The Bottom Line
Nov 3 2011 - HP's new ZR2440w makes some significant improvements over the past ZR24w. It is much slimmer and probably one of the most energy efficient 24-inch displays on the market. They have even added the much needed HDMI port. The downside is that it isn't as good for color as the past models or the competition. The result is a great general purpose monitor for someone that is energy conscious or wants a nice compact display. It just doesn't quite meet its performance label from HP for those demanding a high level of color for serious graphics work.
- Excellent Power Effeciency
- Thinner Profile
- Color Gamut Not As Wide As Previous ZR24w
- HDMI Cable Not Included
- 24-inch IPS Panel With 1920x1200 Resolution
- White LED Backlight
- 1000:1 Typical Contrast Ratio
- 350 cd/m^2 (nits) Brightness
- 6ms Response Time (Gray-to-Gray)
- 178 Degree Horizontal And Vertical Viewing Angles
- 72% Color Gamut (Typical)
- DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, 4-port USB 2.0 Hub
- Stand Provides Height, Tilt, Swivel and Pivot Adjustments
- Includes DisplayPort, DVI and USB Uplink Cables
Review - HP ZR2440w
Nov 3 2011 - HP's ZR2440w is the successor to the very capable ZR24w display released last year. The main redesign of the display is the switch away from the traditional compact florescent backlight to a white LED one. This has a number of advantages it provides over the past model including a much slimmer overall design. In fact, this is an extremely welcome change as the ZR24w was extremely thick. HP still manages to keep an internal power supply which is also nice.
The white LED also improves the overall power efficiency of the display. They claim that it will use just 25 watts of power under typical usage. At the default brightness levels, it actually recorded on my power meter as using 31 watts but when the display brightness was calibrated to a better level it consumed just 22 watts. The CCFL based ZR24w consumed 70 watts under the same conditions giving this a huge power consumption reduction. When the monitor is off or asleep, it uses a negligible amount of power that didn't even register on my power meter. HP claims roughly .4 watts in sleep or off modes. All of these numbers plus its various used of recycled resins help it to achieve an EPEAT Gold rating.
While the new backlighting has helped improve efficiency and size of the display, it has a number of drawbacks to it as well. In particular, the maximum brightness of the display has been reduced from 400 nits in the ZR24w to just 350 nits for the ZR2440w. Now, most people don't run the monitor at full brightness so this isn't so much of a problem. The bigger issue though is the reduced color gamut. Since many people are buying IPS displays for their color representation, the reduction of color gamut is significant especially for those using the display for graphics work.
Out of the box, the HP ZR2440w was set to a very high 90 percent brightness setting. This caused the blacks to be washed out especially along the edges of the display. The best black levels were achieved by setting the brightness levels to roughly 50 percent. The default color settings offered a very good overall image quality. Calibrating the monitor with a color calibrator demonstrated that the display tended to saturate the red channels a little higher than the others but this is not uncommon. Most people probably would not notice the difference but anyone going serious graphics work will still want to calibrate it.
One of the big drawbacks to the past ZR24w display was the lack of an HDMI connector. HP thankfully has included the HDMI port in addition to the DisplayPort and DVI digital connectors. Unlike the ZR24w though, the ZR2440w does not offer a VGA or DSUB25 connector although this analog connector is really only required for netbooks that lack a digital connector. Even though HP includes the HDMI port, they decided to not include a HDMI cable to use with the monitor. Since this is the most common form of video connector on laptops, it is a bit disappointing.
At $425, the HP ZR2440w is reasonably priced for its overall set of features. It is slightly more expensive than the Dell U2412M which is its primary competition. Of course, Dell's display lacks the HDMI port and can't quite achieve the same low level of power consumption. Dell does offers a slightly better color gamut. Of course, if color is your primary need, then the older ZR24w probably offers the best value as it has dropped below $400 and has better color than both of these new LED based displays..