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The HP LP3065 30-inch LCD Monitor Wins with Color

By David Cohn

Initially, there was the Apple Cinema HD Display, the first mainstream 4-megapixel 30-inch LCD monitor. Then came the Dell 3007WFP, which I reviewed in the November 2006 issue of Desktop Engineering. Now, HP enters the ultra high-resolution  display arena with its LP3065, the company’s first 30-inch display. HP  ups the ante, however, with a wider color gamut—rated at 92% of NTSC,  where as most LCD panels offer only 70-80% of the NTSC color gamut)—and  multiple DVI inputs.

Like its competitors, the HP LP3065  features a native resolution of 2560 x 1600 and must be connected to a  dual link-capable graphics card. And as I noted in my review of the Dell  display, you simply can’t imagine how much screen real estate 2560 x  1600 represents until you’ve experienced it first hand. Once you work on  one of these 30-inch displays, you’ll never want to go back to anything  smaller.

Like its 24-inch sibling (the HP LP2465, also reviewed  in the November 2006 issue of Desktop Engineering) the LP3065 LCD panel  is initially separate from its pedestal base but locks onto the base in  seconds. The quick release mechanism and VESA 100mm mounting holes make  it easy to mount the panel on the wall or a third-party swing-arm mount.  The panel and stand together weigh 30.64 pounds.

The panel itself  measures 27.2 x 17.9 x 3.3 inches with the base increasing the overall  depth to 9.5 inches. The base lets you tilt the panel 30-degrees back  and 5-degrees forward from vertical, swivel it ±45-degrees, and raise  and lower the panel over a 5.1-inch range. When lowered all the way, the  height adjustment locks with the bottom of the bezel 1.25 inches above  my desk. To unlock the panel, I had to tilt it back slightly in order to  reach the release button located in the front of the pedestal.

The  active matrix TFT panel has a contrast ratio of 1000:1, a 0.25mm dot  pitch, and a typical brightness of 300 nits (candelas per squaremeter,  cd/m^2). While that’s not quite as bright as either the Dell 3007WFP or  HP LP2465, we really didn’t see much difference even when viewing all  three panels side-by-side. Typical response time is rated at a very fast  12 milliseconds and just 6ms gray-to-gray. With horizontal and vertical  viewing angles of 178 degrees, we were able to view the monitor from  virtually anywhere in the room with no discernable reduction in  brightness or clarity.

Although the monitor has only one native  display mode, we were able touse resolutions as low as 800 x 600, but  wonder why anyone would choose to use this monitor at anything less than  its full 2560 x 1600 resolution. Like other LCD panels we’ve tested  recently, the LP3065 has an integrated power supply, eliminating the  need for a power brick, and accepts power in a range from 100 to 240  volts and 50/60 Hz, making it usable virtually anywhere in the world.

Making the Connections

One  of the most unique aspects of the LP3065 is its three DVI-D inputs. I  connected the monitor to three different computers in my office and then  used the input button on the front panel to toggle between the three  inputs. The monitor senses the loss of signal (if a computer gets turned  off or goes into hibernation) and automatically switches to an active  input. The other front-panel buttons let you increase or reduce the  brightness level and turn the monitor on and off. A LED indicates the  current mode: amber for sleep, flashing green for non-supported video  modes or when the upper or lower brightness limits have been reached,  and steady-green when the monitor is displaying a supported mode. The  monitor typically uses approximately 118 watts, dropping to 2 watts in  sleep mode.

In addition to its three DVI-D inputs, there’s a  built-in USB hub with one upstream connection on the rear and four  downstream ports along the left side just behind the bezel. HP provides  a USB upstream cable and two 6-foot DVI-D video cables. Flexible rubber  panels along either side of the pedestal base let you tuck cables out of  the way. Accessory rails along the four edges on the back of the monitor  accept optional mounted devices, such as speaker bars. The thin bezel on  all four sides makes it possible to tile multiple displays on a wall for  panoramic viewing of large data sets, and at HP’s recent QuadFest  roll-out of its new Quad Core-based system, the company utilized four  LP3065s this way during one of its demos.

