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HP L2335 LCD Review

 

Step Aside Apple...

 

by Josh Walrath

 

            When I first began to notice desktop LCD’s about 7 years ago, the 15” models were around $1,500 US for the most basic version.  After about a year we saw a massive drop in prices to near $900.  These were almost affordable, but during that time the 19” CRT’s started to really drop in price, so a user could get a good quality 19” for around $300.  The decision was pretty clear-cut for most users.  Yes, it would have been nice to have a smaller footprint monitor, but the negatives behind LCD’s at that time far outweighed the space the average user would save.  These products became quite popular on Wall Street, and nearly any other business firm that needed as much space as possible.

HP wants me to invent something, but with such a boring box I wasn't so sure.  At least it has a carrying handle.  I mean, it is business class, so it can't be too fancy looking on the outside.

            LCD’s of that bygone era had very slow response, poor color representation, poor contrast, ghosting, massive image smear with fast applications, and were just not very large.  CRT’s did not have those problems, and they were far cheaper to boot.  As with anything dealing with computers, time goes on and the technology improves.  There was a great demand for larger LCD screens with better properties, but it really took until 2005 for it to reach its potential at a price that most users can afford.

            Today LCD’s are very common and they are starting to outsell standard CRT’s.  The technologies behind LCD’s have improved by leaps and bounds.  In high end LCD’s we no longer see the color and contrast issues, as well as the ghosting (not to be confused by image smear) that many have complained of.  Conventional wisdom also claims that any LCD under 16 ms response time will not have any truly noticeable image smear (though this quality may not be accurately reported on, nor implemented well in lower priced offerings).

            There are many LCD offerings out there with inflated specifications, and quite a few of these come at a suspiciously good price.  When shopping for a LCD, the buyer should definitely beware!  An entire LCD cannot truly be summed up by the specifications listed, and the HP L2335 is a fine example of this.

HP and SIPS

            LG Philips LCD is one of the largest manufacturers of LCD panels, most likely the second largest after Samsung.  The Apple Cinema 23” display was one of the first to use the 23” SIPS (Super IPS) panel from LG, and it has received rave reviews throughout its lifetime.  HP had two choices of panels to use with their larger, widescreen aspect LCD’s, the 23” LG SIPS and the Samsung 24” PVA.  HP decided to take on the SIPS as it appears to offer slightly better color saturation and real response time.  The first L2335 was released in 2004, but this particular panel in testing was made in 2005.  Most likely HP has thrown a revision or two out since the first panels, and reading over older reviews of this panel I did not notice many of the deficiencies that they have talked about.

The packaging is superb, and the LCD is well protected.

            HP is showcasing this as a business class product, and it is not necessarily aimed at the enthusiast.  Ignore that business classification, because this is truly a wonderful screen for all types of users.  The LCD is a bit bigger and bulkier with its stand than other competing products, but it has a very solid feel and is very easy to adjust.  At first I was not terribly impressed with the silver bezel around the LCD, but after a while it really grew on me and I prefer it now to a pure black bezel (such as the Dell 2405 FPW).  The bezel itself is less than an inch in width on the sides, so it can easily be placed beside another L2335 with little distraction in multi-monitor solutions by a thick set of bezels cutting the viewing area in half.

            The L2335 can also swing into portrait mode quite easily, and the cables do not really get in the way.  There is no cable management system, but with the average user just implementing the power and DVI/VGA cable, this is not a huge negative.  If a user decided to use more of the outputs, then it could be a problem.  The L2335 offers the user DVI, VGA, S-Video, Composite Video, and Component Video ports.  Having a 1920 x 1200 resolution allows HDTV resolutions of up to 1920 x 1080 (1080p) without scaling the image.

 

Next: Specifications

 

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