HP ZR30W review

Price when reviewed

HP’s new flagship monitor is a sight to behold, and beneath its sleek good-looks lies the kind of performance to make any PC owner go weak at the knees. Its 10-bit IPS panel is capable of displaying a staggering 1.07 billion colours – if you have a 10-bit workstation-class graphics card, that is – and is partnered with a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. HP also claims the monitor covers 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space.

HP ZR30W review

Delta E

Delta E is a figure that represents the difference between the desired colour and the colour displayed onscreen. Below 1.0 is indistinguishable to the human eye; an experienced viewer may notice differences around 3-4. We measure Delta E with a colorimeter before and after calibration.

Alas, it offers none of the high-end features of many of its professional competitors. There’s no onscreen display, nor programmable look-up tables to allow for hardware calibration. The front-mounted buttons do nothing more than flick between the DVI and DisplayPort inputs, adjust brightness, engage dynamic contrast and turn the monitor on and off.

Ridding the ZR30w of an OSD does have its benefits. Input lag is almost non-existent at 14ms – something gamers will particularly appreciate – and many users will have little desire to change the ZR30w’s out-of-the-box performance.

Even before calibration, the HP leaves most monitors looking drab. Brightness exceeds HP’s claimed 370cd/m[sup]2[/sup], measuring 385cd/m[sup]2[/sup], and colour accuracy is immediately impressive: our Lacie Blue Eye Pro colorimeter reported an average colour difference, measured in Delta E, of just 1.7. A measured contrast ratio of 875:1 was also impressive.


Calibration eked even more out of the ZR30w’s panel, and at our standard settings the Delta E dropped to 0.4. Our subjective testing bore out these results. The ZR30w laid bare every detail in our test photos, and our 1080p HD clips looked simply fantastic. As with all wide gamut displays, though, there is the thorny issue of oversaturated colours once you move outside colour-managed applications.

Few 30in monitors can lay claim to being particularly eco-friendly, but with the HP set to a sensible 120cd/m[sup]2[/sup] brightness, it drew just 67W from the mains. Evidently the H2-IPS panel at the heart of HP’s ZR30W is a little more efficient than earlier panel technologies – we’ve seen other 30in monitors draw nearer 100W at similar brightness settings.

Those interested in print-accurate colours may bemoan the lack of hardware calibration, as well as the absence of an sRGB emulation mode, but the HP ZR30w still has the kind of image quality that will leave everyone else gasping. If you want a superb – and comparatively affordable – 30in monitor you can enjoy with minimum hassle, the ZR30w has no peer.


Image quality6

Main specifications

Screen size30.0in
Aspect ratio16:10
Resolution2560 x 1600
Screen brightness370cd/m2
Pixel response time12ms
Contrast ratio1,000:1
Dynamic contrast ratio3,000:1
Pixel pitch0.250mm
Horizontal viewing angle178 degrees
Vertical viewing angle178 degrees
Speaker typeN/A
Speaker power ouputN/A
TV tunerno
TV tuner typeN/A


DVI inputs1
VGA inputs0
HDMI inputs0
DisplayPort inputs1
Scart inputs0
HDCP supportyes
Upstream USB ports0
USB ports (downstream)0
3.5mm audio input jacks0
Headphone outputno
Other audio connectors0

Accessories supplied

Other cables suppliedDisplayPort
Internal power supplyyes

Power consumption

Peak power consumption145W
Idle power consumption67W

Image adjustments

Brightness control?yes
Contrast control?no
Colour temperature settingsN/A
Extra adjustmentsN/A


Forward tilt angle35 degrees
Backward tilt angle-5 degrees
Swivel angle45 degrees
Height adjustment100mm
Pivot (portrait) mode?no
Bezel width27mm


Dimensions694 x 276 x 589mm (WDH)

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