HP DreamColor LP2480zx; An In-Depth Review

It may still be too early to say, but HP has already chipped in its candidate for product of the year with its HP DreamColor LP2480zx. This monitor is not your typical display at all, as it’s very capable of producing colors more than your eyes will ever see. HP claims this new product with 30-but panel, can show more than 1 billion colors, which is way a lot more than a typical desktop display. Also, this display uses tro-colour LED backlight, which is believed to produce deeper colours than the traditional fluorescent light, and it is definitely noticeable. What more can this computer monitor do? Check out this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide to know more.

(image from Amazon)

Who is it for?

If you’re a professional computer user looking for excellent colour reproduction for professional photography and video production, then the HP DreamColor LP2480zx is for you. It’s totally geared for computer professionals, but it’s also well-equipped to handle daily general use.



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It’s not often that we get to see a PC monitor as complete as the HP DreamColor LP2480zx. This is why when we do find it, we quickly appreciate its good qualities. This display is made possible by a special deal between HP and Dreamworks (which would explain the DreamColor on its name), and it’s highly regarded as the real replacement for CRT monitor. Why? Here are the many reasons.

As its model name suggests, HP DreamColor LP2480zx is a 24-inch display that runs with the usual 1920 x 1200 native resolution. It is however, very capable of supporting 2048 x 1200 resolution at 60Hz. It’s an S-IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel which utilizes RGB LED backlighting, which helps its screen product great depth.


Shows Over A Billion Colors

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To deliver excellent content, the HP DreamColor LP2480zx contains 30-bit (10 bits per color channel) panel, which gives the panel the ability to produce a little over one billion colors. This capability smashes any 24-bit based monitors out there whose maximum color is an outdated 16.7 million colors.

This may not mean much for regular users, but for professional users, this kind of color depth means optimum support for wide selection of color spaces. This allows the display to cover a staggering 133% of the NTSC color space. This monitor is also pre-programmed to fully support Adobe RGB, sRGB, SMPTE-C and Rec.709/601 colour spaces and DCI-P3 at 95%.

It’s not a problem if you don’t understand all these. All you need to know is this HP monitor is extremely impressive.


Flawless Color Reproduction and Good Dark Grayscale Performance for Sharp and Smooth Image Quality

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Both color scales and gradients remain uniformly faultless in HP DreamColor LP2480zxwhich really lives up to its name – dream color. There were also no signs of dithering, which is something you can really expect for a monitor of its caliber. Colors remained clean, true and vibrant, while there were no hints of backlight bleed on its panel.

Based on DisplayMate performance test, HP DreamColor LP2480zx is able to deliver flawless colors.

Black level test also shows how well this display can produce optimal black level for good shadow detail quality. It was able to show very dark grays up to two levels above true black.

Text Quality

Consequently, the black level performance of this HP monitor is amazing, which is easily one of the best in LCD monitor market, text remain sharp and perfectly legible. For text quality, this display doesn’t have problems in showing black texts on a white background, as fonts as small as 6.8 size remain visibly clear.


Images Performance

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For photo and images quality, this HP display deliver photos in high-resolution; accurate, brilliant and deep colors.


Movie Performance

In terms of movie quality, HP LP2480zx is able to display accurate colors, even in action-packed Blu-ray movies like ‘Avatar.’ Motions remained smooth and stutter-free, with no issues in tearing. Though there is a very slight issue on blurring, it is hardly noticeable in panning shots. There may be a slight green push when setting at Rec.709 preset. But it’s hardly noticeable under normal circumstances. Switching the mode to Full preset will resolve this minor issue. Also, users can also easily see dark image details like braids and strands of hair when set at nighttime mode.


Gaming Quality

For games, one of the best tools to test any monitor is the ‘World of Warcraft’, simply because of its color quality and vibrancy. And the HP DreamColor LP2480zx performed quite well, which is comparable to the best IPS displays in the market, such as Dell UltraSharp U2711 and NEC PA271W.


Viewing Angle Performance

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Depending on the panel type, picture quality of monitors changes on viewing angles. The optimal viewing angle for monitors is usually directly in front, and about a quarter of the distance of the screen from the top. At this angle, the human eye will be able to see colors as the display manufacturer intended to be viewed. As an IPS panel display, the HP DreamColor LP2480zx comes with a great viewing angle performance. When viewed from left and right side, the screen only starts to darken at about 15 inches off from the center, or 178°. This means its viewing angle is twice better than a typical TN panel.


With VESA Standard Mounting Holes for Better Ergonomics

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This makes mounting the HP LP2480zx to aftermarket ergonomic solutions a lot easier. The cabinet comes with VESA mounting standard holes, which means you can get more flexible options such as more versatile monitor stand, LCD arms, desk mounts and wall mounts. Also, because it’s a mid-sized display, it’s a great option for dual monitor or even triple monitor setup.


Energy Consumption

This is probably the weakest aspect of HP LP2480zx, as it scores terribly in power consumption. The biggest reason behind this poor power consumption rating is that, the monitor’s Default/On energy uses 62.63 watts. For its Sleep/Standby mode, it consumes 1.97 watts.


Dual Monitors and Multiple Monitors Mounting Options

Indeed, HP LP2480zx comes with a good monitor stand, as it offers excellent adjustability and flexibility for your workstation. However, it’s pretty easy to assume that having two to three of these monitors sitting side-by-side on your desk, with their individual factory-supplied stand can compromise your comfort.

