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HP w2207 Review

“The HP w2207 is a great 22-inch LCD monitor that's well-designed and aesthetically pleasing.”
Pros
  • Attractive design; 1000:1 contrast ratio; USB 2.0 hub; portrait & landscape screen modes
Cons
  • Unimpressive 2-watt speakers; somewhat spendy

Summary

Over the years HP has released several high-quality widescreen LCD monitors for business, home, and home office use. One of the more enticing options is the w2207 22-inch widescreen LCD with HP’s “BrightView” glossy screen. The w2207 has impressive tech specs, comes with a built-in USB hub, and is priced well at an average of $350 USD. Read on to find out more about the HP w2207 and why you might want it for home and office use.

Features and Design

The HP w2207 22-inch widescreen LCD monitor is quite attractive with its black and silver body and adjustable screen. The most aesthetic aspect of the w2207 is the glossy screen that uses HP’s “BrightView” technology, which helps make photos and movies burst with lively color. Having a desktop monitor with a low-glare, glossy screen is great for people who work with Photoshop, iPhoto, CAD, or other programs that require constant, close-range attention to the screen. It’s also great for DVD viewing and web browsing.

Vital Stats 
HP’s w2207 LCD screen has 1680 x 1050 native screen res, which is very popular and offers plenty of screen real-estate for imaging, video, and even spreadsheets.

The w2207’s 1000:1 contrast ratio is impressive. Comparably priced LCD screens often have 800:1 contrast, which is fine for many uses, but why limit yourself when the w2207 offers better contrast for the same price? Blacks look deeper, whites drop the yellowish hue and shine white, and colors take on new life.

The w2207 has a fast 5ms response time. Some LCDs are as slow as 20ms, some as fast as 2ms. The w2207 is certainly in the better/best range. Display brightness on the HP w2207 is 300 cd/m2.

Pre-programmed Modes
HP gave the w2207 and its siblings (like the recently reviewed w2007) several pre-programmed video modes to help users select a display mode that works best for their eyes and lighting situation. Available are Movie, Photo, Gaming, Text, and Custom modes. As expected, each mode uses a specific color temperature, brightness, and contrast in order to render different results.

DVI & VGA
HP gave the w2207 both DVI and VGA input capabilities. Thankfully, HP recently began shipping the w2207 and some other LCD monitors with both VGA and DVI cables. Previously, HP had shipped only a VGA cable, which was pretty cheap and insulting. It’s nice to know that HP heard the voice of the people and responded accordingly.

Integrated Speakers
The w2207 has built-in speakers. They’re only two watts each, so don’t expect Bose quality. But, for general office use or Skype output, and for other forgiving uses, the w2207’s speakers are sufficient.

USB 2.0 Hub
HP dropped a two-port USB 2.0 hub into the w2207. I don’t know why it took HP so long to jump onto the USB hub bandwagon, but it’s a very good thing they did. The USB hub makes the w2207 an even more attractive purchase option.

Backlight Hours
The w2207 has a neat menu feature that lets users keep track of how many hours the LCD screen has been used. This is handy for tech support issues and for obsessive geeks who absolutely must know how long they’ve used their LCD.

Adjustability
The w2207’s screen can tilt forward 5 degrees and backward 30 degrees. The w2207 can be raised or lowered on an articulating-style base; however, the screen cannot be rotated from side to side like some other LCD screens can. One very cool feature is the fact that the w2207 can be used in landscape AND portrait modes. This is a huge benefit for photographers and even spreadsheet users who need maximum vertical space from time to time.

Photo & DVD Display
The w2207 renders beautiful, bright, crisp colors, which makes it very good for displaying and/or editing high-resolution photos. DVDs look impressive, too, especially because of the glossy “BrightView” screen. The 5ms response time and 1000:1 contrast ratio help minimize or eliminate ghosting and artifacts. Of course, upscaling a DVD from 720 x 480 (NTSC) to full-screen 1680 x 1050 is going to degrade the output slightly, but this will happen with any monitor. To help combat this, change the monitor’s screen res while watching a DVD, then switch back to full res when done.

