Closing Thoughts

When we first opened the box to unpack the HP w2207, we were pretty impressed by the outward appearance. Many of the less expensive LCDs end up with very cheap stands, but HP clearly didn't go that route. On the other hand, this 22" LCD is anything but cheap. We have been very impressed with all of the 24" and larger LCDs that we've tested, and with the higher price tag of the w2207 we were hopeful that we might find a 22" LCD that could separate itself from the crowd. Did it manage to do this in our opinion? Not really.

In terms of features, you do get all of the necessary options. The cheaper LCDs often cut corners in terms of construction and features, and HP didn't follow their example. You get an attractive, durable LCD with a stand that provides tilt, height, and pivot adjustments. The stand alone is worth at least $50 relative to what you get with entry level 22" LCDs. You also get a couple of USB ports, and to top it all off you get a mirror finish on the front of your display. Truthfully, we could do without the reflective surfaces, but that's open to personal opinion.

When it comes to actually using the HP w2207, there were some areas where it clearly surpassed other LCDs. It produces some of the best blacks that we've yet seen from an LCD, and this in turn helps it to achieve high contrast ratios. HP informed us that the glossy LCD panel helps in this regard, and we do have to agree that it helps to give more vibrancy to colors and images. If you can deal with the fingerprints that are sure to accumulate over time, you might find a lot to like with this display. However, there are drawbacks.

Color accuracy was at best average among LCDs. The w2207 placed near the bottom of the charts in all of our Delta E results, before or after calibration. We still feel most people could live with the color accuracy, but the real question is whether they're willing to pay this much for a 22" LCD that comes with a one-year warranty. Both Dell and Gateway offer 24" LCDs that come with three-year warranties for around $650 (give or take depending on any rebates or promotions that might be running). You can also find the 24" Samsung 245BW for under $500, although that would be without a three-year warranty. At a base price of $360 and $110 more to get a three-year warranty, we would be far more inclined to upgrade to one of the 24" offerings. You get a better LCD panel technology (S-PVA instead of TN+film), a larger display size, and an increased resolution. On some of the 24" LCDs like the Dell and Gateway offerings, you also get multiple inputs that would allow the display to function as an HDTV, or something that could be used with a gaming console.

If you're trying to keep the price below $400 and you don't care about the relatively short warranty, the HP w2207 might be worth a look. There aren't very many 22" LCDs that actually offer a good-quality stand, and the dark blacks are definitely attractive. For a lot of people, however, we would recommend either saving money and getting one of the more economical 22" LCDs or else spend more and get a 24" LCD. Among 22" LCDs, the Samsung 225BW as an example also offers pivot and height adjustment and costs about $100 less, though black levels on that particular model aren't as good as on the w2207.

There are pros and cons to any display, so as usual the individual will need to decide what features and qualities are most important and choose accordingly. The HP w2207 may very well be the best 22" LCD currently on the market, but despite their popularity 22" LCDs are not at present able to match the overall quality of other LCDs. In this case, you may end up paying more relative to a 20" LCD, only to get a lower quality TN panel. For some, the extra 2" in size may be enough to justify that tradeoff, but for once we're not going to recommend the larger size without some reservations.

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  • jc44 - Thursday, August 2, 2007 - link

    Initially that would have been the approx asking price (medical applicatinos I think). They got cheaper as time went on though they were never exactly cheap. The Viewsonic (VP2290B) and Iiyama badged versions got under ~$7000 I think (which was approx twice the price on an Apple 30" at the time). Currently a DG5 (the last iteration) goes for ~$3500 on ebay and a VP2290B is ~$1000.

    The T221 was the first monitor that made me think "The best LCDs are btter than the best CRTs - now they only have to get cheap enough".

    I was really hoping that they would take off and the price would come down to something like the current ebay prices. (And yes I did buy off ebay in the end)
    Reply
  • Great Googly Moogly - Friday, August 3, 2007 - link

    Aye, they're pretty damn cool. I've yet to see one in the flesh though. You still have to have 2 dual-link cards with it though? Doesn't it use 4 single-link connectors?

    And isn't the 48 Hz data rate (all 4 links) OK enough? (Yeah yeah, TFTs don't have refresh rates, I know, but there are other ramifications of a slow data rate.)
    Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    Not sure why 22" is starting to become prominent over 20". Must be cheaper to produce because tolerances and processes don't have to be as tight, since they're the same resolution just a larger (and thus more visible) pixel pitch on the 22" (0.282mm). Would rather stick with a 20", or if I want bigger then I'd get a 23-24" with 1920x resolution. Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    When comparing TN 20" versus a 22" panel with around $50 difference, i'd definitely go for the 22" mainly due to the larger screen space which makes games and movies more life-like.

    Sure the resolution hasn't changed, but why do people buy big screens with lower resolutions anyways? Just to get the bigger picture of course.

    Oh, I also think there is a typo on Page 5 at the last paragraph.

    You mentioned
    quote:

    There are differences between the Acer and HP, and we generally felt that the Acer looked a bit better in vertical viewing while the Acer is better in the horizontal plane.


    But shouldn't it be

    quote:

    There are differences between the Acer and HP, and we generally felt that the HP looked a bit better in vertical viewing while the Acer is better in the horizontal plane.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    I corrected the Acer/Acer sentence -- HP seemed to be a bit better in the vertical plane. Things for the comment. Reply
  • nilepez - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    quote:

    When comparing TN 20" versus a 22" panel with around $50 difference, i'd definitely go for the 22" mainly due to the larger screen space which makes games and movies more life-like.


    I think the difference is that if you buy an 70" HDTV, you're not sitting as close as you are if you have a 42". Besides, a smaller TV with accurate colors trumps a big POS set with crap colors (and I've seen some awful HD monitors).

    As a result, if the colors are better on the 20", I'd go with a 20".
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    I think a lot of the better 20" LCDs were IPS or PVA, which might account for the prices as well. Dell I'm pretty sure was IPS on the 2005FP (and FPW?). I think the cheaper 20" LCDs are now also using TN panels. Could be that they can only get the same amount of 22" or 20" panels out of a modern glass substrate, though... I haven't looked into it closely. Reply
  • Spoelie - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    P-MVA and A-MVA are disregarded in the article, even though they are among the best 'overal' monitor technologies, for 20" at least. Second fastest response time, 8 bit color, best movie picture quality, homogeneous viewing angles. It's superior to PVA anyway. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    I thought MVA and PVA were similar and only certain patents created separate names. Guess not. :) I have never actually tested an MVA panel to my knowledge, and most high-end panels use IPS these days. The next tier uses PVA, and then the lower quality stuff uses TN. The one of the days, though, I will hopefully get the chance to test an MVA panel in person. Reply
  • mostlyprudent - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    I have been using an HP LP series LCD which uses (at least when I bought it) an S-IPS panel. I could never go back to a TN or other panel with less acurate color display. Reply

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