LP2480zx DreamColor review
The DreamColor tag on this monitor – it only appears in marketing, and not on the monitor itself – comes from a collaboration between HP and SKG Dreamworks movie studio. The studio wanted a panel with a wide colour range and good linearity suitable for movie editing as well as stills, and the LP2480zx is the result – or so we’re told.
We’re also told that this 24in panel displays billions of colours, which may be true, but it’s neither useful nor unique. Most high-end panels include 12-bit colour control rather than HP’s 10-bit control but your eyes can’t distinguish billions of distinct colours anyway.
Visually this panel is chunky and no-nonsense. The bezel is a dark charcoal with a minimum of extra lettering and a single, small, stick-on graphic. The separate clip-on stand allows you to tilt, swivel, and adjust the height. It can also be rotated into portrait mode, although it scrapes the base when you do this. The OSD buttons are recessed into the bezel and light up when you press them. Legending appears next to them on the main panel – a very nice touch. A hood is available for an extra £60.
Around the back there’s almost every connector imaginable, including DVI-I, Display Port 1.1, HDMI, and also S-Video/Composite video. A picture-in-picture feature means you can preview content from one connector while continuing to work on another.
Mac OS X already includes a default profile, but this slightly underweights green. You’ll need a calibration session to balance the colour closer to absolute neutrality, but there’s no bundled calibrator, just an option to buy one as an extra from HP for £150.
The calibrated curve was very linear with a hint of a green boost to compensate, but the low-end greys were slightly wobbly. Otherwise, the panel showed one of the widest gamuts we’ve ever seen, with the triangle plot reaching almost to the edges of red and blue and well into the green.
Video was a touch fuzzy with the usual 12ms switching time but there was plenty of spare brightness and a wide viewing angle.
At almost £2,000, it isn’t exactly a budget 24in monitor, and HP is taking on some tough competition from Eizo and NEC. The wider gamut and extra features give it a technical edge, but considering that a similarly specced professional 30in panel is only £300 more, we can’t help feeling the LP2480zx could be priced more competitively.