Right out of the box, HP’s newest 30” display is huge - but you expected that and prepared by already clearing off your desk, right? ;)

Getting the beast of a monitor out of the packaging was actually exceedingly easy; remove one piece of styrofoam, and out comes the stand. One more large piece and the panel is right there for your picking.

The ZR30w display stand packs virtually all the bells and whistles a 30” stand should. There’s 4” of vertical travel, and movement in every axis except pivot (meaning you can’t rotate and use the monitor in portrait mode unless you roll your own VESA stand). HP’s quick release lock system is actually surprisingly useful. The monitor has a slide-in rack which mates up to the display stand; you can slide the monitor in, move a lever into the locked position, and you’re done. This is again the same mechanism used in the LP3065. I was very impressed with how solid and simple this configuration was - there’s no flexing or creaking, and no screws or assembly. It’s always a nice touch when out of box setup is painless - it’s downright critical when you’re juggling a 30” display. In addition, at the base of the monitor is a snap-on cable management cover for routing cables.  

The aesthetics are serious and businesslike. There’s a small HP logo up top and center, the model number sits meekly in the bottom left, and in the bottom right are the display controls. There’s a classy aluminum strip which runs along the entire outside of the bezel - a nice industrial design motif for a 30 incher. HP advertises that the chassis uses at least 25% post-consumer recycled plastic resin.
That classy aluminum strip runs all the way around

Around back is a much larger HP logo, cooling vents, and the display inputs. There’s also a semi hand hold which is great for guiding the monitor into the latch mechanism. Other than that, there’s not much else to speak of except the two USB 2.0 ports on the left of the display. What’s good about the ZR30w’s aesthetics is that they aren’t loud, garish, or overwhelmed with branding.

Two USB 2.0 side ports

I noted in previous display reviews that sometimes at the lowest height setting the display connectors can hit the stand or otherwise be obstructed. Note that HP gives almost two entire inches of clearance for cables. This is the way it should be done - no problems connecting DVI cables, especially since dual-link cables are notably beefier.  

We always like to use the monitor out of box without calibration for some time and just get a feel for it. While it’s easy to make a case that if you’re shopping for a 30” LCD, you’ve probably got the means to calibrate, it’s a harder case to make on the smaller displays. That said, I was immediately impressed with the ZR30w. Right away, the greens and reds were notably richer than on my two BenQ FP241W displays I use daily.  

HP ships its manual on an enclosed CD-ROM, and also part of that installer is a color calibration .icm profile. As a rule, I’m going to start using manufacturer-supplied color profiles for my subjective uncalibrated testing and “uncalibrated” results, since they’re closest to what average users without colorimeters are going to do. Even with this ICM profile however, the panel seemed a bit cool in temperature to me (I later measured and found the same), but everything else seemed quite good.

Meet the ZR30w: 1.07 Billion Colors Too big for an OSD and More Impressions
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  • phoible_123 - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - link

    Will this connect directly to a Macbook pro with a mini displayport -> displayport cable?

    I've been able to connect a MBP to other displayport monitors, and would like to know whether you can drive a dual-link display this way.
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - link

    I spent a greater part of today searching around town for a miniDP to DP adapter, but couldn't find that nor the cables. I'm under the impression that it will work, and might even pass the 10-bit deep color data too. I'm hopefully getting an adapter soon.

  • kasakka - Thursday, June 3, 2010 - link

    I have a Dell 3008WFP that I've connected to my late 2009 Macbook Pro with a mini-Displayport to Displayport cable using this cable:


    It works perfectly and avoids the issues with the overpriced Apple mini-DP to dual link DVI adapter.
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - link

    Hey, just letting you know that the ZR30w does work driven from the 2010 MBP over a mini Display Port to Display Port cable. Flawlessly, really. No problems at all thus far!

  • Mishaux - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    Hey Brian,

    I realize this is a few years late, but I am trying to make this work with a mid 2010 15" MBP and having no luck. Did you have to do anything other than plug it in?

  • Mumrik - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - link

    Nine bucks for a G520!?!??!

    Screw LCDs :-D
  • Bolas - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - link

    So... what's the refresh rate? 60 Hz? 75 Hz? 120 Hz? 240 Hz? I didn't see the refresh rate on the table of specifications, and that would be something worth knowing for people in the market for a high res 3D display.
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - link

    The refresh rate over DVI is still 60 Hz, at least as reported in the display manager.

  • GoodBytes - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - link

    60Hz, it's always 60Hz for computer monitor using IPS or PVA panels.. well today... it might change later.
  • Bolas - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - link

    I figured it was 60 Hz, but you'd think that they would spell that out in the specs. Pity it doesn't have pivot feature, but whatever.

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