Hewlett-Packard Company Compliment - Great monitor for the price
I recently purchased a HP 22 inch widescreen computer monitor from Circuit City. I was in the market for an external monitor for my laptop, and the 22 inch models seemed to be a good size for the price. They seemed to range from $280 - $380. Going up just a few inches to the 24 inch models seemed to bump the price to the $500-$700 range. So I stuck with the 22 inch monitors.
Originally I had set my sites on the Samsung 225 and 226 models. I have a Samsung TV that I really like, and thought I would give one of their displays a try. I read great reviews about both models. The older model, the Samsung 225, had a better adjustable stand, where as the newer 226 model was limited in this category. I was all set to go with the 225 model when I ran across the HP W2207 monitor at Circuit City.
The HP models use a technology called "Brightview", and they also have a glossy finish to the monitor screen itself. The combination of these two factors give the screen picture a brilliant contrast of colors. Put the HP next to any other monitor and you'll see it is definitely different. Some reviews I read said the colors are so vibrant that they are not actually realistic... meaning if you are a serious graphics designer, you may not want this monitor for testing true colors of what most folks will see. My wife dabbles in graphics and she loved it. So I guess it is a case by case. We took some of her graphics work into the store on a USB drive to test out the various monitors, and we still found the HP model to the be the best.
I ended up paying $329 for it, but since my purchase the price has gone up to $359 at Circuit City. You might be able to find it online cheaper.
So what are the positives? Well the picture is incredible, not only for working but also watching DVDs... =) The stand is fully adjustable vertically and you can also turn it to portrait or landscape, which is nice, but requires special software that comes with the monitor. I did not install the software since I read some reviews claiming the software had trouble working properly on XP. Vista was fine. I just skipped the software and plugged it in out of the box. Works fine for me! Another huge perk is the screen space. If you have never worked with a 20+ inch monitor before, it is really nice. I can have like 3-4 things open and all visible on the screen. If I want to edit two documents side-by-side, they can both fit. Very nice.
Another interesting feature of the 22 inch models is the resolution. They work optimally at 1680x1050. This particular resolution is ideal for a 20 inch widescreen monitor, not a 22 inch. So what the manufacturers do is adjust for the difference by making the pixels slightly larger on the 22 inch monitors. This makes the font/images/resolution slightly larger and easier on the eyes, helpful if you are an old-timer like me... ;-) The trade-off is the 20 inch models will have a more crisp display since the resolution is native to that size, but I have not noticed any problems with crispness on my 22 inch model. The images and text are very sharp and clear.
While watching a DVD movie I did notice some light bleeding around the edges of the top and bottom. This was only visible when the background is completely black... and even then it is not really noticeable. I didn't mind it, but it is worth pointing out.
Another potential negative is the glossy finish on the display. I like it since it helps give the colors a nice vibrant and bright appearance, but some folks complained about the reflective glare. I have been using it for a week now and have not been bothered by it in both day light and night time conditions. But if you have a desk with direct sunlight behind you, it might bother you. Something to consider.
Overall I felt the benefits of this monitor greatly out-weighed the negatives. We ended up buying two since my wife liked it so much!
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