The LCD market continues to be one of the frequently updated segments in the consumer electronics segment, as OEMs and vendors alike are eager to bundle their high-end, high performance displays with professional workstations. The ZR30w belongs to that same pro market, offering a 10-bit panel with 1.07 billion colors - for an advertised 99 percent coverage of the AdobeRGB 1998 gamut and 30-bit per pixel color. HP claims that the ZR30w is the first 30" display to break 1 billion colors. When you’re selling a 30” LCD to enthusiasts, every bit of performance matters, and as we’ll show in a bit, the ZR30w doesn’t fail to impress.

As already noted, the ZR30w is targeted primarily at enthusiasts and professionals who demand accurate color tracking and equally large gamut. As with all 30” displays, every detail counts, as this segment represents generally the best of the best for manufacturers. It makes sense, too, since enthusiasts and professionals alike who are serious about getting the absolute largest in display real-estate also care about color tracking and gamut. They expect top performance, and are willing to pay for it. Though similar real-estate can almost be captured with arrays of smaller panels, for most, the 30” segment remains the most lust-worthy among displays thanks to the truly uninterrupted space.

The last 30” HP LCD we touched was the venerable HP LP3065 back in 2007. The LP3065 is still available today as well at $1,349 on HP’s website. The ZR30w is being introduced at a price point of $1,299 - some $300 below Dell’s UltraSharp 3008WFP display. Interestingly enough, the ZR30w does away with the plethora of DVI-D ports we praised the LP3065 for having (almost doubling as a KVM switch). It trims down the 3 DVI-D ports in the LP3065 to 1 DVI-D port and a DisplayPort for the ZR30w. That’s not a deal breaker, but you’re still one input shorter a generation later, which is a bit puzzling. Considering other 30” displays include a plethora of input options, we find the ZR30’s a bit spartan - an HDMI port or component would be welcome additions.

DisplayPort, DVI-D, USB-B, 2x USB-A

Before we go any further though, let’s dive into the specifications:

HP ZR30w - Specifications
Property Quoted Specification
Video Inputs DVI-D, DisplayPort (both with HDCP)
Panel Type S-IPS/H2-IPS (CN401808T6 unknown manufacturer)
Pixel Pitch 0.250 mm
Colors 1.07 billion colors (30 bits)
Brightness 370 nits typical
Contrast Ratio 1000:1 normal, 3000:1 (dynamic)
Response Time 7ms (g2g), 12ms (on to off)
Viewable Size 29.7" Diagonal
Resolution 2560x1600 (WQXGA)
Viewing Angle 178 degrees horizontal and vertical
Power Consumption (operation) <130 watts typical, <185 watts maximum
Power Consumption (standby) <2 watts sleep
Screen Treatment Matte (anti-glare)
Height-Adjustable Yes: 4" of travel
Tilt Yes: -5 degrees to 35 degrees
Pivot No
Swivel Yes: -45 degrees to 45 degrees
VESA Wall Mounting Yes - 100x100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 27.3" x 19.3" - 23.3" x 10.8"
Weight w/o Stand 28.6 lbs
Additional Features Integrated 4-port USB hub, HP Quick Release, optional speaker bar
Limited Warranty 3 years parts, labor, and onsite service
Accessories DVI-D, DisplayPort, USB, and Power Cables
Price $1,299.00

We’ve already talked about the ports, but in case you haven’t used a 30” or equally high resolution panel before, note that dual link DVI is an absolute must. Luckily, HP ships a dual link DVI cable (I’ve seen a few monitors that require dual link DVI actually ship without dual link cables, which always results in a few nightmares) and makes note of it in the instruction manual.

Just don’t expect passive DisplayPort to DVI adapters or other single link DVI interfaces to drive the ZR30w; it won’t work. I experimented with a single link connection just for fun, and the ZR30w refused to show an image. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s entirely expected. Just be sure you check your cables if things aren’t making sense.

There’s also an internal 4-port USB 2.0 hub. Two ports on the left side of the monitor, two on the bottom near the display inputs. Alongside the standard power connector is a power switch - been a long time since I’ve seen one of those on a monitor.

First Impressions and Subjective Analysis
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94 Comments

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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.

    Cheers,
    Brian
    Reply
  • 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 :-)
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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).
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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??????
    Reply

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