Controls, but no On Screen Display

I’ve been putting off talking about those buttons at the bottom right of the display. Note that this far, I haven’t called them OSD buttons, because that’s just it - they’re not.

Your four control buttons

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.

I was a bit confused at first, so I checked the manual. It explicitly notes inside that the ZR30w has no OSD. This is still an interesting and radical choice. The four buttons allow you to change the source input from DVI-D to DisplayPort, control backlight brightness using + and -, and holding both + and - down simultaneously toggles dynamic contrast. Thankfully, HP ships with dynamic contrast turned off by default. Control feedback is communicated entirely through the blue LED at the right of the buttons. It’s intuitive and makes sense, but be aware that if you’re expecting RGB controls, color temperature, or other options you won’t find ‘em.

That brings me to the scaler IC, which I believe is related to the lack of traditional OSD. I noticed while looking through the manual that HP notes a “safe mode” resolution of 1280x800 next to the recommended native resolution of 2560x1600. Notice anything interesting about those numbers?

Sure enough, using 1280x800 results in a pixel-doubled but full screen image. Other resolutions are scaled as well, but I get the impression HP wants you to use the ZR30w at either native, or this "safe," aspect-ratio correct resolution exactly half of native. It’s an interesting and bold move to still not have an OSD, but in some ways it actually discourages the kind of wrong user control that can lead to insanity when trying to calibrate. But it’s still a bit of a surprise to see no OSD a generation later.

Viewing angles are superb as expected. HP advertises 178 degrees horizontal and vertical with a 10:1 contrast ratio. In practice, you shouldn’t ever really look at the monitor from those extreme angles, but there’s no reversal in contrast or vastly odd saturation at any extreme angle. In our subjective +/- 30 degree tests in vertical and horizontal directions, it looks equally good. 

First Impressions and Subjective Analysis Analysis: Color Quality
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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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