(image from Amazon)

The best dual monitor stand available out there for you is the LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm or LX Dual Stacking Arm, both are from Ergotron. These monitor stands comes equipped with fully adjustable arms can extend up to 25 inches, with 18 inches range adjustment, allowing you to push your monitor completely out of the way when not in use, and free your desk. It is a very versatile solution, easy to setup and install to your workstation, and effortless to use.

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If you want a more affordable alternative, you can check out Deluxe Dual Monitor Stand, a cheap but highly efficient dual monitor stand. It’s made up of high quality materials, and it’s robust enough to withstand the rigors of daily office use. Plus, it is fully adjustable, giving you a practical solution for dual monitor setup with your display. The small footprint of the V-shaped base keeps the two monitors stable. It’s a perfect choice for office settings.

Design and Features

Design wise, the HP LP2480zx looks largely as a performance-heavy display, than eye-candy piece of hardware on your desk. Its cabinet is 2.25 inch thick, and finished with a dark gray panel that extends back an additional 1.4 inches to house the I/O ports. It also weighs 25.72 lbs., which means it hardly budges when hit. This gives the cabinet more of an industrial look. The ventilation system also adds to its depth to up to 3.65 inches deep. Also, because it’s a performance-heavy display, HP included vent holes on both sides and top and bottom to allow better air circulation inside the panel.

Buttons and Controls

The onscreen display button of this HP monitor is strategically located on the lower side corner or the right bezel. This spot houses five buttons, which are vertically aligned for easy use. Navigating through the on-screen display may take some getting used to, as the ‘Enter’ button is not as responsive as we want it to be. It should be pushed more than once to register your action.

The buttons lets users set the monitor’s picture setting, including brightness, color temperature level, and black level. However, it doesn’t come with contrast and individual color adjustments. Unfortunately for this display that targets graphic designers, this shortcoming can be an issue, as its closest rival NEC MultiSync PA271W, comes with a wide array of on-screen display options for color settings, making it a better choice for color calibration.

The on-screen display buttons also gives quick access to the monitor’s Presets, namely, Full, AdobeRGB, Rec.6.01 (specially made for video-encoding standard), sRGB, Rec.709 (for high-def standard), SCI-P3 Emulation, and User-7. Each and every preset automatically adjusts the brightness and color levels of the screen to fit to its specific task. Also, the OSD includes several customization options and a Picture in Picture (PIP) option.


Solid Rectangular Footstand

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The rectangular stand of HP LP2480zx is also largely built for performance. It measures 12 x 8.1 inches, with a touch of silver on its base. This massive stand reassures stable support and security for the large and heavy display.

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What makes the display quite special though is its attention for comfort. The stand is fully adjustable; with 35° tilt, swivels left and right to 45°, pivots 90° to let you switch between landscape and portrait mode, and a 4-inch height adjustment. At its shortest setting, the screen is 1.7 inches from the desk top, and at its highest, it rises up to 5.7 inches from the desk. This means users of any height and size can definitely enjoy its benefits.

The stand also comes with a cable clutter, to ensure clean and neat work desk.


Connectivity Options

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This HP display has a pretty thorough selection of connectivity options. It has two (2) DVI ports, DisplayPort version 1.1, HDMI 1.3 port, S-Video, and composite. This means there should be more than enough I/O ports for most users. However, there are no audio throughput, so when you connect the display to the Blu-ray player, you have to output the audio through other means. Of course, it’s not a big concern for users looking solely for a professional-use display.

(image from Amazon)

Computer professionals will also surely love the convenient features of this display, as it comes with workstation must-haves such as the four USB 2.0 ports, which is housed at the back side of the cabinet. It also has memory card reader to pair nicely with mobile devices.


Easy and Straightforward Assembly

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Putting this monitor altogether is relatively easy and straightforward. After pulling the unit out of its box, all you need to do is slide the display cabinet to the mounting stand. No need of screws or anything. This also makes disassembly easy, as a quick slide across its lacking wheel will remove the display from the stand. It’s also easy to lose, thanks to the button operated lock mechanism that locks the cabinet in place.


Tech Specs

Bottom Line

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The HP DreamColor LP2480zx certainly lives up to its claims of excellent performance, making it an early candidate of this year’s monitor race. The 30-bit panel and color space support is unprecedented, considering its price range. Sure its ease of use and choices of options can be easily faulted, and it forgoes controls for color and contrast. Also, feature-wise, its competitors can beat it. However, it is undeniably a performance monster.

It is very telling though, that its small issues still makes it very respectable. It might not have the superfluous style of Apple LED monitors, but it certainly has the right combination of intuitive design and high quality components to work for everyday use. It further improves professional credentials.

Also, with 3-year limited parts and warranty, which covers backlight, it’s clear that HP stands by its product’s quality.

If you’re looking to have this display for general use, playing games and viewing photos, Full preset is the optimum picture setting. For watching movies, you can switch to Rec.709 preset, the get the ample color temperature. Also, with VESA mounting holes at the backside of the cabinet, this 24-inch display is an excellent choice for dual monitor or even multiple monitor setups, perfect for professionals and hardcore gamers who wants to have higher resolution through sitting two or more monitors side-by-side.

All in all, the great performance and quality of HP DreamColor LP2480zx is expected, considering its price. It is up there with similarly great-quality monitor geared for professionals. Like most IPS-based displays, this monitor is geared towards professional users, especially for professional video and photography, where accurate color reproduction is crucial. But it is also good for variety of general use, such as viewing images, playing games and watching movies.

For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!

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