Color Quality

Straight out of the box, the color accuracy of the HP leaves a disappointing taste. The average dE is close to 9, and the grayscale is well up there, almost entirely in the double digits. Due to the lack of an OSD or other controls, there isn’t any other color mode you can select, such as sRGB or 6500K, to try to improve these results without calibration. If you purchase the ZR2740w and cannot calibrate it, this is the performance you can expect with no way to improve upon it at all.

Color Tracking -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Of course, since many people purchasing this display will be calibrating it, we want to see how well it performs after a calibration. Using ColorEyes Display Pro on a MacBook Air, I set the targets to my usual preferences: 200 nits of light output, a D65 white point, gamma of 2.2, and minimum black level. The calibration was done with an i1Pro spectrometer that is NIST certified to have a maximum error of 1.0 dE and an average error of 0.4. Using these settings, we get a much better result out of the HP.

Color Tracking -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Here we can see that our dE has dropped down to an average of 1.76 which is pretty good. The errors, as usual, are in shades of blue at the edge of the sRGB colorspace, and that grayscale that was horrible is now down to an error of under 1 for almost the entire range. Again I wanted to look at the median color error and see how much this average error is being skewed by the blue results.

Color Tracking -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Our median color error is a dE of 1.2, which is quite good. There are a lot of panels that do worse than that, and not many that can do much better at all. The only way to really get an error much better than this is to find a panel that uses the full AdobeRGB colorspace, so those shades of blue will be able to be rendered correctly. As a high resolution 27” monitor is likely to be targeted towards professionals, including those doing print work, the 100 nits results were even more important this time than usual.

Color Tracking -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

The dE results are very similar to those with 200 nits of light output, down to the grayscale having similar errors across the spectrum. The worst grayscale patch is the dark gray, which is the hardest for the i1Pro to read accurately, but until I have a better calibration program that allows for meter profiling, it’s the best result I’ll be able to get for you. Overall the calibrated results for the HP are good, but with no OSD at all the only way to get even close to these is with a calibration package, since you can’t even copy settings from another display and hope they look OK on your monitor. You could always try copying a color profile from someone else with the same monitor, but even then you're likely to get significant errors as there's plenty of variance between otherwise "identical" panels.

Design, OSD, and Viewing Angles Color Uniformity and Color Gamut
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  • cheinonen - Saturday, March 17, 2012 - link

    I had three 27" displays here at the time, and the HP was in the bottom for AG coating (one specifically had more) and I never found it distracting, nor did my wife when she tried it out for a few days. I think some people are more sensitive to the AG coating than others, but I'm just not that sensitive to it. Now the coating they use for passive 3D, that is almost always a deal breaker for me, much more than AG coating.
  • lid - Sunday, April 1, 2012 - link

    I agree. I also purchased a ZR2740 and almost returned it because of the insane sparkle effect from the antiglare coating. I thought my monitor was defective until I read up about it, and the consensus seems to be that all 27" monitors, except for the Apple Cinema Display which does not have an antiglare coating, exhibit this effect. I noticed a similar effect on a Dell U2711, but not quite as bad. My ZR2740 died (assumed power supply failure) and I received a replacement with the same effect, so it's not defective. After a few months I have almost become accustomed to the ZR2740 antiglare but it still bothers me for the first few seconds when I start using it. I've been using antiglare screens on MacBook Pros for years and never noticed this effect on them. I hope manufacturers start to make 27" displays with a less aggressive antiglare coating.
  • mschira - Saturday, March 17, 2012 - link

    They are in a similar price range, so what is new?
    Also I just got a HP ZR 30w with 2560x1600 pixels for about 1000 AUD.
    So where is the barging with a 27" for 700?
  • p05esto - Saturday, March 17, 2012 - link

    This might seem like a dumb question.... but how much heat does the fisplay give off? I work in a pretty small office (10-x10') on a second floor and it gets pretty hot in here. My current 26" monitor use CFL backlight and after a while you can really feel the heat from the front and top of the monitor (makes my face warm actually). Do the LED backlights totally eliminate the heat from the monitor?

    I'm on a quest to remove and upgrade all heat emiting items from my office such as moving the PC to another room and fishing wires through the wall, LCD tv, LED light bulbs, etc.... the monitor is next.

    If anyone could chime in on the real world difference of heat from a CFL to LED backlit monitor that would be great. Thanks.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, March 17, 2012 - link

    Just look at power consumption (watts). The efficient part is light output. For the same lumens, the difference in watts is the difference in heat.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    One strategy for heat reduction is to minimize ambient light, making sure there is no light falling onto the panel, so you can reduce the overall brightness level of the monitor.
  • seapeople - Saturday, March 17, 2012 - link

    Sometimes I wonder if all the people who go on reviews of 27"+ IPS displays and moan and groan about how much it costs also go to Corvette or Porsche websites and complain about the costs there, and how they can't "justify they cost" so they're instead going to buy a Camry.

    Newsflash, if $300 is a huge sum of money to you, then don't bother reading top end monitor reviews and getting angry when you can't afford it...
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    I remember how much the Mac Portable cost, because it had an active matrix LCD. It was only monochrome and was tiny — but the screen was a huge advance, for huge money.
  • Solidstate89 - Saturday, March 17, 2012 - link

    Is there any chance of an Anandtech review of that new 27" Samsung PLS monitor with the beautiful matte?

    I've only seen one review so far on HardwareCanucks, but they never go into as much detail as the monitor reviews here on Anandtech.
  • cheinonen - Saturday, March 17, 2012 - link

    Review samples seem to be hard to come by, but I'm trying to get one as soon as I can. I saw one at CES, and it looked quite nice.

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