Other than the  afore mentioned buttons, there are no other controls.Notably missing is  any sort of on screen display. Instead, HP provides a CD containing  drivers, documentation in 20 different languages, and the HP Display  LiteSaver Software that lets you place the monitor into its low power  sleep mode at predefined times, shutting down or reducing power to most  internal circuits, thus increasing the life span of the monitor and  saving energy. But we found it even simpler to just press the  front-panel power button. The fluorescent backlight has a rated lamp  half-life of 40,000 hours. All other settings, such as color, contrast,  and gamma, must be accessed using the control panel of the graphics  driver.

Test Results

To test the monitor, we connected it to a new HP xw8400 workstation equipped with a NVIDIA Quadro FX 3500 graphics accelerator, configuring the display for  2560×1600 pixels and 32-bit (16.7 million) colors. We used DisplayMate  from DisplayMate Technologies to help evaluate the visual quality of the LP3065. DisplayMate uses  a series of test patterns to help users fine-tune the image and  picture quality of their displays and to help discover any picture  quality or video artifacts that might otherwise go unrecognized. We’ve  regularly used DisplayMate over the years both to test monitors and to  help us adjust our own monitors for optimum performance.

We  detected no pixel defects in our evaluation unit. Other tests  showed excellent black levels, smooth gray-scale, and excellent  contrast, noticeably better than the Dell 3007WFP. With the HP LP3065′s  superb response time, we saw no evidence of smearing when viewing  rapidly moving images.

Returns Justify Expense

HP  backs the monitor with a 3-year warranty that covers parts, labor,and  on-site service as well as 24-hour 90-day toll-free technical support.  The HP LP3065 has a suggested retail price of $1,999, but is currently  available on the HP website for $1,699.

HP  waited a while to get into the ultra high-resolution 30-inch  monitor game, but the results are worth the wait. The HP LP3065 delivers  wider color gamut and better overall image quality than the Dell  3007WFP, and offers three DVI ports. But with the Dell now available for  as little as $1,274, the HP monitor costs $425 more. You could buy two  24-inch 1920×1200 displays for about the same cost as the LP3065, which  would actually give you a bit more screen real estate. But for CAD  and graphics applications, I prefer the single, large display, and find  the advantages of the HP LP3065 well worth the additional cost.

David Cohn is a computer consultant and technical writer based in Bellingham, WA,  and has been benchmarking PCs since 1984. He’s a contributing editor to  Desktop Engineering, an applications engineer with The PPI Group, the former editor-in-chief of EngineeringAutomation Report and CADCAMNet, and the author of more than a dozen books. You can contact him via e-mail at david@dscohn.com or visit his website at www.dscohn.com. Or send your comments about this article through e-mail by clicking here. Please reference “HP LP3065 Monitor” in your message.
   


 
At a Glance: The HP LP3065 LCD Monitor 

 

 

•Price:  $1,699
Size: 30-inches (diagonal)
Display type: active matrix TFT (thin film transistor)
Measurements: 27.24 x 19.29 x 9.45 inches (WxHxD) assembled on base with monitor at its lowest height adjustment
Weight: 30.64 pounds
Native resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels
Horizontal frequency: 100 kHz
Vertical refresh rate: 60 Hz
Display brightness: 300 nits
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Dot pitch: 0.258mm
Response time: 12ms (rise and fall); 6ms (gray-to-gray)
Connections: three DVI-D
Power range: 100-240 volts, 50/60 Hz
Power consumption: less than176 watts max, 118 watts typical, 2 watts in sleep mode
I/O ports: self-powered USB 2.0 hub with one upstream, four downstream ports
Other features: tilt/swivel base, two DVI cables included, USB upstream cable included, software included, optional speakers available
Warranty: 3-years parts, labor, and on-site service

 


 

Contact Details
  HP
  Houston, TX

About David Cohn

David Cohn has been using AutoCAD for more than 25 years and is the author of more than a dozen books on the subject. He’s the technical publishing manager at 4D Technologies, a contributing editor to Desktop Engineering, and also does consulting and technical writing from his home in Bellingham, WA. Watch for his latest CADLearning eBooks on AutoCAD 2015 on the Apple iBookstore, at Amazon, and on the CADLearning website. You can contact him via email at david@dscohn.com or visit his website at www.dscohn.com.
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