Footprint 
Like many LCD monitors, the footprint of the w2207 is much, much smaller than that of CRT monitors. However, when comparing the w2207 footprint to other LCDs, like some Samsung models, the desk space is a little larger than average. It’s roughly one square foot. The tray-like base of the w2207 makes up for lost space by providing a place to rest your iPod, cell phone, paper clips, etc.

Dual & External
The w2007 will perform beautifully in single or dual monitor setups. You may find that colors render differently when using two different brands of monitors in a dual setup, and when using the w2207 as an external monitor for a laptop. If this is the case, run a good quality calibration program to equalize the outputs as much as possible. Ideally, use two w2207 monitors if you want an accurate configuration.

HP w2207
The HP w2207 looks great in any setting

Setup and Use

Setting up the w2207 is easy. After removing the LCD screen, you should see that the base is already attached. Set the monitor upright on a desk or table. Plug the power cord (no power brick, thank goodness) into the w2207, but don’t plug it into the wall yet. Connect the included 1/8-inch audio cable into the green audio-in port if you’ll be using the w2207’s internal speakers for sound. Connect your VGA or DVI cable, depending on which connection you will be using (both DVI and VGA cables are included with the w2207).

Once the w2207 has all cables connected to its ports, connect the corresponding ends to your computer system. Then, plug the monitor into the wall outlet. Power the w2207 up by pressing the power button on top of the LCD bezel.

Once the monitor is turned on and your OS recognizes it, you may need to configure the monitor’s proper resolution of 1680 x 1050. Ninety-nine percent of the time, your OS will automatically recognize and configure the w2207’s ideal screen res of 1680 x 1050.

Test your audio on the w2207 by playing an MP3 or any other audio file. Make volume adjustments on the w2207 by using the control buttons located on the lower right corner of the bezel. You may need to adjust the volume on your computer to help regulate the proper volume levels on the w2207.

Integrated Speakers
It’s not really fair to expect truly impressive sound from integrated speakers in an LCD screen. At best, these 2-watt speakers (2-watt x2) will give laptop-like sound — and that’s just what the w2207 provides. Bass is weak, but mids and highs are fine. While the w2207 is not going to replace a high quality external speaker system for your computer or iPod, it performs perfectly well for playing general audio files like podcasts, talk radio, audio notes for transcription, etc. and it handles TV and DVD audio well (though not really well).

Photo & DVD Results
The w2007 is quite impressive for viewing high resolution photos. The glossy screen really brings images to life. When viewing some of my favorite photographs, I found myself continually impressed with the image. Colors are unbelievably vivid, and skin tones so realistic it almost seemed like my photo subjects were sitting in front of me again.

DVDs look gorgeous too, especially because of the glossy screen of the w2207. I tested Amelie, Underworld, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. All three films have different lighting, visual effects, and tonal qualities that render differently on varying qualities of LCD screens. Each of these movies looked fantastic on the w2207. Colors were lifelike, blacks were darker than pitch, and whites were pure. Thanks to the impressive 5ms response time and the 1000:1 contrast ratio, there was no ghosting or evidence of artifacts.

Conclusion

The HP w2207 is a great 22-inch LCD monitor that’s well-designed and aesthetically pleasing. With its low-glare, glossy screen, 5ms response time, and 1000:1 contrast ratio, the w2007’s operating specs are just what most people need. The added USB 2.0 hub and speakers (though marginal) are also important additions. At an average price of $350 USD, it certainly isn’t the cheapest around, but then again, you’re probably not in the market for “cheap.” When shopping for a 22-inch LCD, compare specs against your needs and choose the best option for you. The w2207 is a solid product, ideally suited for almost everything, from Word to World of Warcraft.

Pros:

• 5ms response time
• 1000:1 contrast ratio
• Portrait & Landscape screen modes
• USB 2.0 hub built in
• VGA & DVI inputs

Cons:

• Unimpressive 2-watt speakers
• Higher than average price for 22″ LCD

Jason Tomczak
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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