HP L2245w 22in Monitor review

Is everyone in the office squinting at their screens? A 22in widescreen monitor will help them see the bigger picture.

The piece de resistance is the pivot function, so if you're dissatisfied not having 100 per cent zoom on your document in normal mode you can spin the whole display 90 degrees. This is good for working at length on vertical documents or web pages. HP provides Pivot Pro software, enabling you to rotate your display easily without having to restart your machine. This can be accessed from the system tray or even more easily by just right clicking on the desktop. Alternatively, you can assign each stage of rotation - 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees - to hot keys.

In terms of connectivity, HP offers both a DVI and D-Sub. The former is HDCP compliant, which is necessary if you wish to view any copy protected content on Blu-ray.

There are also two USB ports next to the video connections. This isn't the most convenient place for the ports - side mounting would be better - but as it's so easy to pivot the screen t's not too difficult to reach them.

There are four buttons on the front bezel - the power button and three to control the OSD (on screen display). This has controls for brightness and contrast, and let's you adjust the colour settings between 9300K, 6500K or sRGB. You can easily alter the position of the OSD on screen, and set up the default input in case you have multiple items attached and want it to pick up one input first. You can even turn off the bezel power light display to avoid distractions, and there's a power saver function so that the screen turns off automatically after a time.

However, HP has gone one step further and provides 'LiteSaver' software. This enables you to precisely set the times the monitor should turn itself on or off so if your work requires a machine be left on all day you can use this to make just the monitor go off or stay on for a fixed time. While Windows offers a timeout facility, using this enables the screensaver, which can interrupt important workflows.

As far as specifications are concerned, the 300cdm2 brightness figure is fairly standard, but the picture was excellent under standard office lighting. Running through our demanding DisplayMate test, the monitor put in an exemplary performance, being sharp, clear and able to distinguish greyscales very well.

The colour fading tests were also handled with aplomb, delivering even steps between each colour, though there was some minor compression at the darker ends and some minor banding visible on the greens but text handling, crucial for a display of this type, was very good. Colours in general, were rich and strong.

However, this was when testing with a DVI cable. The performance over the supplied analogue VGA cable was still good, but the picture was noticeably softer and noisier, which affects text and Excel charts. DisplayMate also highlighted severe moir, which was absent under the digital connection.

With video the HP again delivered the goods, with clear, smooth images, free of ghosting and a respectable amount of black level, diving adequate detail in the darker areas.

The only real downside is that viewing angles were not the best, an inevitable consequence of the TN technology on which this screen is based. When you're sitting in front of the screen, any issues are easily solved by tilting the screen but from the sides it's limited. As such, for showing off something to a crowd you'll have to move everyone fairly central.

Other than this, the monitor is a winner both aesthetically and practically. If you are considering upgrading older, smaller monitors in the office, then your employees will thank you for choosing the impressive HP L2245w.

Verdict

HP's L2245w isn't the cheapest 22in on the block, but it does offer great performance for the cash, with a great picture, flexible stand options, including pivot function, and a business-like and smart design.

Display Size: 22in Resolution: 1,680 x 1,050 Display technology: TN Brightness: 300cd/m2 Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 Response time: 5ms Connections: DVI, D-Sub, 2x USB Adjustments: Tilt, height, pivot, rotate Dimensions (W x D x H): 20.3 x 11.9in x 14.6in Power consumption: 65W (max), 2W standby Speakers: No Warranty: 3yrs on site Security: Kensington lock VESA mounting: Yes

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