The Good The HP ZR2740w‘s pixel-packing 2,560×1,440 resolution makes high-end PC games look incredible. The monitor also includes the full gamut of ergo options and plenty of USB ports. At $700, it’s the cheapest way to get an extreme-definition (XD) monitor onto your desktop.
The Bad Without the OSD, the picture settings are limited by brightness. Also one DVI and one DisplayPort are all the connections you get.
The Bottom Line The HP ZR2740w donates customization to provide a powerful monitor at a reasonable price.
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With no settings other than brightness, the HP ZR2740w requires you to accept it as it is. However, is the price / performance ratio high enough to lack the options that should be addressed?
Design and features
Based on its thick and sturdy body, the astute among you may be able to quickly determine the type of the HP ZR2740w panel. Not surprisingly, the monitor has an in-plane switching panel (IPS) that requires a large amount of silicon real estate to hold IPS-based power. The ZR2740w has a considerable, 1.3-inch depth of initial chassis that tilts inward to the rear and extends back an additional inch to include connection and ventilation options. This provides a full monitor depth of up to 2.3 inches. This is a much larger girth than the under-inch profiles we are used to seeing on twisted nematic (TN) monitors.
Not the smallest monitor, but with the IPS panel we didn’t expect it to be. Be sure to tell us how great it looks in this light.
The giant footrest underneath the 13.2-inch-wide and 9.2-inch-deep panel provides more than enough stability, even when knocking on my very capable fists. The panel width is 25.4 inches, the right and left frames are 0.8 inches. It includes 4 inches of height adjustment of the screen with a distance between the panel and the desktop 1.8 inches when down and 5.8 inches at full height. Overall, the monitor body feels sturdy and durable, with no immediate signs of mastery of skill.
The 27-inch HP has a resolution of 2,560×1,440 with extreme clarity (XD), packing 136,000 pixels per inch. That’s 40,000 more pixels per inch compared to a 249-inch 1,920 x 1200 pixel screen. What converts these extra pixels is the high graphic integrity and quality of the screen, which I delve into in the productivity section.
Unfortunately, the monitor is limited to only two video inputs: one DVI and one DisplayPort. No duplicates and no HDMI. In addition, the location of the ports should follow the typical, old monitor design; they are tightened at the bottom, making them especially ferocious inaccessible. To the left of DisplayPort is one USB output port and two USB ports upstream. On the left side of the panel are two additional USB ports downstream, aligned vertically.
Yes, there are not enough connection options. You get one DisplayPort and one DVI port. Sure there is a USB output port and four downstream (two in the photo) but whodoesn’tput them on your monitors today? In fact, it’s not all that common … Well, well, it’s quite useful.
Here are the two additional USB ports, lifting the back.
The ZR2740w offers a full gamut of ergonomic options, consisting of 90-degree rotation, 35-degree rear tilt, 4-inch screen height adjustment, and 45 degrees left and right. Unfortunately, as it was with its 30-inch ZR30w , HP refuses to provide an on-screen interface (OSD), but instead has only brightness buttons and a quick way to switch from DVI to DisplayPort and back.
|Design and feature highlights|
|Ergonomic options:||35-degree back tilt, 45-degree left and right swivel, 4-inch screen height adjustment, 90-degree pivot|
|VESA wall mount support:||Yes|
|Included video cables:||DisplayPort, Dual-link DVI|
|Number of presets:||n/a|
|Additional features:||Carrying handle|
I tested the HP ZR2740w on a DVI input connected to a Windows Vista PC using the included DVI cable. The display shows a composite score of 96 on CNET lab performance tests.
The ZR2740w displays light gray to level 253. A value of 255 is considered white and each level between it and 1 is a gray. The monitor was unable to distinguish between 255 (white) and 254, which matched the white level of the Dell UltraSharp U2711, which also reached 253. The ZR2730w’s performance here indicates that the display is probably not liable to light colors. As for the dark gray, the ZR2730w displays up to level 4, keeping very deep black, indicating the display’s ability to store dark details during dark scenes in movies.
The ZR2740w has been distinguished by our color scaling tests, which assess the monitor’s ability to smoothly display different shades of different colors. The ZR2740w displayed these color scales smoothly and linearly, demonstrating performance at least on par with the U2711.
In our dark screen test, light bleed through the ZR2740w screen, showing only a faint glow on the lower edge. The monitor shows static ghosts, but it is visible when there are large changes in contrast, showing large cool graphs, like histograms.
The black text on the white looked clear, with no obvious color-tone issues. The fonts were also clearly visible to a size 6.8.
I tested the HP ZR3740w using the Blu-ray version of Avatar. The monitor provided a great movie viewing experience, displaying rich, accurate colors with a black level that showed no sign of diminished dark details. HD movie trailers are also displayed with a satisfactory contrast that matches the quality of the Dell UltraSharp U2711.
