30-Inch QHD, Is Bigger Better?
We certainly enjoy having monitors this big on our desks. The vast screen real estate is a tremendous advantage to those who like to keep multiple windows open. With the extra height afforded by the 16:10 aspect ratio, you can have three documents side-by-side-by-side and still read text easily from three feet away. The high pixel density means you’ll never see any dot structure, even at two feet or less. And the wide gamut caters to the graphics pro who needs a monitor capable of displaying all of the Adobe RGB 1998 color space.
HP’s entry into the jumbo screen category offers a mix of qualities, most of which are good. On the pro side, it has superb build quality, plenty of brightness, excellent color accuracy, and a sleek functional look that will enhance any desk. It isn't perfect, though. We lament the lack of adjustability, and the relatively poor gamma performance. A few presets and a set of RGB sliders to adjust white balance would be welcome, and could even make the HP a stand-out product. Of course, it's possible to take care of those specific issues via software. We expect most graphics pros would have the ability to resolve them, then. Also, a selectable color gamut would be nice for those occasions when we’re watching a movie or TV show.
Double Sight DS-309W
The DS-309W is brand-new to the marketplace, replacing the now-discontinued DS-307W. Aside from a new bezel design, it appears to be the same screen in every other respect. It offers excellent accuracy after calibration, good build quality, and the same wide gamut as the HP. While its out-of-box performance is only fair, an instrumented calibration wrings out some excellent performance measurements. Though it doesn’t offer super-high contrast, we found its image to look every bit as good as the competition, mainly thanks to solid gamma performance. Like the HP, it offers the full Adobe RGB 1998 gamut, making it ideal for photographers and artists. Again, we would love to see a selectable gamut so one could properly enjoy a movie when not working. After all, with a screen this big, watching TV in the office takes on a whole new dimension!
There are really only two considerations here: do you want to spend around $1200 on a computer monitor, and do you need the larger color gamut? Other than that, there is no reason for us not to recommend either of these screens to those looking for largess. Based on its adjustability, we’d go for the DoubleSight, though plenty of folks (including us) would be just as happy with the HP. Either way, it’s hard to deny the allure of so much screen. And for those who demand a density above 100 pixels per inch and a tall 16:10 aspect ratio, they represent the top of the heap...for now.