HP ZR2330w review

The HP ZR2330w is a versatile 23-inch business monitor offering solid IPS color quality, wide viewing angles, and an ergonomic stand.

When it comes to monitors, business users typically require a model that offers good ergonomics, solid performance, and space saving features such as a USB hub and a small desktop footprint. Low power usage is also a plus. With the HP ZR2330w you get a reasonably priced 23-inch business monitor that offers accurate IPS colors, a highly adjustable (albeit stiff) stand, and a couple of USB ports. However, it suffers from a few flaws; its grayscale performance is less than stellar, and it uses USB 2.0 technology rather than the speedier USB 3.0 technology.

Design and Features
As is the case with most business monitors, the ZR2330w is fairly ordinary looking. It uses a 1.9-inch thick matte business black cabinet and comes with a matching stand that allows swivel, tilt, height, and pivot (screen rotation) adjustments. You’ll need two hands to pivot and tilt the panel as the hinge mechanism is very stiff. You’ll also have to change the image orientation manually in your graphics card’s control panel applet or use the HP Display Assistant utility. The stand can be removed if you prefer to hang the monitor on a wall using the VESA compliant mounting holes.

The 1,920-by-1,080-resolution panel has a 16:9 aspect ratio and sports a non-reflective matte anti-glare coating. It is framed by thin (0.8-inch) top and side bezels with a slightly wider bottom bezel (1-inch) that holds five buttons on its right side and an HP logo in its center. The clearly labeled buttons are used for navigating the OSD (on screen display) menus, selecting an input source, and enabling the Auto Adjust feature (for analog signals only).

The OSD offers limited picture settings and is designed for ease of use. The Main menu offers brightness and contrast controls, a color temperature sub-menu with five three presets as well as gamma and custom settings, and Management controls such as a sleep timer, power-on recall, and a DDC/CI (Display Data Channel/Command Interface) switch.

Video connections are located at the rear of the cabinet, facing downward. Here you’ll find DVI, DisplayPort, and VGA inputs but no HDMI port. There’s also an upstream USB port that connects to your PC and brings connectivity to the two downstream USB ports mounted on the left side of the cabinet, but all three support USB 2.0 and not the newer and faster USB 3.0 technology.

HP covers the ZR2330w with a standard three year warranty. Inside the box you get DisplayPort, USB, and VGA cables, a resource CD with drivers, a user guide, and HP’s Display Assistant software, which automatically installs drivers and offers a desktop app for adjusting brightness, contrast, color temperature, and screen orientation.

Performance
The ZR2330w’s IPS panel did a relatively good job of displaying accurate colors, as evidenced by the CIE chromaticity chart below. Basically, the closer the dots are to the center of their corresponding boxes, the better the color accuracy. Reds and blues matched up nicely but greens were a little outside of the zone. Fortunately, the picture did not suffer from tinting or oversaturated greens. In fact, color quality was quite good; color samples from the DisplayMate Color Scales test appeared uniform and gradated evenly from dark to light.

Grayscale performance, on the other hand, was sketchy; the ZR2330w struggled with the two lightest shades of gray on the 64-Step Grayscale test. As a result, the lightest stages appeared white and were indistinguishable from one another. Results were similar at the dark end of the scale with the darkest swatches appearing black rather than graduating from one shade to the next. Chances are this flaw won’t come into play in a typical business environment anyway. The fact is, if you require very accurate grayscale performance you should be shopping for a professional grade monitor like the Dell UltraSharp 3014 or NEC MultiSync PA301W.

Motion blur was obvious while playing a round of Far Cry 2 on the PC. This can be attributed to the panel’s 14-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response. Once again, this is not an issue for a business monitor that will likely see very little game play.

The ZR2330w averaged 23 watts of power during testing, which is good for a 23-inch IPS monitor, especially when compared to the Asus MX239 (28 watts) and the AOC i2367fh (27 watts). However, it doesn’t offer any power saving modes like the Acer T232HL, which used only 18 watts in Eco mode.

The HP ZR2330w is a good bet for businesses of all sizes. Its 23-inch IPS panel delivers solid color quality and provides very good off-angle viewing, and it comes with all the usual business-centric accoutrements, including a USB hub and an ergonomic stand. However, the panel’s grayscale performance could be better and USB 3.0 ports would sweeten the pot. If grayscale performance is a deal breaker, consider our Editors’ Choice for mid-sized business monitors, the NEC MultiSync EA232WMi.

Specifications
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Supported Video Formats 1080p
PC Interfaces Analog VGA, Digital (DVI-D), DisplayPort
Video Inputs DVI
Diagonal Screen Size 23 inches
Widescreen Yes
Aspect Ratio 16

Verdict
The HP ZR2330w is a versatile 23-inch business monitor offering solid IPS color quality, wide viewing angles, and an ergonomic stand. However, it has trouble displaying the lightest and darkest shades of gray and uses older and slower USB technology.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc