Hewlett Packard recently launched a new line of x-Series LED backlit LCD monitors . Sitting at the top of the size chart in that line is the HP 2711x, a gorgeous 27-inch monitor that enhances the look of any desktop system. HP packs several new features and technologies into this new display, starting with a cooler, more efficient backlight. By replacing the traditional cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) with a new LED (Light Emitting Diode), the backlighting consumes nearly half the energy while achieving higher contrast ratios, earning this monitor a 5.0 ENERGY STAR rating. As large as it is, the 2711x only weighs about 13 pounds, thanks to its slim, sleek design and an external power supply, making this one of the lightest 27-inch displays available.
SpecificationsFull HD 1920x1080p native resolution
3,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (DCR)
300 nits of typical brightness
5 ms on/off response time (reduces blur)
Pixel pitch of 0.3114mm
VGA, DVI-D and HDMI (with HDCP) inputs
170 degree viewing angle Design
A simple, slim (1-inch deep), sleek and attractive design adorns this new monitor. It sports a shiny-black bezel that is rather thin and features a rounded-edge that kind of reminds us of HP's All-in-One PCs . The stand elevates the screen enough to allow space to slide your keyboard underneath the screen. It is possible to tilt the screen from -5 to +25 degrees, but you cannot rotate [landscape to portrait mode] the screen or adjust the height. The stand does not have an opening for clean cable management like some monitors do, but HP includes a plastic clip to help keep the [power and video] cables somewhat tidy. The buttons all lie just under the lower-right side of the bezel where they are comfortable to access.
Back to the base, it is detachable and HP offers optional wall and desk mounts but there are no holes in the back for the industry-standard VESA mounting. That is a negative in our view as it limits your mounting options and forces you to purchase proprietary parts.
One of the key features of this new monitor is the LED backlighting. The advantages using LED are that it reduces number and size of components (making the monitor thinner), claims to produce deeper blacks that contribute to higher contrast ratios, uses less energy than CCFL, LED turns on quicker than CCFL and is more environmentally friendly. The 2711x features HP's BrightView technology which is meant to reduce glare. Another key feature of this display is its impressive 3,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, although the typical contrast ratio (in most modes) is more like 1,000:1. Dynamic Contrast Ratio, or DCR can be switched on and off. With DCR switched on, the monitor performs a cool transition as the images on your screen change from lights to darks. For example, if you open a browser window or look at a picture that is very dark, the brightness of the overall screen dims automatically. This all seems natural even as you drag a brightly colored image around the screen and watch the icons and items around it becoming brighter, as if to support the image.
Power is provided by a laptop-style external power supply that is fairly small and can be hidden away. The monitor consumes <1 watt of power while in sleep mode and up to a maximum of 40 watts. Typical power consumption is said to be roughly 28 watts.
The screen film on this display provides a glossy finish. It sure looks great when the monitor is off, but when it's on and you are watching a movie or have a dark image on the screen you can help but be distracted by your reflection. Wouldn't it be nice if one day we can press a button and switch the screen finish from glossy to matte and back?
Connectivity comes in the legacy VGA, DVI-D (with HDCP) and HDMI (with HDCP). All connections are in the back of the monitor, directly above the stand arm.
The HP 2711x offers several viewing modes called QuickView. These modes are designed to optimize the screen's performance, color, brightness and so on to the type content you are viewing. Here are the modes:
Movie: In this mode the screen turns noticeably dim and slightly blue in tint. This is meant to provide the best, cinema-style picture and support the performance of most DVD and Blu-ray movies.
Photo: Set in this mode, everything brightens up and colors seem more rich and true. This is meant to be used when viewing or editing photos, with applications such as Adobe Photoshop or other photo editing programs. The idea is to come as close to the true colors of an image as possible [on this display].
Gaming: In this mode things get brighter yet and more dynamic. Color temperature is cooler and text appears slightly imperfect but the idea is to support the type of graphics performance produced by the latest video games. In our tests of several games ranging from Angry Birds to Crisys, this really was the best mode for gaming.
Text: Hands down, whether you are reading text in a browser window or authoring a document in Microsoft Word, this is the only mode you should be using for looking at text. Screen fonts and all text on the screen, of any size or resolution simply looks the best in this mode. Font edges are sharp and defined, white is white [yet subtle] and text looks crisp and dark, making it very easy on the eye.
Custom: This mode allows you to create a very customize mode. You can specify a very particular level of brightness, contrast and color temperature as well as adjust the sharpness or fonts and edges, then exit the menu and save this mode for instant recall when you need it. HP's Dynamic Contrast Ratio (DCR) effect can only be enabled in Custom mode. Enabling DCR in any other mode will revert the monitor to the Custom mode and save the changes.
HP backs the 2711x monitor with a 1 year limited warranty that include parts, labor and free technical support. Technical support is offered worldwide via telephone and real-time chat. In comparison, some other monitor manufacturers offer a 3 year warranty on comparable products. This monitor is also protected by HP's Pixel Policy which covers the screen from dead pixels.
For its price, the HP 2711x is a good value. You can expect bright, clear images and deep, dark blacks as you surf the web, play games or watch a high definition movie in full HD 1080p. The preset modes work well to enhance performance but we found it best to leave the monitor on Custom mode with DCR enabled. However, if you going to kick back and watch a full-length movie we suggest that DCR should be turned off or certain dark scenes appear too dark. While it would be nice to get more motion out of the stand, such are rotating the screen to portrait and raising/lower the screen, we understand that those features would likely raise the price a smidge. Nevertheless, this monitor is quite a presence on any desk, it looks great, feels huge and is lovely to stare at for hours and hours.