HP – f2105 review

21-inch widescreen LCD monitor
Photo of HP – f2105

In an age where style allied to quality is a must for most PC peripherals, Hewlett Packard’s latest 21-inch monitor is designed to look cool on your desk while offering stunning visual authenticity.

Weighing in at 9.2kg and with a solid C-shaped metal base, you can tell that this is a monitor that means business. Silver and black being the fashionable colour combination of the day, this should have most of your colleagues and family nodding with admiration.

The tilting range is relatively limited (from 5 degrees down to 35 degrees up) and you can’t pivot sideways without moving the entire unit, but you can increase the height by up to 4 inches. Wall mounting is an option but if you really want to impress, just place it on the desk top and start loading your games and DVDs.

At the recommended resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels, the monsters of Doom 3 virtually leap out the screen at you, the dramatic colours and deep shadows are so vivid and sharp. The refresh response time is the usual 16ms so it’s not as top notch as, say, last year’s BenQ FP783 which managed 12ms. DVDs, though, are free of that annoying purple fringe, and the extra width makes it almost feel like a cinematic experience.

As is often the case, text is clear but not exceptionally crisp. The main advantage from a business point of view is that you can display two full A4-sized pages side by side and thus cut down on the amount of scroll time needed for presentations. If you can persuade your boss that the f2105 is vital for multiple window activity, then you can play your games and movies in your lunch break!

There are two integrated 5w per channel stereo speakers on either side and while they provide passable sound quality, you’d be well advised to hook up an external speaker system. Video inputs are for DVI-D and D-Sub analogue VGA but there’s no picture-in-picture facility, nor ports for S-Video. You do have three USB 2.0 ports, though, which will enable you to connect such peripherals as digital cameras or printers.

The controls are clearly labelled and easy to operate, whilst remaining relatively unobtrusive. On the bottom bezel you have volume level, onscreen menu, selection button and auto-adjust for VGA, plus a headphone jack. The box comes complete with all the relevant cables, documentation kit and CD, together with a one year warranty.

Company: HP

Contact: 0870 547 4747

This monitor provides an excellent balance between work and play, whether you want to enjoy widescreen movies and in-your-face gaming (provided you're linked to external audio systems) or use it for maximising screen space for business research and presentation.