Controls, but no On Screen Display

I’ve been putting off talking about those buttons at the bottom right of the display. Note that this far, I haven’t called them OSD buttons, because that’s just it - they’re not.

Your four control buttons

The ZR30w has no OSD. If you recall, neither did its predecessor, the HP LP3065. At that time, HP claimed there were no ICs that could drive an OSD at native 2560x1600 resolution. Apparently this is still the case.

I was a bit confused at first, so I checked the manual. It explicitly notes inside that the ZR30w has no OSD. This is still an interesting and radical choice. The four buttons allow you to change the source input from DVI-D to DisplayPort, control backlight brightness using + and -, and holding both + and - down simultaneously toggles dynamic contrast. Thankfully, HP ships with dynamic contrast turned off by default. Control feedback is communicated entirely through the blue LED at the right of the buttons. It’s intuitive and makes sense, but be aware that if you’re expecting RGB controls, color temperature, or other options you won’t find ‘em.

That brings me to the scaler IC, which I believe is related to the lack of traditional OSD. I noticed while looking through the manual that HP notes a “safe mode” resolution of 1280x800 next to the recommended native resolution of 2560x1600. Notice anything interesting about those numbers?

Sure enough, using 1280x800 results in a pixel-doubled but full screen image. Other resolutions are scaled as well, but I get the impression HP wants you to use the ZR30w at either native, or this "safe," aspect-ratio correct resolution exactly half of native. It’s an interesting and bold move to still not have an OSD, but in some ways it actually discourages the kind of wrong user control that can lead to insanity when trying to calibrate. But it’s still a bit of a surprise to see no OSD a generation later.

Viewing angles are superb as expected. HP advertises 178 degrees horizontal and vertical with a 10:1 contrast ratio. In practice, you shouldn’t ever really look at the monitor from those extreme angles, but there’s no reversal in contrast or vastly odd saturation at any extreme angle. In our subjective +/- 30 degree tests in vertical and horizontal directions, it looks equally good. 

First Impressions and Subjective Analysis Analysis: Color Quality
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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.
    Reply
  • 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.

    Cheers,
    Brian
    Reply
  • 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:

    http://estore.circuitassembly.com/products/Mini-Di...

    It works perfectly and avoids the issues with the overpriced Apple mini-DP to dual link DVI adapter.
    Reply
  • 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!

    Cheers,
    Brian
    Reply
  • 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?

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • Mumrik - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - link

    Nine bucks for a G520!?!??!

    Screw LCDs :-D
    Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - link

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

    Cheers,
    Brian
    Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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. Reply

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