when this HP performs almost as good. Looking forward for any replies and suggestions!
  • walkswithmighty - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    I just thought I would chime in, and let you know that I just got this adapter today and was excited to try it on my ZR30W: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004I6IYSM ( startech hdmi to dp powered adapter )does not work with this monitor and the xbox 360 hdmi output. I hope that this helps anyone that wants to try this adapter out, in order to try and get a hdmi source to work on the display port of this monitor. Reply

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