Design doesn't end with aesthetics or ergonomics, however, since on a monitor such as this, configurability - and the ease to which it's done - is vital and here the HP really begins to excel. It helps that the control buttons are logically arranged. Running along the right-hand side their vertical alignment means they work intuitively with the on-screen display (OSD) menus. There's none of this irritating right to go up, left to go down malarkey, here.
Instead you're treated to a sensible set of six buttons: one for power, two to navigate menus and a further three that act as shortcuts for default functions or are context-sensitive when in the OSD. Shortcuts include the top one, which takes you directly to the colour space menu, below which sits a shortcut button to the input select menu. Next are the navigation controls and below these is the OSD shortcut button, which doubles as Select/Open when in the menu, with the power button a little further down. Best of all, however, is that when in use the context-sensitive function of each button appears next it on-screen. This, combined with the consistent and intuitive navigation, makes adjusting the myriad settings on the LP2408zx a breeze.
Myriad is an apt word to use, too, because anyone with a mind for tweaking and fine tuning could be buried in the LP2480zx's menus for hours. It helps, obviously, that commonly used colour spaces come pre-programmed for on-the-fly changes, but you can also pre-configure one colour space yourself. Beyond this there are plenty of vital settings you can configure, too. These include luminance ('brightness') at a maximum of 250cd/m2 to a minimum of 50cd/m2, as well as the white point (colour temperature) from 4,000K all the way up to 12,000K.
You can also adjust gamma and black levels independently, while scaling options are comprehensive, allowing you to crop the picture, scale while maintaining the aspect ratio and view a one-to-one pixel map - vital if dealing with a 16:9 source given the 16:10 resolution of the display. This is something we've had problems with on some monitors but on the LP2480zx, pictures are scaled - or un-scaled as the case may be - perfectly.
In addition to the configuration options, the LP2480zw also boasts a wealth of additional management and information features. As with the outstanding LP2475w we reviewed last week, DDC/CI (Display Data Channel/Command Interface) support is included, enabling software control of the monitor's variety of configuration options, as is EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) to inform the graphics card of the display's capabilities.
HP has also added a number of power management settings, including a 'power on recall' capability and the ability to set the display to turn itself on and off at specific times. Auto switching and detection of inputs is also supported, so you needn't always manually switch between inputs. Finally, as you would reasonably expect, the display monitors and reports both the number of hours since the last calibration, as well as the number of backlight hours.