Home > Electronics > New Monitor – HP ZR2740w

New Monitor – HP ZR2740w

I’ve had a 24″ monitor for several years now, specifically the HP LP2465. It has a couple of issues that made photo editing problematic. The lighting was fairly uneven. Comparing two photos side by side was difficult since backlight was not even. Even just changing my sitting position a little cause the brightness from my viewpoint to change. The other problem was the anti-glare coating.

There are basically two types of monitors: glossy and matte. Glossy is typically what you will see in the store. The colors will look very vibrant but reflections are a bear. I have a glossy TV and the reflections are terrible. A glossy monitor might be acceptable for me but I have no way to test this short of buying one. A matte display has a coating to reduce reflections. Unfortunately the LP2465 has an extremely heavy coating. It is very visible when editing photos or working with a light-colored background, such as a document or a web page. The coating is so heavy, it made my photos look they were shot at ISO 800 or worse.

In addition to wanting to rectify this, I wanted a higher resolution monitor. Photo editors such as Lightroom or Canon’s DPP often have sidebars for tools. Once you factor these in, your picture suddenly has less screen real-estate and a higher resolution looks appealing. I have been looking for a good 27″ monitor for a long time. Good equals:

  • High-resolution: 2560×1440. An amazing number of 27″ monitors are 1920×1080. Baffling.
  • Light anti-glare coating.
  • 3 year warranty.
  • LED
  • Even backlighting.
  • Quiet. I didn’t realize this was an issue until I started researching, but some monitors make an audible humming noise.
  • “Cheap”. Meaning less $750.
  • HDCP support. Previous monitor did not have this stupid copy-protection scheme so I couldn’t watch Blu-rays on it.
  • Non-glossy border. My work monitor has a glossy border and it reflects my hands when typing. Annoying.

That leaves 4 monitors:

  • Asus PB278Q
  • Dell U2713HM
  • HP ZR2740w
  • Samsung S27850D

The Asus and Dell both seem to have quality issues. Many reports too of the Dell makes a humming noise and a strange pattern that people say once you see, you’ll notice it always. That left the HP and the Samsung. Neither are available in stores to test. The HP is actually on version 2 now. There were so many complaints about the anti-glare coating they had to redesign it. I was leaning towards the Samsung even though the panel was not as good as HP’s and it is more expensive. The HP is also very strange in that it only has a brightness control. There is no on-screen menu at all! However, Newegg had a sale on the HP, so I ordered it. I was very reluctant to do this since I got burned once not seeing an HP monitor in person, but there’s really not much choice. There was enough price difference that if I didn’t like it I could ship it back and still be less than the Samsung.

FedEx did a very poor job of delivering it. It was left at my front door for anyone to take instead of at the apartment office, since I wasn’t home at the time. The box was also clearly labeled as a monitor. Back to the monitor, it is a great improvement over the previous one. The lighting is very even and much appreciated. More importantly, the coating is much lighter than my previous one. Still noticeable and it could be better, but it is acceptable. It’s silent, too. Since there no controls, calibration with my i1Display LT went quickly and the results are nice. I think this will work well, so I am glad to put one decision behind me and move on to other stuff.

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