Hewlett Packard w2207h review

Hewlett Packard w2207hI don't upgrade a lot. Once every 3 to 5 years I buy new stuff, usually quadrupling speed and capacity. Coming from a 19" CRT bought for cheap (at that time), I decided to shell out some more cash this time on screen real estate. With TFT prices dropping like flies and an abundance of choice in every size imaginable, I chose the HP w2207h partly for the great reviews it received and partly because of some specific demands I have for a flatscreen. One of those specific demands is the ability to control the overdrive setting. Most TFTs are completely out of control with artificially looking sharpening halos. It makes my eyes hurt and it makes photo editing impossible. This ability to turn down overdrive is usually only found on more professional screens, but then again, HP is aiming at both home and office use with this screen, so that makes sense. Having said that, I find it incomprehensible that it doesn't have a standard DVI socket, but only VGA and HDMI. I realize the w2207 (without the "h") has one, but as far as I could see, that model is no longer being sold.

Looks - Black and silver are all the rage these days. The w2207h is both. The screen bezel is glossy black, increasing contrast a bit. The case trim is silver. It's all plastic, but doesn't feel cheap. The control buttons, though small and unintrusive, do feel cheap. Fortunately, the picture can also be adjusted with the included software. More on that later. The TFT panel has a glossy finish, which might pose problems when you're facing away from a window or other bright light source. My own work room is practucally dark, so I don't mind. The gloss seems to improve sharpness a bit.

Image quality - At this price point, I don't think you can do much better for a plain vanilla 6-bit TN panel without all the fancy S-IPS or PVA stuff. Brightness is vastly more than adequate for my dark work room, and I find I use the screens at their lowest brightness setting. As a result, power consumption is very low. They run barely warm to the touch. Nearly everything can be adjusted, and needs to be adjusted. The out-of-the-box setting are horrible, and totally unfit for office use.

Sound quality - You can't expect much from rear mounted 1 inch (or something like that) diameter minispeakers, and that's exactly what you shouldn't do with the w2207h. The sound is bland and muffled. Only suited for system sounds in an office environment, which must have been the intended purpose.

Accessories - As per usual in a competitive business like TFT screens, accessories are nothing to write home about; just adequate. A power cable, VGA-VGA cable, HDMI-HDMI cable and a 3.5 mm - 3.5 mm audio cable. My setup required me to purchase 2 DVI-HDMI cables separately. Fortunately no cables are permanently attached to the monitor itself.

Software - The included MyDisplay software proved to be a nightmare to install. It caused a fatal driver conflict with AMD/ATI HD3650 video card. Time and time again, the whole shebang would crash and/or simply stall as early as during installation. The trashcan looked like the correct place to permanently install MyDisplay. Pure coincidence would have it that AMD released a new driver package just a few days after I had begun setting up my dual monitor setup and tossed out the MyDisplay software completely. With this new set of drivers, the software installation was nothing more than a finger snap, and it has been running smoothly ever since.

Calibration - After setting up the monitors to what I thought would be the most neutral setting, I discovered that the white balance differs slightly between the two. This didn't really surprise me, but it required a lot of tweaking to sort this out. In the end, one screen was run at the standard 6500 K color temperature. The other had a warmer tone, so I corrected the tone with a custom white balance to match the other. I don't own any calibration tools other than my eyes, but color accuracy has always been satisfactory, even now.

Pros

  • Professional look
  • Sturdy exterior
  • Highly customizable picture by means of the included software
  • Rotates to portrait orientation and includes a driver to rotate the image on-the-fly
  • Overdrive can be adjusted

Cons

  • Flaky included MyDisplay software
  • Flimsy control buttons
  • HDMI instead of standard DVI connection
  • Glossy surface finish might cause glare problems for some

Comments

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