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

Measurement And Calibration Methodology

To measure and calibrate monitors, we use an i1Pro spectrophotometer and the latest version of SpectraCal CalMAN software (v5.0.3).

For patterns, we employ an AccuPel DVG-5000 video signal generator. This approach removes video cards and drivers from the signal chain, allowing the display to receive true reference patterns. Connections are made via HDMI.

The AccuPel DVG-5000 is capable of generating all types of video signals at any resolution and refresh rate up to 1920x1080 at 60 Hz. It can also display motion patterns to evaluate a monitor's video processing capabilities, with 3D patterns available in every format. This allows us to measure color and grayscale performance, crosstalk, and ghosting in 3D content via the 3D glasses.

Calibration Notes

The HP ZR2740w has no user adjustments other than brightness. And there is no on-screen display to tell you where you’ve set the control. You have to press the plus or minus keys until you get a brightness level that is comfortable to the eye. Another issue we ran into is the monitor only accepts three resolutions: 640x480, 1280x720, and its native 2560x1440. Gamers who play at resolutions other than these will see a blank screen instead of an image.

The PB278Q takes the opposite approach with a large array of options. There are six picture modes. Four of them contain some locked settings, while the other two are fully-adjustable. In the user modes, there are RGB controls for both the high and low signal levels. This adjustment is common in televisions, but extremely rare in computer monitors. Also unique to this screen are color saturation and hue controls. You can use these if you want to create a custom look to your monitor, though they won’t help to improve upon the already accurate sRGB color gamut. These sliders are best left at their default positions, both for our testing and in normal use.

Calibration Settings

Asus PB278Q
Picture ModeUser
GainRed 46, Green 54, Blue 43
OffsetRed 48, Green 48, Blue 52
Color Temp6500

You can set the Contrast control as high as 81 (out of 100) before clipping detail. However, any setting over 75 causes a visible color shift at 90 and 100 percent signal levels. For the best grayscale tracking, we recommend you set it to 75.

Obviously, there are no recommended settings for the HP ZR2740w. You can set the Brightness either by eye or by measuring the level with a meter.

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.
  • 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.
  • Immoral Medic
    Add 120hz, THEN it's enthusiast level.
  • bit_user
    Where are all the OLED monitors? They should be cheap and plentiful, by now!
    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 and 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.
  • 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 and 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.
  • flong777
    Am I right by saying that the Asus monitor has more accurate color and better grayscale performance.
  • 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:

    tftcentral is showing the HP as having far less lag than the Asus panel.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.