REVIEW: HP'S LP3065 MONITOR
PRODUCT: HP LP3065 monitor
- impressive ergonomics
- great resolution and size
- three dual-link DVI inputs
I’ve had the chance to sit with HP’s LP3065 monitor for a little while now to really get under its hood and kick it around a bit with real production work. The LP3065 is a liberally large 30-inch LCD display with a native resolution of 2560x1600 using a dual-link DVI output.
The screen space on this beauty is fantastic. I can really spread my windows around and not feel claustrophobic like I would on a single 24-inch screen (I’m such a princess). This is the most striking and impressive feature of this unit for sure. And as it sits on my desk at the studio, it’s made quite an impression on folks here.
Running on an HP Z800 workstation with an Nvidia Quadro FX board, I’ve put the screen through some serious paces. I’m no slouch when it comes to abusing my hardware. I usually run at least one instance of Maya 64-bit, Photoshop CS3 and a Nuke instance or two. There’s a minimum of one Firefox and an Outlook, and several Windows Explorer windows open all at once as well. So I take my screen space for the premium it is, and no resolution is too big for me. Having the elbow room is worthwhile and presents an easier workflow.
The ergonomics are great. The LP3065 is built on a strong base that keeps the entire platform steady, allowing for a five-inch height adjustment. It has a generous amount of movement options with a wide range of side-to-side rotation — from -45 degrees to +45 degrees — and a very impressive vertical tilting, from -5 degrees to +30 degrees. You can’t orient the screen in portrait mode, though I don’t find that to be an issue. The standard VESA mount will allow even more of your own mounting options from there, but I found the base to be very notable.
Alongside the left edge of the LP3065 is a four-port USB hub, but no card reader. Not a deal breaker by any means, but card readers are a nice touch on other branded screens. What is a killer feature on the HP, however, is that it sports three dual-link DVI inputs. That in and of itself is pure gold. If you have multiple systems to run on a single 30-inch panel, finding an affordable and capable dual-link KVM switch is near impossible, so having multiple input options is sheer jazz-hands fantastic. It would have been great to see different connection options, such as HDMI or component, but in my studio, I only need dual-link DVI for my two workstations. No time for watching DVDs here!
The LCD panel itself is very similar to Dell’s 3007 screen. Using them side by side shows just how brilliant each screen is. The 1000:1 contrast ratio is great for a monitor a couple of feet from your face, and its 24-bit color is perfect for pretty much everything short of color mastering . For that you’ll definitely want the HP DreamColor display with a richer, deeper color range or a crazy expensive broadcast monitor.
Using PassMark’s Monitor Test, I found the LP3065 displayed very rich colors with a slightly more noticeable color banding in the green scale test. Its font display was impressive with clear readability down to Arial 7 point, with slight bit of smudging at 6 point and below. Its greyscale display is solid with good transition between gamma scales, and the blacks look about as good as any decent LCD screen. There is some noticeable brightness to the black, but the HP was even, no light leaks from any sides of the bezel. Furthermore, there was a slight amount of LCD ghosting on faster moving high-contrast objects (moving above 600 pixels/sec). But I found that to be true of most LCD screens, even of this professional caliber.
I managed to run both a Dell 3007 and the HP LP3065 as a dual-monitor set-up powered by the incredible Nvidia QuadroFX card in this HP Z800 workstation (a separate review of this gem is coming). Now, with a whopping desktop space of 5120x1600, I can truly gauge the two panels side by side looking at the same exact thing, literally. As far as the LCD panels themselves, they are largely the same, if not exactly the same. Where these monitors differ is in the input and stand mobility options. But I am tickled pink by the multiple DVI inputs. That saves me the headache of an expensive and unreliable dual-link DVI KVM solution. That’s a lot of acronyms I can live without.
When you get right down to it, the LP3065 is a crazy impressive screen. The real estate and native resolution alone are worth the price of admission and a more elegant solution than two 24-inch screens. With a typical price of $1,200 and a standard three- year warranty, the LP3065 is a good deal. You can’t get a bigger screen (short of a lower resolution TV) and the only better color you’ll get are from much more pricey, and smaller sized, 30-bit displays like the DreamColor monitor.
My perfect solution would be to have the 30-inch panel for my workspace paired with a 30-bit color 24-inch screen to gauge and final my colors.
Dariush Derakhshani is VFX Supervisor/Head of CG at Radium in Santa Monica, CA. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.