In Q3 2006, HP was able to finally surpass Dell for worldwide computer sales - albeit by a small margin. Competition within the North American market is even closer, with Dell continuing to hold a slight lead. Regardless of who is in the lead, the fact is that Dell and HP are the two largest computer resellers in the world. Not surprisingly, both companies also have an extensive line of displays on offer.

The LCD market is one of the fastest-growing segments of the computing industry, with new products offering improved performance launching on a regular basis. Not only has the quality of LCDs improved dramatically over the past several years, but prices continue to plummet as competition heats up. We took a look at Dell's 3007WFP 30" LCD recently, and now we've got HP's competing LP3065 offering in our labs for testing.

30" LCDs currently sit at the top of the lust-worthy computer displays totem pole, offering some of the highest resolutions and display sizes on the market. They also come with a price to match, effectively putting them out of reach of most consumers. Enthusiasts and computing professionals on the other hand are often willing to splurge in order to get top-quality products. It is possible to get more total screen real estate by running several smaller monitors, but some people prefer a single monolithic display over two or more smaller displays. Of course, if the quality of the larger display is also better than the smaller displays, that's another reason to consider spending the extra money.

As with all of the other 30" LCDs, a high-quality graphics card is basically required in order to properly utilize the LP3065. This is due to the native 2560x1600 resolution, which requires a dual-link DVI connection to function. While it is possible to find dual-link DVI ports on certain midrange graphics cards, the ports are far more common on high-end and professional GPUs. Naturally, if you want to run certain applications at the native resolution, you will need all of the graphics processing power you can find.

As we said in our review of the Dell 3007WFP, 30" LCDs certainly aren't for everyone, and the HP LP3065 isn't likely to change that fact. The real question is: is the LP3065 better than competing 30" LCDs? HP has added a few interesting features to their offering that could very well move it to the head of the pack. Let's take a closer look.

Features, Specifications, and Warranty
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  • gfisher - Sunday, July 26, 2009 - link

    My HP machine has an NVIDIA 8500GT graphics card. I'm interested in buying a HP LP 3065 thirty inch monitor. Will the card drive the monitor at full speed?
  • DaveJDSP - Sunday, December 30, 2007 - link

    I cannot possibly thank you enough for testing and posting photos of viewing angles. When doing critical photo/graphics work, it is essential that the top and bottom of the screen appear consistent from a fixed viewing point in the center of the screen. The larger the monitor, the more critical this becomes, as from a fixed point, the eyes scan over an arc of 10-20 degrees or greater.
    Most monitors that I have seen at local stores have viewing angles that are totally unsatisfactory for critical work, even from a fixed eye point. And there are very few local stores that carry a sufficient selection of better and larger monitors, suitable for more critical work, so that the buyer can evaluate those monitors in person. Therefore, your complete and comprehensive reviews become even more critical.
    Thank you again for your excellent reviews and for including such critical viewing angle information.
  • chakarov - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    Contrast by specification shoud be 1000:1 but you measured it 585:1.
    It is interesting what to believe.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, March 24, 2007 - link

    As I explained in the Gateway FPD2485W review, contrast ratios, brightness levels, response times, and various other "spec sheet items" are often seriously exaggerated. While technically a higher contrast ratio is better, a 500:1 or higher real value is generally more than sufficient. There's also a possibility that at some specific setting the HP would come closer to 1000:1 - doubtful, given the results on the three tested settings (uncalibrated, calibrated, and print calibrated), but still possible.

    The basic issue is with backlight bleed - i.e. blacks that aren't actually black. In theory, any proper display would have an infinite contrast ratio, as black would be 0 and anything divided by zero is infinity/undefined. Some displays (the Acer, for example) achieve higher contrast ratios by having blacker blacks; others like the Gateway get them by having insanely bright whites. Anyway, more is not always better, as the color accuracy of the middle tones isn't represented by contrast ratio.
  • michal1980 - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    what about input lag vs a crt?

    crts should be the baseline since they seem to show close to 0 image lag.

    lcd vs lcd is nice to, but if all lcds are off by a large number of frames from a crt, that will still suck
  • Souka - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    I feel a CRT vs LCD war thread starting..... ;)
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    LCDs are still slightly slower than CRTs, but we have abandoned the CRTs, or at least I have. I no longer have any for testing, and the last CRTs I purchased are now over two years old, the Samsung 997DF and the NEC FE991-SB. There hasn't been a new really high-end CRT released in upwards of five years, I don't think. Five or six year old 22" CRTs (with a 20" viewable diagonal) are better than the later 21/22" models in terms of features and performance. Then there's the whole geometry and signal adjustment that needs to be done on analog devices. Personally, I wouldn't even consider a CRT for my computer use anymore.

    Given that we have the 2407WFP for testing and it has been used already, we would prefer to continue with that trend. A baseline is just that: a reference point. Baseline doesn't have to be "best" - and obviously quite a few LCDs are better than the 2407WFP when it comes to input lag and response times. So far, however, we haven't seen more than a 1 frame (*maybe* two with the Acer AL2216W) difference in output. So the largest difference we've seen is currently less than 0.02 seconds.
  • Souka - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Why not get a 30" Apple Cinema Display?

  • AnnonymousCoward - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Let's see, $2000 for the Apple versus $1274 for the Dell. If you like being charged up the @$$, then be my guest.

    Now, the Apple is competing with the LP3065 and 3007WFP-HC; those panels are superior and $300 cheaper retail. Not to mention I just bought the HC from Dell for $1430+tax. Why would you pay $570 more for a worse product?
  • dcalfine - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Apple made the first 30" dual-link LCD for consumers and is often considered better than the Dell. It would be wise to consider it a contender.

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