Results: Grayscale Tracking
All of the panels we’ve tested recently display excellent grayscale tracking, even at stock settings. It’s important that the color of white be consistently neutral at all light levels, from darkest to brightest. Grayscale performance impacts color accuracy with regard to the secondary colors (cyan, magenta, and yellow). Since computer monitors typically have no color or tint adjustment, accurate grayscale is key.
Most users lack the equipment to calibrate their monitors, so out-of-box performance is important, especially in the grayscale metric. An error of over three Delta E is visible to the naked eye. Since most productivity apps have a white background, any tint is easily seen.
Because the HP has no calibration adjustment available, we’re showing the results at its max brightness setting.
For an out-of-the-box result, this is a pretty good chart. The grayscale error is below five at its worst and below three at its best. Since three is the visibility threshold, the HP has only a slightly visible error. The tracking is also fairly flat with little variation from dark to light.
After setting the brightness to 200 cd/m2 with the spectrophotometer, we generated the following result.
The difference is negligible, as it should be. This means you will have a fairly accurate white balance with good tracking no matter what the brightness setting.
The DoubleSight has both high and low RGB controls, making it easy to see the benefit of an instrumented calibration.
This chart was generated from the User color temp preset. We tried the other presets and found that User matches the 6500 K option pretty closely. The 7500 and 9500 K selections are extremely blue in tint, and to our eyes, unusable. As you can see, the white point is not at 6500 K, but somewhat cooler. This means whites and other light colors will have a bluish tint rather than a neutral one.
After calibration, the results are much better.
This is an excellent chart with no visible errors anywhere in the brightness range. Only 50 and 100 percent crack the Delta E two level, and then just barely. This measurement is right up there with the best monitors we’ve tested, even comparing favorably to many high-end televisions.
Here’s the grayscale performance round-up of all our recently-tested QHD screens.
Both HP monitors are near the top for stock performance, which is a good thing since they can’t be improved upon. The DoubleSight is at the bottom of the pack, but it does have the necessary adjustments to fix the white balance errors.
While the HP monitors’ numbers remain virtually unchanged, the DoubleSight makes a marked improvement after adjustment.
The DS-309W is much improved post-calibration, with an error that’s well below the all-important Delta E three standard. With an average value of just 1.64, it looks every bit as good as the competition to the naked eye. The HP screens look decent as well, but their small grayscale error is visible to users looking for the most accurate white balance. As always, we recommend calibration of any monitor, regardless of its stock performance. We believe the before and after comparisons above demonstrate the benefits quite clearly.