Despite my reservations about massively scaling video, the HP LP3065 did a pretty good job of playing back 1080p content. Obviously things looked shaper if shown in a window displaying the correct amount of pixels though. Action sequences looked convincing enough, with little evidence of motion smearing – at least not enough to be overly distracting. The contrast ratio of 1000:1 is pretty conservative by LCD TV standards these days, so it’s not surprising that black levels weren’t the LP3065’s strong point. A monitor is always going to come out second best to a dedicated LCD TV in this area, since most decent TV’s now use clever dynamic backlight technology that drops the intensity of the backlight during darker scenes.
Games look suitably impressive on the LP3065, with the sheer physical size of the screen creating a very immersive atmosphere. Of course you’re going to need a pretty hefty PC to be able to drive a 2,560 x 1,600 screen smoothly when playing the latest 3D games, but if you can afford a couple of GeForce 8000GTX cards in SLi, you won’t be disappointed. Perhaps you might want to add the Commodore XX PC to your shopping list!
As well as the aforementioned 1000:1 contrast ratio, the LP3065 also sports a brightness level of 300cd/m2, which is identical to that of the Dell 3007WFP-HC, but lower than the Samsung 305T with its 400cd/m2 rating. Interestingly, HP quotes a grey-to-grey response time of 6ms, while Dell claims 8ms for its monitor equipped with the same panel. At least HP is honest enough to also quote a 12ms off-on-off response time, not that I put too much emphasis on response time anyway.
With a street price of £977 the HP L3065 is definitely in the right ball park compared to the Samsung 305T and the Dell 3007WFP-HC. Of course a quick look at the Dell website shows that the price of its 30in display has dropped to £889, but as always with Dell, there’s no guarantee that it will stay at that price for long.
The big question is whether HP has done enough to better the Samsung 305T, and in some areas it definitely has. There’s no doubt that the extra connectivity is a real bonus, especially if you have more than one workstation or notebook that need hooking up to a high resolution screen. However, image quality and colour accuracy out of the box aren’t quite up to the level of the Samsung, and bizarrely (considering its S-IPS panel) the viewing angles on the L3065 didn’t appear quite as solid as on the 305T.
All that said, HP has produced a great 30in monitor in the shape of the LP3065 and I doubt that anyone willing to part with close to a grand would be disappointed with it. Ultimately, if you really need multiple inputs and HDCP compliance, this HP should be top of your list.