There are two big trends in the desktop LCD display business, and the 20-inch Hewlett-Packard w2007 offers both: wide-screen designs and high-gloss screen coatings. And though it’s a bargain at under $300, w2007’s mediocre viewing angles and limited adjustability may turn off people who are shopping for performance over value.
Setting up the display was easy enough. It weighs just over 13 pounds, and I had no problem snapping the unassembled base into place and lifting it up to its resting spot. The wide-screen display features a one-inch, glossy black frame with rounded corners that doesn’t quite match up with the metallic case behind the frame. There is a gap between the front and back sections of the bezel, and the black frame is a little wider than the silver back, so it hangs over the side a bit. The black frame is also a little shorter, making for a clumsy, slapped-on kind of look. This arrangement is designed to accommodate HP’s Easy Clip Accessory kit, an $18 option that consists of four hooks and holders that you can attach to your display to hold flowers, headphones, and photos. I tried these out, and though it’s a cute idea, I don’t think I’d actually use them. I prefer a clean, unobtrusive design that won’t distract me while I’m working.
The w2007 has two inputs, a DVI and an analog VGA connector. There is no USB hub, and you can’t adjust the height or pivot the monitor; these capabilities are available in other HP displays in the same product family. But the w2007 does include two rear-facing two-watt speakers. Why rear-facing? HP says that it allows for the elimination of speaker bars on the side or bottom of the display, which gives a cleaner look. The company also says that these speakers have been designed to sound great when you’re sitting in front of the display. The audio from the speakers was passable—they’re much better than the speakers that are built into my Mac Pro, but that isn’t saying much. The big downside to these speakers will be felt by people in open work areas, especially those without walls behind their monitors. You could easily annoy your co-workers with these rear-facing speakers.
When I first connected the display to my 2.66GHz Mac Pro, the w2007 lit right up and booted into its native 1,680-by-1,050 resolution. At its default settings, the display was very bright, though a little washed out, losing some highlight detail. There were also some problems with the red tomatoes and red peppers in one of the standard test photos we view; the images contained blotchy, low resolution-like artifacts. After calibrating the display, I was able to bring back much of that highlight detail, but there were still some artifacts visible in the reds. If you don’t have a calibrator, you won’t have a lot of options for changing the way colors on the screen look—beyond adjusting brightness and contrast—as there are no color controls available in the on-screen menus.
I like glossy screens, and the w2007’s screen makes blacks look blacker; color seems to pop more than with matte screens. Some complain about glare and reflection, but this screen’s gloss didn’t bother me at all.
A slight distraction was the relatively narrow viewing angle. Rated at 160 degrees—both up and down as well as left to right—there were noticeable color shifts, and I experienced contrast loss quickly when shifting my head away from the front of the screen. If you work closely with other people and regularly find a group gathering around your display, the narrow viewing angle might be an issue; otherwise, it will probably not affect you.
One thing the w2007 was very good at was displaying text. Even at small point sizes, text was very legible in our tests.
|Text legibility||Very Good|
Scale = Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor
|Native resolution||1,680 x 1,050 pixels|
|Connections||Analog and DVI|
|Viewing angle||160 degrees|
|Response time||5ms on/off|
|Dimensions (height x depth x width, in inches)||15.6 x 7.3 x 19.3|
|Special features||Integrated speakers|
Macworld’s buying advice
Hewlett-Packard’s w2007 20-inch display is a good all-around wide-screen monitor with interesting features like built-in speakers and a shiny, high-gloss screen. Its limited viewing angle and lack of color controls might not please picky photographers and discerning designers, but it would be a fine fit for surfing the Web or working on Microsoft Office documents.
[ James Galbraith is Macworld ’s lab director. ]HP w2007