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HP ZR30w Versus DoubleSight DS-309W, 30-Inch Monitors, Tested

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 ZR30w

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.

  • vmem
    "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"

    Isn't the ASUS PQ321 already out along with a few other 4K monitors? granted price is a whole other story
    Reply
  • Marcus52
    The lack of an OSD makes the ZR30w a much better gaming monitor, as the OSD causes higher lag. Personally I have no problem doing without one.

    You seriously can't see the pixels? I can see them on a 27" 2560x1440, which has smaller pixels. The .25mm range is adequate to me, but really I'd prefer something smaller than the .233mm on the 2560x1440.
    Reply
  • x2ruff4u
    You guys should wait to get any IPS screen. 60HZ is all they come in & tbh 60HZ in terms of technology is old. I would wait to get a 120HZ IPS monitor because it REALLY makes a difference. Sure you can OC your monitor, but most only go up to 90HZ and that can put a toll on it and eventually fry it. Your best bet is to get a 120hz-240hz TV and if your worried about MS don't be. Compared a low MS to a higher HZ there is very little difference in tech terms (read up about it) This year or beginning of next year WE should be getting some nice monitors you can be proud you spent your money. Hell ASUS already has a 4K monitor and I bet money on 4K monitors by mid-end next year.
    Reply
  • Onus
    Troll post(s) deleted.

    When considering something like this for games, don't forget the cost of the video card(s) needed to drive it. A HD7750 may be "sufferable" even up to 1920x1080, but I'm not sure even a HD7770 or GTX650Ti could play newer games on better than "low" settings on one of these.
    Reply
  • kungpaoshizi
    How the heck did you get those numbers via the input pcb for input lag?

    I have a ZR30W myself, and I would NEVER trade it unless what I'm upgrading to has more than a 2560x1600 resolution.

    I've played on all sorts of monitors, and resolution trumps all other specs, unless you're dealing with 30fps or something...
    I really wish I would have spent 1200$ on it long ago. Battlefield 3 and other highly graphical games are comparable to nothing else in the world.
    Reply
  • kungpaoshizi
    Oh btw, I run BF3 high/ultra settings with a GTX 570 oc'd, and it's peachy enough I don't tell my g/f I'm taking my other 570 out of the machine she's using to hook up SLI again...
    The 60hz is not "old tech", it's more than sufficient to run games smoothly if vertical sync is on (even still when it's off). 60 fps is fine, television (pre hd) was 28hz. Anything above 60fps you really don't notice too much.

    Oh, and for those looking for 4k tv's to use (I'm way ahead of ya) they only have 30hz refresh rates over the HDMI 1.2 port. We're going to have to wait for the tv's to add another port, wait for the upgrade to HDMI 2.0, or wait for some other solution.
    Reply
  • hero1
    I can safely say that I will sit tight and wait for the 4K monitors to hit the market at a reasonable price and grab one as long as they come in at 60Hz or 120Hz and not 30Hz.
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    It's a shame manufacturers treat 16:10 ratio as a rarity. A decent 1080p is often a little cheaper than a smaller 1680x1050 display and half as much as a slightly larger 1920x1200. Personally I can't stand a 16:9 for a computer. It's fine for TVs and watching media, but to work on I have to have that extra height.
    Reply
  • kenyee
    Are the panels actually 30-bit panels or are they 20-bit w/ dithering?
    Reply
  • hero1
    11058091 said:
    It's a shame manufacturers treat 16:10 ratio as a rarity. A decent 1080p is often a little cheaper than a smaller 1680x1050 display and half as much as a slightly larger 1920x1200. Personally I can't stand a 16:9 for a computer. It's fine for TVs and watching media, but to work on I have to have that extra height.

    We aren't going to see many 16:10 in the future. the 4K stuff is going to be 16:9 unless someone makes the move to stick with 16:10. However, the difference when it comes to 16:9 with a 2560x1440 and 16:10 2560x1600 is very minimal unless you really really need that extra height!
    Reply