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