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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  • yacoub - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    Yes, the better ones were S-IPS panels, which it's a shame no longer seem to be used except in VERY expensive displays. They excel in several important areas over MVA/PVA panels. My first-run 2007WFP is indeed S-IPS and I love it, however they quickly switched over to some sort of MVA or PVA panel and I wouldn't go near those. :(
    Maybe one day (supposed) costs will come down and we'll get S-IPS again on mainline displays. I did find one really nice panel in 24" size that was S-IPS but the MSRP was around $1200, IIRC. What a joke.
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    The HP LP2065 is relatively cheap but usually (not always, you have to check in a hidden menu option) uses an S-IPS panel, and better still there are next to no reports of anyone having even a single dead-subpixel.

    I'd take a standard 20" 1600x1200 S-IPS display like the LP2065 over any wide-screen 22" 1680x1050 TN display (almost all 22" W are TN), as you get a much better picture with the S-IPS panel and you get more usable screen space because it has a tighter dot-pitch (so although it is smaller physically at 120 sq cm compared with 140 sq cm for a 22" W, the 20" actually has more pixels).

    For general desktop use and with most games, standard 4:3 is preferable to a wide-screen 16:10 aspect-ratio; the wide-screen format's only big advantage is for watching movies, and for that you should really be connecting your computer to a large-screen TV.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    I love widescreen for photo editing - rotate the display to vertical for portrait orientation shots, and you have a huge work area for either format. But I agree, I'd take an S-IPS 20" 4:3 over a 22" TN.
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    How many cameras have a widescreen format sensor? I know you agreed with most of what I said, but almost all cameras have a 4:3 sensor so a 4:3 display is optimal. This HP LP2065 monitor I have can be swiveled vertically very easily for those purposes, so unless you are taking widescreen format photos, I fail to see the advantage in a 16:10 widescreen display.

    You're right when you say a 20" Standard S-IPS is better than a 22" Widescreen TN. I'd personally say the difference is like night or day; once you've used the higher-quality and tighter dot-pitch of the 20" S-IPS panel, you'd never want to use any of those 22" widescreens. Only 24" widescreen monitors are better without spending a lot more, but a significant price premium still needs to be paid (and it had better be S-IPS, not PVA/MVA, let alone TN, else I'm not interested).

    When I chose my current 20" display, I could have instead saved about 30% of the cost and chosen a 22" widescreen TN display (when I was deciding what to choose, I compiled a spreadsheet of everything available and included panel types). Every 22" widescreen display used a TN panel and as I was used to the quality of a Mitsubishi DP2070SB CRT display, I decided TN panels would be unacceptable. Suffice to say that this display is everything I could have hoped for in a flat-panel and more, after seeing smaller diaplays (of indeterminate panel-type) in local high-street stores.
  • nilepez - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    Are you sure? Every digital camera I've used seems to mimic 35mm cameras, which have an aspect ration of 1.5:1. Most widescreen monitors seem to have an aspect ration of 1.6:1, while standard monitors are 1.33:1.

  • yyrkoon - Thursday, August 2, 2007 - link

    That 1.5:1 or 1.3:1 ratio is specific to the relitive size of the sensor compared to a fullsized 35mm sensor that is in very few cameras. There are *some* wide aspect cameras, but it is mostly a new 'technology', and mainly implemented in P&S cameras.

    My Nikon D40 for instance uses a 1.5:1 sensor. What this means is that if I use a 50mm focal length lens, the actual focal length I get with this lens on my camera is 75mm. Images produced with this camera are 3008x2000 which is actually 1.504:1, or more commonly called 3:2 by many. Canon cameras have a 1.3:1 sensor aspect, and I forget which other brand, and ratio, but there is one more 'common' manufactuer ratio. This is of course in the realm of DSLRs, but most P&S cameras use a standard sensor/lens ratio (for 'that' specific brand), with very few using the widescreen setup as I mentioned above.

    Anyhow, for image editing, I prefer a widescreen monitor not because it 'matches' the image aspect ratio, but because it give me more realastate for toolbars etc while editing images, and giving me more visable image area to work on while these toolbars are visable. This is purly a matter of taste, and I *could* use the pallete well, or tab keys to hide the toolbars while not in use, but this is the way I have become accustomed to working(pen/tablet seems to work well with this setup as well).

    Personally, I think a monitor that displays colors correctly is far more important, as well as contrast ratio, and monitor interface type.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, August 2, 2007 - link

    Most DSLRs use sensors that have a 3:2 aspect ratio (or close enough) like 35mm film has. the Four-Thirds system (Olympus, Panasonic, "Leica") is, obviously, a 4:3 ratio sensor.

    As far as "crop factors" go, Canon makes a full frame (same size as 35mm, 1:1) sensor, a 1.3:1 sensor, and a 1.6:1 sensor. Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Samsung all use 1.5:1 (since they all use Sony sensors), and Fugifilm uses 1.5:1 as well, possibly because the body comes from Nikon. Sigma uses 1.7:1, and Four-Thirds is 2:1.

    Most P&S cameras use 4:3 ratio sensors, and most are made by Sony. Panasonic offers a wide-format sensor IIRC.

    And yes, the toolbars are a good reason to have widescreen (or dual monitor).
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    Ooops, I meant 1200 sq cm for the 20" standard display compared with 1400 sq cm for the 22" widescreen. Heh, 120 sq cm would be a touch on the small side :)
  • yacoub - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    Ah, here it is: NEC MultiSync LCD2490WUXi for $1449.99, or the high gamut extra precision model for $1749.99.">

    I'm sure they're wonderful but for that price you can get a rather nice 42" LCD TV. Heh.
    Then again I bet they don't have any input lag like the Dell 24" and other MVA or PVA panels tend to exhibit which can be very annoying in FPS games for folks who are used to the more immediate input reproduction of CRTs or S-IPS LCDs.
  • nilepez - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    What makes this technology that much better? If I was spending that much money, I'd get a 30" Dell (or similar). At least I'd get 32% more desktop space than my CRT (and 44% more than the NEC).

    Oh wait, this isn't really a business monitor, it's for color professionals (mostly those who work on photos, I suspect) and has lots of controls, I suspect, that most monitors don't have.

    Out of my price range.....I wonder how it compares to a hardware calibrated Dell or HP. Of course for gaming and business use, it's almost certainly not worth the money.

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