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It has been two and half years since Apple introduced the 30-inch Cinema HD Display ( ). At that time, the price put this widescreen monitor far out of reach of mainstream Apple fans ($3,000 plus a required Power Mac G5 equipped with a dual-link Nvidia graphics card costing between $500 and $600), making it the ultimate Mac status symbol. And though they’re hardly commonplace even now, 30-inch displays from Apple are priced $1,000 less than they used to be and now work with off-the-shelf MacBook Pro and Mac Pro systems.
But now, there’s competition. Hewlett-Packard’s 30-inch LP3065 display boasts the same, almost intimidating, screen size and resolution, while adding height adjustment and shaving off a couple of milliseconds from the pixel response time—and it’s less expensive than the Apple display.
The LP3065 screen ships separately from its base, but snapping it in place was a breeze. I connected it to the dual-link DVI port on the Nvidia 2700 GT that comes standard on the Mac Pro. I did have an issue with getting the display to work at first, but I’ll confess that it was operator error. I learned the hard way that dual-link monitors require dual-link cables. Many companies don’t include DVI cables in the box; HP includes not just one, but two cables. A very brief call to the company gave me the info I needed.
Once I used the correct cable, the LP3065 came up in its native 2,560-by-1,600 pixel resolution. It did, however, seem to have a bit of a green color cast, but that was eliminated after hardware calibration. One thing to note, the display has no controls for adjusting contrast or color temperature, so software calibration is difficult. Text was clear and easy to read, even at small point sizes. Colors were accurate when viewed on the calibrated display, though a little muted. The display loses some contrast when viewed from an angle of about 45 degrees or more from the center, but it wasn’t bad, and with the size of this display, three or four people can get a good view when gathered around the screen.
|Color Fidelity||Very Good|
|Text Legibility||Very Good|
Scale = Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor
|Viewing Angle||178 degrees|
|Dimensions (height x depth x width in inches)||19.3 x 9.5 x 27.2|
|Special Features||height adjustment, four-port USB hub|
Macworld’s buying advice
If you think big is beautiful, then check out the LP3065 wide-screen LCD from Hewlett-Packard. Sporting many of the same specifications as the Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display, while adding more flexibility and a lower price, the LP3065 is a solid all-around performer that will make you the envy of all who see you using it.
[ James Galbraith is Macworld ’s lab director. ]HP LP3065