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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  • flowrush - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    "nothing even close" is wrong. There are plenty of other monitors exceeding its performance, particularly the 120hz refresh rate. I'll take an Acer GD235HZ ANY day over the zr20w. 30" is way too big for fps games I play anyhow. 'Gaming' monitors are all relative to what type of games you play. In super fast twitch fps games like Quake/Unreal/Tribes, you're going to easily notice the difference in smoothness and seeing whats going on around you during dynamic fights requiring constant 180+ degree turns. And you don't need a $2200 fw900 to get a great crt. My CPD-G520 is just as good as the fw900, except it doesn't hold the wide resolutions (un necessary for gaming, 4:3 or 8:5 is fine by many). and can be had on craigslist for less than $100.
  • thunderjunk - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    The best part of the article is the add at the top of the page. Selling this monitor for $888.99. I noticed it RIGHT after i read "... a street price that comes in at $700 or below..."

    I then immediately facepalmed.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Ha... unfortunately, we don't control the linked in ads or where the prices come from. Many places sell it for under $700, so boycott Best Buy. :-)
  • Chapbass - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    I know its popular to bash best buy, but thunderjunk clearly said, not best buy...
  • Kjella - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Hehe I've had the same thing at our national version of pricewatch... I just searched for best prices for component X, then I get an ad out on the side offering the component for a much higher price. It's like "come to us, our prices are SO much higher". That's what you get with keyword advertising.
  • ComputerGuy2006 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    id pay over 2k easily for a monitor that does 2560x1600 @120hz.

    If they can do higher resolutions on TV's or higher DPI on phones, why cant we get a legit monitor with a better res then 2560x1600 or a better refresh rate then 60hz?
  • bobsmith1492 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    That's 11Gbit/sec (24-bit color x 2560 x 1600 x 120), a lot of data to process... on a 1920x1080 TV it's only 6Gbit/sec.

    It looks like DVI does 1.65Gbit/sec per wire pair, with 3 pairs in a standard DVI cable (4.95Gbit/sec) and 6 pairs in a dual-link DVI (9.9Gbit/sec).

    So, even a dual-link DVI cable couldn't support 2560x1600x120Hz. Looks like it's time for triple-link! :-)
  • Juddog - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Displayport could handle it though. 17.28 Gbit/s for the newest standard.
  • B3an - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link


    It's not 2005 anymore :)

    Theres Display Port 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 now. All my 2560x1600 monitors have both. And higher end AMD cards have had both as well for some time. The 6000 and 7000 series have DP 1.2 which should be able to handle 2560x1600 @ 120hz.
  • Zoomer - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    It should be able to handle 90 Hz at this resolution, though. And the panels should be able to handle it, too.

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