Features, Specifications, and Warranty

As a brief overview of some of the display features and specifications that we will discuss, we again refer back to our earlier Gateway FPD2485W review. How important the individual specifications are is up for debate, and what matters to one person may not matter at all to someone else. We will see how the HP LP3065 stands up to the competition actual testing in a moment, but first here are the manufacturer's specifications.

HP LP3065 Specifications
Video Inputs (3) DVI-D Dual-Link
(Supports Single-Link DVI for 1280x800 with HDCP)
Panel Type LCD Active Matrix TFT S-IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.250mm
Colors 16.7 million
Brightness 300 cd/m2 (typical)
Contrast Ratio Up to 1000:1
Response Time 12ms TrTf
8ms (GTG)
Viewable Size 30" diagonal
Resolution 2560x1600
Viewing Angle 178 vertical/horizontal
Power Consumption 118W typical
<176W max
Power Savings <2W
Power Supply Built-in
Screen Treatment Anti-glare and Anti-static
Height-Adjustable Yes - 4 inches
Tilt Yes - 30 degrees back/-5 degrees forward
Rotation No
Auto-Rotation N/A
Swivel Yes - 45 degrees left/right
VESA Wall Mounting 100mm x 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 27.2"x19.3"x9.5" (lowered)
27.2"x23.2"x9.5" (raised)
Weight w/ Stand 30.6 lbs
Dimensions w/o Base (WxHxD) 27.2"x17.9"x3.3"
Weight w/o Stand 21.8 lbs
Additional Features (4) USB 2.0 (USB connection to PC required)
Audio Optional Speaker Bar
Limited Warranty 3 year parts/labor warranty standard
1 or 2 year extended warranty available
Advanced Replacement policy (North America)
Pixel Defect Policy 0 bright dot standard
60 day 100% satisfaction guarantee

The only other 30" LCD that we had a chance to review is the Dell 3007WFP. A quick comparison of the features will show that the HP LP3065 is "better" in several areas. However, Dell has released an upgraded 30" LCD, the 3007WFPHC. The HC stands for "High Color" and a new model is supposed to offer an improved color gamut. HP also touts the improved color gamut of their LCD as something that puts it ahead of the competition; while that may have been true of the original 3007WFP, the new model almost certainly uses the same panel as HP's offering. In terms of the panel, then, we can reasonably assume that HP and Dell are now equal, so have to turn to other areas to see how they differ.

The first major difference is in the input options - and in fact this is really the only major difference. Where Dell offers a single dual-link DVI input, HP has chosen to include support for three DVI inputs, all of which are dual-link capable. Selecting among the inputs is accomplished via an "Input" button on the front of the LCD. In practice, this works extremely well, so anyone that has multiple computers that they would like to hook up to this LCD can probably stop reading right now.

The only other difference worth mentioning is that Dell continues to offer their flash memory reader on the side of their 30" LCD, while the HP LCD only offers four USB ports. While we do like the integrated flash memory reader, we need only referred to simple economics to determine which feature adds more value.

A basic flash memory reader can be purchased for around $30, and while that's just one more thing that will sit on your desk taking up space for anyone that needs such a tool it is readily available. Switching among inputs on most displays would be equally cheap, as you could simply purchase an inexpensive KVM switch for around $30-$50. The problem is, inexpensive KVM switches only support VGA connections, and models that handle DVI are quite a bit more expensive. Even a basic two port DVI KVM switch can easily cost over $100, and it will still only support single-link DVI connections. If you want something that supports dual-link DVI, we reviewed the Gefen DVI DL a while back, which still retails for over $400. Essentially providing a three-way dual-link DVI switch with the LP3065 for free, HP clearly has the upper hand when it comes to value added features.

Warranty, customer service, and support are certainly going to be important considerations for anyone looking at spending $1700 on a new LCD. One of the benefits that often comes with purchasing something from a large OEM is improved support options, and again Dell and HP have similar policies. The 30" displays from both companies come with a standard 3-year warranty, with the option to add an additional one or two year extended policy. HP also matches Dell by offering advanced replacement of any failed monitor: they will ship out a new display and you can pack up your old display in the box and send it back to them, minimizing downtime.

Perhaps one of the reasons that HP has been gaining ground on Dell lately is that they have supposedly made a concerted effort to improve their customer service. We found that initial hold times at HP were generally short, rarely coming in at more than a couple minutes - after navigating the computerized menu system, that is, which adds a couple more minutes. When calling for support on the LP3065, however, the quality of the support was a bit more questionable.

Reasoning that some people might have issues with the dual-link requirement, we placed a call on that subject. The display would work on single-link connections, but only in Windows (the BIOS POST and boot sequences had a corrupt display) and then only at up to 1280x800. Obviously, single-link is not recommended and the manual even states that only 2560x1600 resolution is supported, but there are certainly potential buyers that will have no idea what a dual-link DVI connection is and how it differs from single-link.

The support personnel we spoke with apparently were not particularly familiar with the new LP3065, and it took quite a while to get at the answer we had expected (namely, that a dual-link DVI graphics card was required, and what such a card would be). Hopefully, that will improve with time, but we had to jump through far too many hoops - along with a couple transfers to different support departments - before we were able to get someone to explain why the display wasn't working properly on our single-link DVI adapter. Every transfer seemed to again require a few more minutes, and at one point we ended up speaking to the "Television support" department that had no idea what display we were talking about. The secondary hold/transfer times were also far worse than the initial hold times, as it could often take 20 or more minutes to speak to someone after being transferred.

