HP DreamColor LP2480zx - 24in Professional LCD Monitor - Thoughts & Conclusions

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



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


Our Score:


So the LP2480zx's performance lives up to its billing, but even with its astounding performance there are a few things worth bearing mind - things that add cost to the overall package.

To begin with, due to the unique architecture used to create the LP2480zx, at present only HP's own specially developed calibration tool and software (HP DreamColor Advanced Profiling Solution) is compatible with the monitor. This doesn't come in the box and costs an extra £200 and frankly we can't see the point in buying this monitor and not buying it, so you can effectively add £200 to the price before you've started. Likewise, another essential accessory is the LCD Hood, which sells for around £70 to £90. Combined you're looking at close to £300 more above the retail price.

Things are further complicated if you're thinking of buying the LP2480zx as an "affordable" alternative to a broadcast reference monitor. Most obvious here is the lack of an SDI input, but in addition to this the colour engine only works with progressive sources encoded in RGB colour. Thus, if you're dealing with interlaced material using YUV colour, then you'll need an HD-SDI adapter that's capable of converting it into progressive RGB.

According to HP the only one able to do this is the Gefen HD-SDI to HDMI Scaler Box, which costs around £850 including shipping from the US. Believe it or not this still makes the HP good value compared to the alternatives, but depending on your requirements you may have to think carefully about what you actually need in order to get the most from it.

Ultimately, though, this doesn't dampen our enthusiasm for what is an outstanding monitor that is more or less without comparison in the current market. It's obvious from the final product that a wealth of research and development has gone into its production and though professionals will need to think carefully about whether it fulfils their needs, when you're dealing with exacting standards this is always the case anyway.


In the DreamColor LP2480zx, HP has delivered an early candidate for product of the year. Its 30-bit panel and colour space support are unprecedented in this price range, while the ease of use and wealth of options can't be easily faulted. Now all HP need do is make a 30in version!


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/...

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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