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Spotlight: Big Monitors, Skyrim, and Musical Doorbells

Spotlight: Big Monitors, Skyrim, and Musical Doorbells

I tend to favor different display sizes and configurations depending on the task at hand. If I’m gaming at home, it’s usually on a 23- or 24-inch monitor running at 1920x1080. If I’m working at the office, I want more desktop real estate, so I flank my AMD Eyefinity-enabled HP Envy 14 laptop with two 24-inch displays. HP recently sent a 27-inch ZR2740w monitor to the office, so I replaced one of those 24-inch displays with this 2560x1440 IPS beast.

Spending $700 on a monitor is out of the average consumer’s price range, but the ZR2740w is a bargain in the professional display category. Dell wants $999 for its equivalent, so shaving off $300 while maintaining many of the features graphics pros want in a display is the real draw here. The ZR2740w uses an 8-bit IPS panel with an LED backlight; the end result is a bright display with the potential for excellent color reproduction. Out of the box, the colors produced by the ZR2740w are going to be so-so, but a round of calibration seems to fix this issue. The ZR2740w has only one major snag for me: no HDMI. While there’s DisplayPort and DVI, as well as four USB ports, no HDMI in 2012 is a bit puzzling.

I’m not a graphic artist, so the ZR2740w probably wouldn’t be my first choice if I wanted to buy a 27-inch display. That said, it’s been a real pleasure using this monitor over the last few weeks, especially because the ZR2740w does this:

If every monitor could pivot, I would be a happy man. Sadly, it seems to be confined to more expensive models (usually $300 or more). A portrait-oriented display is fantastic for web browsing, and the ZR2740w in portrait mode compliments the Tom’s Guide CMS (Content Management System) quite nicely. --Devin Connors

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 16, 2012 1:44 PM
    You were one when Arena was released, so that makes you... less than a year older than me, and writing for a major news site? ._. what am I doing with my life
  • 0 Hide
    sectrix , April 16, 2012 7:49 PM
    I was born ten years before that...don't feel bad.
  • 0 Hide
    anamech , April 17, 2012 9:16 AM
    Played Oblivion for a couple of hundred hours plus!!! Awesome game!!! Played Skyrim for like 50 hours...Awesome game...not enough free time!
  • 0 Hide
    drewhoo , April 19, 2012 1:40 PM
    The HP ZR2740W is really not that great. It only displays just under 80% of the Adobe RGB color gamut, which is 100% of the reason that designers spend more money on IPS panels. Compare that to the Dell U2711's 97% of Adobe RGB. Not to mention you can get it for $810 on Newegg (if you catch the promotion).
  • 0 Hide
    drewhoo , April 19, 2012 1:51 PM
    Here is a review... I think it is 77% of Adobe RGB, which is not much better than some TN monitors. http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/hp_zr2740w.htm
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 19, 2012 9:36 PM
    How does the Swann mp3 DJ Doorbell work?
  • 0 Hide
    bobharvey , May 21, 2012 6:10 PM
    What is it with monitor manufactures messing us about?

    2560x1440 over 17 inches is 108 ppi

    A transformer TF101 is 150 ppi
    A galaxy IIIs phone is 306 ppi
    Even a nasty Dell Inspiron 14 inch laptop (inspiron 14-z) with a pathetic 768 vertical pixels comes out at 112 ppi.

    The density of monitors has been falling since the turn of the century, it is now around half what we were getting from CRT iiyamas. I had a dell laptop n 2004 with 180 ppi, and Lenovo used to sell one for the T60 laptop.

    And now, in 2012 we are supposed to get all wet over something with 108dpi? Do me a favour! This is not a premium product, it is an insult.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 24, 2012 1:56 PM
    I am not sure that it is a good idea to integrate a door bell with MP3 player. How to distinguish if it is a guest at the door or just my favorite song played? Also a few minutes long song - even the best - seems to be terrible as a door chime. It should be a few seconds long, not minutes! One other weak point is the speaker. It is much too small and its volume is woefully inadequate. So, in my humble opinion it is and totally unnecessary device. By the way, I have nothing against MP3 doorbells. I have one of them in my house, bought from kakadu-usa.com. It is much better and and I can definitely recommend it.
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