With this being a high-end display, we really expected more from the phone support in terms of routing us to the proper department and helping with our issue. Part of the problem seemed to be that they couldn't understand why anyone would only purchase a display and not an entire PC, and at one point we even had one of the support personnel try to pawn the blame off on the PC and state that we had to contact the PC manufacturer, even though we were experiencing a display output problem related to the LCD. Then there was a call where the support person greeted us, asked for our name, and we never heard anything else (not even hold music) for 30 minutes, at which point we hung up and called back.

On paper at least, HP's support and warranty offerings look very good. You're pretty much guaranteed that you'll be happy with your display when it arrives, and if you're not you can send it back within the first 60 days no questions asked. Outside of the first 60 days, support for defective display products is a bit more nebulous. Other than a zero bright dot policy, we couldn't get a definitive answer on what the pixel defect policy is. It seems that if you complain enough, HP might even replace a panel that has even a single defective pixel - the old "squeaky wheel gets the oil" routine. HP also states that they have high quality assurance standards in place on their LCDs, particularly their 30" models, and they estimate that 99% of them ship without any pixel defects. We can't say for sure how they would handle defective pixels (or how "squeaky" you would have to be), but we didn't have any complaints about the quality of our panel. They just need to improve hold times and support for the display department in general.

Technical support is available either via phone or online support. Phone support is available 24/7, which is one of the advantages of going with a larger business. The smaller companies simply can't afford to provide 24/7 support because they don't have enough customers. A decent amount of information is also available on the web site to help answer questions (including the answer to our dual-link DVI question - or at least part of the answer), but there are definitely people that would prefer to get the answer via telephone, especially those who are less technically inclined. Online chat is also available 24/7, but unfortunately not for displays - you need to have an HP system to get online chat support.

And that, in a nutshell, summarizes our experience with HP's product support: if you have an HP computer system, they are more likely to be able to help out. Luckily, there's not a lot that needs to be done to support displays, and if you're reading this we have probably already covered the major concerns. Make sure you have a dual-link GPU and DVI cable and you should be fine.

Index Appearance and Design
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  • gfisher - Sunday, July 26, 2009 - link

    My HP machine has an NVIDIA 8500GT graphics card. I'm interested in buying a HP LP 3065 thirty inch monitor. Will the card drive the monitor at full speed? Reply
  • DaveJDSP - Sunday, December 30, 2007 - link

    Jarred,
    I cannot possibly thank you enough for testing and posting photos of viewing angles. When doing critical photo/graphics work, it is essential that the top and bottom of the screen appear consistent from a fixed viewing point in the center of the screen. The larger the monitor, the more critical this becomes, as from a fixed point, the eyes scan over an arc of 10-20 degrees or greater.
    Most monitors that I have seen at local stores have viewing angles that are totally unsatisfactory for critical work, even from a fixed eye point. And there are very few local stores that carry a sufficient selection of better and larger monitors, suitable for more critical work, so that the buyer can evaluate those monitors in person. Therefore, your complete and comprehensive reviews become even more critical.
    Thank you again for your excellent reviews and for including such critical viewing angle information.
    Dave
    Reply
  • chakarov - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    Contrast by specification shoud be 1000:1 but you measured it 585:1.
    It is interesting what to believe.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, March 24, 2007 - link

    As I explained in the Gateway FPD2485W review, contrast ratios, brightness levels, response times, and various other "spec sheet items" are often seriously exaggerated. While technically a higher contrast ratio is better, a 500:1 or higher real value is generally more than sufficient. There's also a possibility that at some specific setting the HP would come closer to 1000:1 - doubtful, given the results on the three tested settings (uncalibrated, calibrated, and print calibrated), but still possible.

    The basic issue is with backlight bleed - i.e. blacks that aren't actually black. In theory, any proper display would have an infinite contrast ratio, as black would be 0 and anything divided by zero is infinity/undefined. Some displays (the Acer, for example) achieve higher contrast ratios by having blacker blacks; others like the Gateway get them by having insanely bright whites. Anyway, more is not always better, as the color accuracy of the middle tones isn't represented by contrast ratio.
    Reply
  • michal1980 - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    what about input lag vs a crt?

    crts should be the baseline since they seem to show close to 0 image lag.

    lcd vs lcd is nice to, but if all lcds are off by a large number of frames from a crt, that will still suck
    Reply
  • Souka - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    I feel a CRT vs LCD war thread starting..... ;) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    LCDs are still slightly slower than CRTs, but we have abandoned the CRTs, or at least I have. I no longer have any for testing, and the last CRTs I purchased are now over two years old, the Samsung 997DF and the NEC FE991-SB. There hasn't been a new really high-end CRT released in upwards of five years, I don't think. Five or six year old 22" CRTs (with a 20" viewable diagonal) are better than the later 21/22" models in terms of features and performance. Then there's the whole geometry and signal adjustment that needs to be done on analog devices. Personally, I wouldn't even consider a CRT for my computer use anymore.

    Given that we have the 2407WFP for testing and it has been used already, we would prefer to continue with that trend. A baseline is just that: a reference point. Baseline doesn't have to be "best" - and obviously quite a few LCDs are better than the 2407WFP when it comes to input lag and response times. So far, however, we haven't seen more than a 1 frame (*maybe* two with the Acer AL2216W) difference in output. So the largest difference we've seen is currently less than 0.02 seconds.
    Reply
  • Souka - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Why not get a 30" Apple Cinema Display?

    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Let's see, $2000 for the Apple versus $1274 for the Dell. If you like being charged up the @$$, then be my guest.

    Now, the Apple is competing with the LP3065 and 3007WFP-HC; those panels are superior and $300 cheaper retail. Not to mention I just bought the HC from Dell for $1430+tax. Why would you pay $570 more for a worse product?
    Reply
  • dcalfine - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Yea
    Apple made the first 30" dual-link LCD for consumers and is often considered better than the Dell. It would be wise to consider it a contender.
    Reply

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