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!