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HP ZR2740w Versus Asus PB278Q: QHD 27" Monitors, Tested

Results: Calibrated Brightness And Contrast

We consider 200 nits to be an ideal average for peak output, so we calibrate all of our test monitors to that value. In a room with some ambient light, such as an office, this brightness level provides a sharp, punchy image with maximum detail and minimum eye fatigue. It's also the sweet spot for gamma and grayscale tracking, which we'll look at on pages five and six.

This comparison normally includes a full grayscale calibration. Since the HP has no adjustments in that area, we simply set the brightness as close to 200 cd/m2 as possible.

Both monitors have little difficulty settling in at 200 cd/m2. The only way to do this on the HP is with a meter, since there is no other indication of the brightness level. The Asus PB278Q is set to 62 out of 100 for brightness and 75 out of 100 for contrast.

Calibration can sometimes raise the black level slightly, and some monitors are better at maintaining a low number than others.

The HP predictably stays near the top in this metric. It would be interesting to see how a grayscale calibration would affect this figure but, unfortunately, there’s no way to perform one. The Asus PB278Q also does extremely well with a very low 0.2830 cd/m2 measurement.

Maintaining a high contrast ratio after calibration is the toughest test for any monitor. Most screens take at least a small hit for the sake of color accuracy.

The HP has an unfair advantage because of its lack of calibration controls, but it looks great nonetheless. The Asus holds its own nicely at 706.9 to 1. Its image is still very punchy, and as you’ll see later, the color accuracy achieved is more than worth this small drop in measured contrast. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to perceive any difference with the naked eye.

  • KOKing
    I've had one of these HPs at work for a couple of months (replacing an early 24" 1920x1200 IPS), which I've set fairly low), but as this review says, it's not really necessary. I was a little disappointed that, possibly because of the aspect ratio change to 16:9, it doesn't _feel_ like a lot more screen real estate.
    Reply
  • Immoral Medic
    Add 120hz, THEN it's enthusiast level.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Where are all the OLED monitors? They should be cheap and plentiful, by now!
    Reply
  • SIDDHARTH MISHRA
    Useless review, the uniformity on these screens is pathetic, tried three of each, the color temp difference across the screen is over 1000K. Toms has very poor reviewers, only prad.de and overclockers.ru do reliable screen reviews. And btw the U2713HM is regularly on sale for $500 or so, the ZR2740W is now an overpriced relic lacking even an OSD.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    SIDDHARTH MISHRAUseless review, the uniformity on these screens is pathetic, tried three of each, the color temp difference across the screen is over 1000K. Toms has very poor reviewers, only prad.de and overclockers.ru do reliable screen reviews. And btw the U2713HM is regularly on sale for $500 or so, the ZR2740W is now an overpriced relic lacking even an OSD.Screen uniformity is covered on page eight, and low points on both screens are discussed.
    Reply
  • flong777
    Am I right by saying that the Asus monitor has more accurate color and better grayscale performance.
    Reply
  • Marcus52
    Surprised that the Asus has slightly better lag results, as one of the reasons for not having an OSD is to reduce lag, and it can make a big difference. Of course, how you measure lag can get different results, and I've seen much lower numbers for the ZR2740w:

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/hp_zr2740w_v2.htm

    tftcentral is showing the HP as having far less lag than the Asus panel.
    Reply
  • ceberle
    The Asus certainly calibrates better than the HP; mainly because it can be calibrated. The HP is slightly better out of the box for grayscale and its chromaticity is also a touch better. Both screens have identical color to the eye. Only the instruments can tell the difference.

    Christian
    Reply
  • ceberle
    Regarding the lag results: It's hard to compare numbers from one review to another when the testing methods are so different. With our high-speed camera procedure, the only fair comparison is between the monitors we've tested. I would defend our response test as definitive though. Actually watching the screen draw in slow motion leaves no room for interpretation. The lag test is also consistent since we use the same signal chain for every screen. There is never a change in video cards, drivers, peripherals or any other device that might affect the result.

    Christian
    Reply
  • dgingeri
    I have the HP ZR2740w, and have for over a year now. It's a great looking monitor, and it performas well by my standards, but suffers from a significant lack of both reliability and support. HP's support is massively fragmented. It took me over three hours on the phone to get to the department that actually handled the support for this monitor. (It is a "Commercial" monitor, not business or personal. It's splitting hairs mighty thin, but that's the way HP's support is separated out.) When I finally got through, they sent a tech with a replacement monitor the next day. However, it also has two major hardware issues that render it useless when they occur. Most of the first run monitors had the power supplies die within months. The second run monitors had a serious issue with the control boards. All of them have issues with the USB hub, but it least the monitor keeps working if you don't have the USB cable plugged in. As an owner of one, I would not, under any circumstances, recommend this monitor to anyone.

    HP: the perfect example of a company falling apart because it is both too big and too fragmented.
    Reply