HP 2311 gt 23" Monitor Review: Passive, Polarized 3D On A Budget

Stereoscopic 3D Image Quality Comparisons

Let’s consider the image quality of HP's 2311 gt circularly-polarized display compared to Samsung's 120 Hz active solution. Although we can't give you an accurate depiction of stereoscopic 3D on these monitors, we can take pictures through the glasses bundled with each to demonstrate some of the strengths and weaknesses each exhibits when it comes to brightness, ghosting, and clarity.


When it comes to brightness, HP's 2311 gt is significantly better than the 120 Hz solution. This is because the polarized glasses allow light to pass through 100% of the time, while the active implementation alternately blanks out each eye half of the time.

This is obvious in the animated GIF above. The photographs of each display were taken using the same manual camera settings through the glasses provided with each monitor. HP's 2311 gt enjoys a clear advantage in this area.

Ghosting And Viewing Angle

The 3D filters on a passive, polarized screen must aim the 3D effect at an ideal viewing position. If you leave that position, it's probable that you'll see images in one eye intended for the other, resulting in an effect called ghosting. Moreover, polarized filters are not 100% efficient. So, you could end up with ghosting even from the optimal position. An active shutter-based system doesn't suffer the same artifact; you're able to view the screen from a wider range of angles without ghosting.

The HP 2311 gt’s ideal viewing distance seemed to be about 2.5 feet from the display; that's where its 3D effect really popped out. Everyone is comfortable at different distances away from their monitor, and I'm usually about a foot and a half away from my 23" screen, necessitating that I sit farther away than I like.

Although shifting left or right has little effect on the 2311 gt's viability, moving up or down as little as four inches from 2.5 feet away caused massive ghosting anomalies. The monitor does support tilt adjustment, so it's not hard to rectify angle-dependence. However, you are compelling to viewed the screen from one position. And if you have multiple people looking at the monitor, they all need to be on the same plane relative to you. The following animated GIF illustrates:

Even positioned optimally, the 2311 gt suffers from minor ghosting, while Samsung's 120 Hz panel doesn't. As an aside, both displays seem to get a bit brighter when you look at them from higher-up.


Polarized displays look their best if you're watching a movie on them from the comfort of your couch. When it comes to PC monitors, however, you're typically quite a bit closer. In this case, a lack of clarity can become a real problem.

It’s very easy to notice that you only see every other line on the 2311 gt, especially when it comes to fine detail and tiny text. The TriDef 3D driver has a soft interlacing option that helps clarify hard-to-read text from within games. But it's still hard to swallow what you see below from HP's 2311 gt.

Contrast that with Samsung's 120 Hz display, which offers impeccable clarity in 3D mode.

We should point out that the still shots in the animated GIF were taken through one lens from each set of 3D glasses. It'd be logical, then, that with both eyes receiving information from the display that you'd end up with the full 1080 lines of aggregate resolution. In reality, though, the experience is even more distracting than the GIF suggests. Clarity is one of the biggest problems we have with the 2311 gt when it's used for 3D gaming.

Image Quality On The Windows Desktop

The polarized filters on HP's 2311 gt have a subtle, yet discernible, effect on output, even in 2D mode without the glasses on, particularly when it comes to solid colors. It’s minor, and perhaps easy to ignore for some. However, if you spend a lot of time in the pure white backgrounds of Microsoft Word, your eyes will almost certainly catch the difference between a 120 Hz panel like Samsung's and HP's polarized solution.

Still photographs don't capture the visual impact of polarization very well, so we don't have a good screen shot to show you. But we can assure you that non-polarized monitors do not demonstrate the same issue, since they aren't equipped with the same filters.

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  • army_ant7
    I forgot if I read this before, but your GPU would have to pump out twice the number of frames for games. As it obviously seems, this is true for active shutter 3D displays. I assume that even if polarized 3D displays "interlace" 2 half resolution frames for 1 3D frame, the processing needed is still for 2 full resolution frames.

    If anyone has better knowledge on this, please correct me. :-)
  • hardcore_gamer
  • f-14
    1950's cheap gimmick idea of what 3-D is.
    complete false advertising since it's on a 1D screen.
    save your money.
  • PreferLinux
    f-141950's cheap gimmick idea of what 3-D is.complete false advertising since it's on a 1D screen.save your money.

    You mean 2D.
  • mayankleoboy1
    Radeon: Catalyst 12.6 Beta

    dont you mean 12.7 beta?
  • vdr369
    Its not worth the price, and if you compare the quality warranty with AOC 23 inch polarized monitor AOC (which has superior color accuracy and 3 years onsite warranty)knock outs this dummy.

    and I liked the acer's 27inch polarized one because it doesn't need a software to convert 2d to 3d.
  • army_ant7
    f-141950's cheap gimmick idea of what 3-D is.complete false advertising since it's on a 1D screen.save your money.

    One thing you have to understand that the fact that even 3D models in a game for example get rasterized to a 2D screen. Are they a gimmick then since 3D or 2D graphics, they still end up being 2D anyway? 3D games give us the perception of a 3D world.
    If these technologies can make us have the illusion of having a 3D view, like in real life, then I wouldn't say it's a gimmick. Are (better) in-game graphics a gimmick? A game world is also an illusion of something that isn't there, just like how it seems that you're saying 3D isn't there because it's a 2D screen.
    BTW, it's 2 different frames from different perspectives shown at the same time, just like how your two eyes work. I assume you have two, if not, I apologize.

