I have just taken delivery of this beast, as an early Xmas present from my lovely wife. For the past few years I have been using a 24" iMac, and also a 19 inch LCD screen on my PC.
I still use the iMac for photography editing, but I also wanted to use my computer for the same, and the 19" screen just wasn't suitable. I spent hours trawling reviews about which monitor to buy. So many reviews focus on gaming, and thats not my primary concern. My main concern is photo editing, and how the images look on the screen. In the end, I narrowed it down to 3 or 4 monitors, mostly the Dell Ultrasharp range, but whilst reading reviews on them, I came across an article comparing the HP LP2475W and some of the Dell range. As I read further, it became clear that this monitor was a pretty good buy and compared very favorably to the much more expensive Dell monitors.
When I started looking, I knew I wanted at least 24 inches ( doesn't every man?). I wanted this to maximise my workspace, and to sit proudly next to my 24" iMac. Another key point was the ability to swivel the monitor into portrait mode, as when editing portrait photos, this makes the full image visible and easy to work on. I also wanted a monitor with an IPS panel, as opposed to the more common TN panel for reasons described below.
**TECH COMMENTS ALERT** Please skip this is you don't care about the differences of LCD monitors!
IPS stands for In-plane switching. This means the liquid crystal cells align in a horizontal direction and electricity is passed through each end. This type of panel is more desirable as the viewing angle of the monitor is greatly increased and the picture is much better due to the panel's better colour reproduction, essential in photography.
TN stands for twisted nematic. This system operates by the liquid crystals twisting in different degrees to let the light through. Electricity is passed through only when needed, and therefore a TN panel used less electricity than other types. The major downside with a TN panel is the viewing angle is greatly decreased, and colours are not always representational of the true colour. TN panels are traditionally much cheaper to produce, hence they are more common.
The HP LP2475W has an H-IPS LCD screen, produced by LG and has a contrast ratio of 1000:1. In English this means that the screen can go very white, and very black. The screen sports a resolution of 1920x1200 and a response time of 5ms. For my uses the responce time isn't very important, but for gamers, the lower the number the better, so this one is actually pretty good. My iMac has a response time of 16ms!
The monitor has a huge array of connections, infact more than most will ever need, HP really went all out with this. On the underside of the monitor, you can find 2x DVI-I ports , HDMI port, DisplayPort, Component Video, S-Video, and Composite Video. On top of this, the monitor also has 6 USB ports, 4 underneath and two on the left hand side. Thats a lot of connectivity, even for a very expensive monitor. It also has an audio plug, for the optional sound bar that mounts on the bottom of the screen.
Upon opening the box to the monitor, I saw that HP spared no expense. To go along with all the connections on the monitor, HP have provided the cables for every connection. This includes two HDMI cables, a mini and normal, DVI to VGA, DVI to DVI, Displayport, S video, USB and both a UK and USA power cable. This is staggering, considering most companies usually just supply the very basics and expect you to fork out for the rest should you need them.
The screen mounts on a huge and weighty plastic and metal base. It has a really nifty quick lock system. Simply slide the monitor on the the base and it clips in securely. To take it off, press the release button and off it comes. This is especially handy, as the monitor is pretty weighty itself, weighing in at 9.1 Kg. The base has a rather large footprint, it needs to to hold the mass of the monitor up, but it does take up a lot of room on a desk, the actual mount also sticks a long way out. I have mine right up against the all, and the monitor sticks out a good 7-8 inches from the wall. Despite this, the mount allows a vast range of movement, from height, swivel, tilt, and the aforementioned portrait mode. The base has two other very useful features, the first being two cable tidies built in behind rubber flaps, and the second is a little tray on the top of the base to keep your pens and other little desk goodies in.
If required, the screen can also be mounted on the wall using a VESA mount.
Once all set up, its time to turn the monitor on using the power button on the front bezel of the screen. At first, nothing happened and I started to panic. Then I realised that it had an actual ON/OFF switch on the back. How rare is that in this day and age. So when not in use, you can actually turn the power fully off, and not just onto standby mode like so many electricals these days. Once powered up, the monitor automatically scans for which ports are in use and selects the first one. In my case only the first DVI port was being used to it switched to it.
At first the screen had a very strange hue to it, but I was expecting this. After letting the screen warm up for about an hour, I calibrated it using a Spyder3 and then I got to see the full glory of the screen. I loaded some of my favourite pictures onto the screen and was very pleased with the contrast the images had now taken. On my previous monitor, things often looked washed out and bland, even after calibration. The HP has the blackest blacks and bright punchy whites. Colours are gradual and smooth with no blockyness. In high contrast pictures, like a bright sunset, the monitor shows them how they should be without the horrible pixelation and banding you can often find on lesser models.
If you don't have your own calibration tool, the monitor has a whole host of settings to change to get the right picture, from brightness and contrast, to colour temperature sliders and sRGB sliders. Another major plus for me, is this monitor has a matte screen. Nothing annoys me more than a glossy screen with its horrible reflections!
The in screen menu is reasonably easy to navigate. You have 7 buttons on the front face of the monitor to access all the settings and change them. The are easy to see and press and clearly labeled. The bezel itself is a dark grey/black with a matte finish so not to many annoying reflections and finger prints.
I should talk about price, well this isn't a cheap monitor as such, but its not expensive compared to some of its counter parts, and thankfully I got (well the wife got) a very deal on this one.
Prices start at around £560 and down to about £420. I got mine for just under £300 delivered as it was an ex demo, but in mint condition with a full 1 year warranty.
When you consider what you are getting, and compare it to some of the more expensive rivals, you will soon see this is excellent value for money. Not only are you getting a huge connectivity range, but a massive 24" IPS panel at the price of some manufacturers standard TN LCD panels.
I'm very glad I found the review of this monitor that I did, other wise I could have been spending a lot more money than I needed to, on perhaps a screen not as good.
Very highly reccomeneded!!
I'm currently writing this at work staring at one of these monitors, which have just been purchased by my employer to facilitate the easy viewing of text in a new application we now use. I have to say its large screen area is a major bonus if you need multiple windows open at once as we do. The stand enables you to easily flip the monitor to either portrait or landscape positions at the touch of a finger, then just right click and rotate the picture to suit. I've got mine in portrait mode at the moment, which is ideal for displaying internet or other pages with a long, scrolling text on. The resolution is pin sharp, and the casing has a feel of real quality that you'd of course expect from HP. In landscape, widescreen mode you really get a feel for whatever expansive graphics or video you're viewing.