When evaluating the appearance of games on your monitor, the two most important features to consider are brightness and color. If the monitor can display games with bright and vivid clarity, it can go a long way in favor of its visual impact. If colors can also appear with fullness and depth, games can usually look great. Shooting is another concern that, to be honest, is not very common with most modern monitors, but if you’re worried about the band, be sure to read the last paragraph in this section.
I was looking at Torchlight and Dragon Age 2 (DAII) on the ZR2740w. “Just terrific” is an overused phrase, but one that accurately describes my experience in testing. At 2,560×1,440 pixels, each game displays bright, accurate colors and a noticeably diametric contrast ratio, which really gives images an added visual impact. This was especially true of DAII. In fact, someone who doubts the graphic quality of DAII (you know who you are) has apparently not yet experienced that it is overflowing with 3.3 million pixels trying to (and in this case) melt your face. On my 24-inch 24-inch monitor, which has 920×1200 pixels, the comparison with games at home is simply no comparison, where depressingly lacking any ability to melt your face.
To check the refresh rate, I used the DisplayMate motion graphics test and looked at a number of colored blocks as they moved around the screen at the set speeds. Depending on the speed of the block – as well as the monitor – behind each block there is a picture of different sizes. Judging by the size of the image, I can try to predict how the monitor can handle fleeting images in games.
Although the ZR2740w was clearer than the U2711, it was still easily noticeable and much more than I used to see with faster TN displays. However, when testing games in the real world, my eyes did not see any evidence that they were on strike.
The primary colors, as well as skin and hair, looked accurate, with no sign of the green tint that many monitors face.
Due to the lack of ZR2740w OSD settings, I did not use CalPC SpectraCal for calibration. I just checked the monitor as it is, adjusting only the brightness of the display, to my satisfaction.
The optimum viewing angle for the monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen down from the top. At this angle, you view the colors as intended by the manufacturer. Most monitors are not designed to be viewed from any other angle. The image quality at sub-optimal angle depends on the type of panel. Most monitors use TN panels that are too bright or too dark on parts of the screen, if you do not look at optimal angles.
Anti-glare (AG) coating also plays a role. Some viewers prefer not to cover at all, while others prefer only a limited number. Still others are completely indifferent; however, AG coverage does not adversely affect quality, and its merits or lack thereof are purely a matter of preference.
The HP ZR2740w uses a P-IPS panel that gives it a wide viewing angle from all sides. Here the AG coating works quite well, keeping most reflections; however, the black screen, which looks from an angle, shows some blurred impressions of the environment.
Despite the LED backlight, the HP ZR2740w achieved poor power consumption, default power on / off 85.54W, compared to 93.72W Dell UltraSharp U2711 in the same test.
In our sleep / standby test, the ZR2740w costs 1.2 watts and the U2711 just below 1.19 watts. Based on our formula, the ZR2740w will have an annual lift of $ 26.35 a year, compared to U2711 $ 28.78 a year.
Brightness (cd / m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
361 Lacie 324i
358 HP ZR2740w
352 NEC MultiSync PA271W
346 Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D
334 Dell Ultrasharp U2711
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,119:1 NEC MultiSync PA271W
1,035:1 Dell Ultrasharp U2711
947:1 Lacie 324i
937:1 Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D
811:1 Asus PA246Q
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
NEC MultiSync PA271W
98 Dell Ultrasharp U2711
98 Lacie 324i
97 Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D
97 HP ZR2740w
96 Asus PA246Q
|HP ZR2740w||Average watts per hour|
|On (default luminance)||25.54|
|On (max luminance)||97.54|
|On (min luminance)||28.7|
|Calibrated (200 cd/m2)||59.24|
|Annual power consumption cost||$26.35|
Learn more about how we test LCD monitors.
Service and support
HP supports the ZR2740w with a three-year limited warranty on spare parts and backlight capability – just like other vendors such as Dell. HP includes labels for free shipping and home maintenance as well as support through its 24-7 toll free number. Just remember that the free service expires in a year, and HP will charge you afterwards. The HP Web site offers web chat and email support, which the company believes will respond within an hour.
It’s hard to be disappointed in a monitor that packs as many pixels per screen as XD monitors do. However, the lack of connectivity and screen adjustments does not greatly increase the attractiveness of the ZR2740w. Price, on the other hand, is a different story. While we all love to see that the ZR2740w is packed with features and retails for $ 700, these are just not realistic expectations.
Simply put, the ZR2740w costs only $ 700becauseits missing features, and for that price, it’s the most affordable XD monitor out there.
If you can’t live with the brightness adjustment limits, both are Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D and Dell UltraSharp U2711 offer similar metrics, with far more options, albeit at higher prices.