    If you don't like stereoscopic 3D, then fine, voice out your opinions, but claiming those opinions of yours as facts is just not right. I don't mean to sound angry, but I felt obliged to "voice" this out. I'm open to debate and I don't mean to piss anyone off.
  • hyteck9
    what about dual 3D monitors? Do any video cards even support the setup? Would it even be playable?
  • army_ant7
    I think there's a 3 3D monitor setup possible with Nvidia cards. I'm not sure, but if what I've shared in the first ever comment on this thread is true, driving 1 3D monitor is already like driving 2 standard ones. 3 3D's would be like 6 standards.
    AMD cards can drive an Eyefinity of 6 (standard) monitors, so maybe 3 3D's doesn't sound to bad.
    Again, I'm not sure. Just sharing my observations and deductions on this, and I could be very wrong. :-)
  • SnickerSnack
    Dual 3D monitors would be unplayable - The inside screen edges would split your character in half 99% of the time.
    Nvidia supports 3D Surround, which is three identical monitors. I haven't seen it in action, but hear it's fabulous. Pretty sure it requires at least a couple of beefy GPUs running in SLI.
  • hyteck9
    I have quad SLi (2x GTX590's) just never tried 3D with em..
  • panzerknacker
    I can't see why any serious gamer would use a inferior budget screen like this. I mean common, image quality from those $300 or less screens is just complete trash compared to say a good CRT monitor or plasma tv, so why bother? It's nice when your on a budget but if you spend say $1200 on a serious gaming machine then your not gonna couple it with a $300 monitor. It would be very nice if Tomshardware would review some more serious computer screens sometimes in a higher price range of about $800 or something.
  • army_ant7
    @panzerknacker: Maybe this article isn't just for you. For some people, I bet it is. Some people might not be as picky with image quality (colors, brightness, contrast, etc.) but may still appreciate stereoscopic 3D. It also doesn't have to be gaming, but I'm not saying it can't be. It could be for watching 3D Blu-rays as well. :-)
  • MauveCloud
    "we have to consider HP’s 2311 gt an AMD HD3D-only solution"

    You're forgetting to consider third-party 3d drivers, like iZ3D and Tri-Def

    "BTW, it's 2 different frames from different perspectives shown at the same time, just like how your two eyes work. I assume you have two, if not, I apologize."

    One important difference to consider here: human eyes also focus the lenses based on distance, but with a 3d screen (whether active, passive, or even autostereoscopic like the Nintendo 3DS), one's eye lenses have to focus to the screen distance even when the 3d effect is simulating a different distance.
  • panzerknacker

    Yeah you're right, but what I also try to say is that the last years they almost only review screens like this, cheap ones, and considering this is a website mainly for enthusiasts it would be nice to read about some nicer ones as well!
  • army_ant7
    If that's the case, I'd agree with you there. Maybe they haven't been receiving test samples? Hehe...
  • jaquith
    No thanks to passive 3D. In contrast the similar ASUS VG23AH at least offers an IPS panel vs the HP 2311 gt's TN.

    For a few bucks more look at the still not stellar but better ASUS VG236H (~$330).

    Bottom-line, if I have a monitor for years that I'm going to be staring at -- you're Damned Right it's worth spending the extra cash and getting something easy on the eyes. Otherwise it's like getting cheap shoes that are your only pair and suffering.
  • cleeve
    panzerknacker@army_ant7Yeah you're right, but what I also try to say is that the last years they almost only review screens like this, cheap ones, and considering this is a website mainly for enthusiasts it would be nice to read about some nicer ones as well!

    Our previous 3D Vision 2 vs HD3D review compared the newest 3D Vision monitor tech with the newest Samsung tech,. There hasn't been any notable changes to the 120 Hz 3d monitor market since.

  • Marcus52
    I must admit to being a bit prejudiced against FPR technology, for the simple reason I want higher refresh rates more than I want 3D, and FPR does nothing to support 120Hz refresh rates.

    Of course for 3D shutter technology, I really want 240Hz (minimum) :) .
  • MauveCloud
    soldier37Tired of seeing these cheap 1080p displays being churned out week to week. Where are the LED 30 inch 2560 x 1600 models at to replace my current LCD model? Get with the program guys. Once you go that size you wont ever want to do 1080p again.

    I mostly agree. I went back to 1080p because my XHD3000 was outputting too much heat into my room, but an LED monitor with that resolution probably wouldn't be so bad. I'm somewhat regretting the 32 inch TV with passive 3d I recently bought (I had underestimated the issues with text based on TFT Central's article that discussed 3d display types :( ), but I seriously doubt the warranty would let me return it just because I want a higher-resolution monitor. Setting aside obscure South Korean brands like Yamakasi and Achieva, I think the newest super-high-resolution monitor is the Apple Thunderbolt display, but that was released on July 20, 2011, making it almost a year old. Some of the other models are harder to find release dates for, but I think they were 2010 or older.
  • Sined
    no one actually gives a shit about 3d on monitors, its the 120hz we want.
  • bystander
    I had a couple thoughts about the review.

    The darkness problem with active displays aren't as big of an issue with Nvidia's 3D Vision 2, and even a few previous models which had their own version of light boost technology (Acer HN274H). Though it is true, even with the new light boost, it's darker than passive, but not as dark as the Samsung's 750 and 950's.

    I also wondered if it would be possible to use that monitor with Nvidia if using Tridef or Iz3D software. Did you give it an attempt?
  • Tomtompiper
    3D i was and always will be a gimic. This is it's fith or sixth incarnation and it still sucks harder than a Dyson.
  • bystander
    tomtompiper3D i was and always will be a gimic. This is it's fith or sixth incarnation and it still sucks harder than a Dyson.

    A gimmick is something without value. If you'd played games in true stereoscopic 3D as I have, and many others (like the reviewers), you can see it has real value in the immersion department. This isn't your 3D movie type of 3D. This is like real life 3D. There is a big difference.