Skip to main content

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

Results: Viewing Angle And Uniformity

For off-axis viewing, there’s no better tech right now than IPS. You can sit as much as 45 degrees from center and still see a decent image. The light falloff is minimal and the color shift associated with TN monitors is virtually non-existent. In addition, with monitors as bright as these, the effect can be further minimized at high output settings.

The ZR30w looks just like all of the other large IPS screens we’ve photographed for recent reviews. Color shift is minimal at all angles and light falloff is practically non-existent. The pattern appears different on the HP because we had to display it as a Windows desktop graphic rather than using the pattern generator. The end result is the same. You can still clearly see the differences in the brightest and darkest bars. This indicates good retention of highlight and shadow detail at off-axis viewing angles of up to 45 degrees.

Here’s the DoubleSight DS-309W:

The results here are about the same. If you look close, the darkest two bars are barely delineated from each other. However, they do not crush at a 45-degree viewing angle. That's still excellent off-axis performance. We suspect subtle differences in the two monitors’ anti-glare layers are the reason for the variation.

If you’re wondering why the white balance appears different in the two photos, it’s because we changed cameras midway through the review process. We didn’t discover the difference until after returning the monitors to their manufacturers. Rest assured the photos are directly comparable, since we kept the exposure values the same.

Screen Uniformity

While some monitors are better than others, no LCD panel has perfect screen uniformity, and even samples of the same model can have quite a bit of variation. So, since there’s no fair standard for applying a rating to different monitors, we’ll simply present the results of our measurements.

To measure screen uniformity, zero percent and 100 percent full-field patterns are used, and nine points are sampled. We’re now expressing the values as percentages relative to the center of the screen.

HP ZR30w
Black Field Uniformity
White Field Uniformity

The ZR30w shows a couple of hot spots in a black field pattern. The most visible are at the top-center and bottom-right. The white field pattern looks more uniform, but the center is slightly brighter than the rest of the screen.

The DoubleSight fares a bit better.

Double Sight DS-309W
Black Field Uniformity
White Field Uniformity

This is an excellent result. White field uniformity is especially good with only the tiniest differences from point to point. The DS-309W isn’t too far behind the best-in-class Samsung S27B970D in this metric.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • kenyee
    Are the panels actually 30-bit panels or are they 20-bit w/ dithering?
  • 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!