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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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    For $1700, I would definitely pick up one of the HP 30 inch LCDs -- or the Dell that matter. Both of those used S-IPS panels and provide back lighting that has an improved color gamut. I certainly couldn't tell you what the NEC offers that would make it worth the price of entry, but unfortunately I have never been able to use one in person. Reply
  • nilepez - Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - link

    I think the difference is that the HP apparently has a lot of adjustments that you can make.

    I'm just guessing, but it may be something like the the old Sony Artisan or Barco monitors, where you could make adjustments to many different areas of the screen, not just the usual 4 (or less) that most had.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, August 2, 2007 - link

    IIRC some of the high-end Eizo and NEC displays can interface directly with color calibration equipment, and probably have better controls. Who knows, they migh hold their color longer or come with a calibration sheet from NIST or something too. Conceptually similar to the Artisans as a monitor designed to be very good for color-sensitive work. Reply

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