HP DreamColor LP2480zx - 24in Professional LCD Monitor - Image Quality

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



  • Editors choice
HP DreamColor LP2480zx - 24in Professional LCD Monitor


Our Score:


Having talked enough about the LP2480zx's features and design it's about time we talk about its performance, though in all honesty there's little more one can say other than…wow. It might not be the most eloquent piece of commentary, but that doesn't make it any less true. In all our time with this monitor we never managed to find a definable and clear weakness. That isn't to say none exist. If you had a lab full of equipment and all the time in the world we're sure you could find something, but the LP2480zx ultimately lives up to its heavily publicised billing.

Colour scales and gradients are uniformly faultless, as are grey-scales, with no sign of any dithering - just as you would expect. Colours are vibrant, clean and true, while panel uniformity was excellent and there was nary a hint of backlight bleed. Consequently, black levels are outstanding, easily the best we've seen on an LCD monitor, while text was sharp and perfectly legible all the way down to 6.8 point Arial.

This excellence in static imagery is matched by its handling of motion and high definition video. Motion is smooth and stutter-free with no tearing and though there is a tiny amount of blurring present in panning shots, it's very slight indeed and is somewhat inherent in LCD technology anyway. There is an overdrive mode present in the LP2480zx, but it is turned off by default and we kept it off for our testing, too.

In the carnival scene from Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, the complex and vivid palette was produced flawlessly, as were the slow and difficult to produce panning shots. Moving to Spiderman 3 on Blu-ray, Spidey's costume looked resplendent in both its colour and detail, while the romantic (though woodenly acted!) park scene where Dunst and Maguire gaze at the stars demonstrated the LP2480zx's prowess at producing plenty of background detail in a dark scene as well.

Viewing angles are a traditional strength of IPS panels and this is no less true with the LP2480zx. Quoted as 178 degrees in both horizontal and vertical planes, we found very little loss of contrast even at acute angles and colours also remained pleasingly faithful.

Overall, as we've already highlighted, there's very little a layman could ever find fault with and professionals will no doubt be just as pleased. Indeed, applying an arbitrary number to its "image quality" seems a little futile, since we can't easily compare it against anything we've seen before, or fairly judge any other display against it.


April 1, 2009, 6:59 am

"Now all HP need do is make a 30in version!"

No, now all they need to do is make one that's a tenth as expensive aimed at the general population.

However, hopefully all the technology in this HP will filter down to us consumers in a couple of years time. 10bit colour reproduction, and all the goodies on offer here, sound like something I'd like to upgrade to in a couple of years time, when the price is more sensible.


April 1, 2009, 7:38 am

I mean 30-bit panel (when are TR going to introduce an edit function?).


April 1, 2009, 3:11 pm

Impressive. Imagine if the cost of cars came down from tens of thousands to 2k, it would be world changing - admittedly an environmental disaster, but still a revolution.


April 1, 2009, 4:40 pm

@YG the cost has come down to that ;) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/bus...

Klaus Nordby

April 1, 2009, 8:26 pm

Thanks, Andy for a fascinating review of a fascinating product! I'm a heavy-duty graphics user and own an excellent 24" Eizo ColorEdge CG241W, still less than a year old -- but of course I love to read about progress in this field.

But I'd like to point out that your article seems to confuse *bit-depth* and *color gamut*. However, there is ZERO connection between these two phenomena: the color space a monitor can display (sRGB, Adobe RGB, etc.) is not in any way controlled or limited by bit-depth.

Also, 10-bits/channel sounds nice, yes -- however, we'd need a graphics card capable of outputting this, instead of the usual 8-bit/channel. So which cards would you recommend for this purpose? Years ago, Matrox made one, but since then I've heard nothing about 10-bits/channel graphics cards. If you know things I don't know -- I'll be happy to know about it! :-)


April 1, 2009, 10:15 pm

Great review. If my design career takes off I might pick one up.

A little off topic, but: It really bugs me when I see the 'percent of NTSC colour gamut' specs... this is useful for US-based video editors, but NTSC is pants for colour, PAL has more depth. We used to call it 'Never The Same Colour twice' because NTSC sets use tint control in an attempt to display more colours. Rant over.



April 2, 2009, 12:34 am

@ Klaus

The ATI HD4800 series supports 30-bit depth over DVI and DisplayPort...not sure about NVIDIA cards, but the very common HD4850 is quite affordable at US$135 or less. Probably not what the owner of such a quality display has in mind (NV QuadroFXs and ATI FireGL/FirePros more likely, which also support 30-bit depth), but could most certainly afford.

I'm thinking a few of these would look great on my desktop, too bad one of them nearly costs more than my entire setup combined...


April 2, 2009, 4:28 am

Sounds really nice...but this is professional level, which I think is out of most readers budget, including mine. It's nice to read about the cream of the crop, but I think there are far more potential buyers around the 24-27" market of between 𧶲-𧺬 mark. I'm talking selfishly about my own needs here though. It'd be so great to buy a ٠k monitor and never look back!


April 5, 2009, 6:06 pm

Klaus: Are most sRGB images not designed with 8-bit in mind? If that is the case then to display any wider gamut as well you'll need a higher bit-depth so you don't lose any of the colours the original image was intended to have.

@Pbryanw: Given that 24" 8-bit monitors are still 𧹈 I'm rather doubtful we'll see 10-bit 24" monitors at 𧶀 any time soon.

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