HP DreamColor Z24x; An In-Depth Review

Each time we see astonishing photos and marvel at spectacles on the iMax theaters, some of us can be sure of one thing: such images can only be perfected with the aide of colour-accurate displays. Even if you’re not a graphics professional, colour-accurate monitors can transform your photos and even videos for the better. The advent of innovation also made affordable colour-accurate monitors possible. One good example of this is the HP DreamColor Z24x, also known as HP ProDisplay P232 23-inch Monitor. How does this product differ from other affordable colour-accurate monitors out there? Check out this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide to know more.

 

HP DreamColor Z24x (Image from Amazon)


Who is it for?

If you’re looking for a colour-accurate monitor that won’t break the bank, then the HP DreamColor Z24x is for you. It’s the cheapest under the DreamColor line; perfect for professionals who work on colour demanding tasks and transforms photos and videos for the better on a daily basis but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars more for their setup.

 

Benefits

 

Good Looking Imagery from Colour Accurate Panel Technology

For most users, all they want and need is a little tweaking to setup their required colour space and adjust the brightness of the screen to suit their preference (or time of the day), and voila! They’re ready to work on their computer. HP DreamColor Z24x is also works ready, thanks to its sRGB and Adobe RGB modes.

 

Both sRGB and Adobe RGB of this display are equally impressive. The sRGB mode with brightness at 120cd/m2 covers 99.4% of the colour gamut. It also racks a decent contrast ratio of 855:1, with average Delta E of 0.73, maximum of 2.77. The panel’s colour temperature is almost perfect, reaching 6483K.

For Adobe RGB mode, the monitor covered 97.2% of the colour gamut, which is just a touch short of its claims. Contrast ratio is at 859:1, while the average and maximum Delta E figures came in at 0.88 and 2.54 respectively. Colour temperature is at 6599K, which is not too far out of whack either.

 

It’s Not Perfect Panel Though

There are of course, some minor lapses, such as the IPS glow which makes black and dark tones glow with a faint white when viewing away from head on, this however is a common issue among IPS panels, not just in HP DreamColor displays. High-end competitors like the Eizo ColorEdge CX240 don’t suffer the same fate, but of course, comes with a slightly heftier price tag.

Uniformity for the LED backlighting is also a pressing concern in this display. There were no obvious bleeding around the panel’s edge, but it’s simply not up to the standards compared to its rivals in the same price range, like the Eizo ColorEdge CS240. Measured across 15 points on its panel, the backlight of this HP display is somewhere between 10% and 12% dimmer across the top of the panel and the right-hand edge that at the middle point. This is much worse from other more expensive professional-grade displays. For instance, the Eizo ColorEdge CS240 deviated by no more than 3% on the same tests.

 

Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Setup Options

With  its 24-inch screen size and IPS panel, the DreamColor Z24x really makes an ideal candidate for dual monitor and even triple monitor setup. The size is perfect for most graphic designers' desks, while the IPS provides excellent screen for color-demanding tasks. The two best available mounting options out there for dual monitor setup are from Ergotron and Amazon Basics.

 

Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm (Image from Amazon)


Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm allows you to put two displays of up to 28-inch display side by side, or even put one on top of the other. It is made up of solid polished aluminum construction, with high quality materials. It’s equipped with Constant Force (CF) technology, which is Ergotron’s patented technology that holds monitors securely in place, and still allows smooth, convenient adjustment for optimum ergonomics.

AmazonBasics dual side-by-side monitor arm (Image from Amazon)


If you’re looking for a dual monitor LCD arm that can support your two 27-inch monitor, but don’t have the budget to spend for premium products, then you can opt for AmazonBasics dual side-by-side monitor arm. This product comes with an affordable price tag, but don’t mistake its price for low quality, as it can certainly stand against the best in the market today.

 

Design and Features

HP DreamColor Z24x (Image from Amazon)


Designed to blend in nicely with your work environment, the HP DreamColor Z24x comes in a straight-forward, almost utilitarian design. It’s in no way impressive, as a matter of fact it looks pretty basic. But that’s actually the whole point of this monitor – keep things simple to keep the price low. But don’t mistake it cheap price tag for cheap performance, as this display has no problem displaying high quality imagery in its AH-IPS panel.

Specs wise, this display get things off to a good start. For one, the 24-inch screen is made up of AH-IPS panel running at Full HD resolution (1920x1080p) and covers 99% Adobe RGB colour space. 10-bit colour is supported, plus factory calibrated presets for the sEGB, Adobe RGB and BT.709 (standard for HD broadcasts) colour spaces. Hardware calibration is also on the cards, as long as you don’t mind tweaking it out further and spending around $230 more or so for the DreamColor Calibration Solution Kit from HP, a rebadged version of the X-Rite iDisplay Pro Colorimeter.

 

Buttons and Controls

The physical buttons are strategically located on the right hand side of the cabinet; they’re well laid out in a vertical row and backlit for easy and convenient access. The backlight however, can be overwhelming at night in a dim-lit room, and the ability to adjust the brightness would have been a welcome addition.

For the on-screen display, it’s more of a common sense: the selection comes with a legend, which means you’re never in any doubt which button to press. It’s pretty informative and makes every key feature of the monitor easy to access.

 

Connectivity Options

HP DreamColor Z24x (Image from Amazon)


This HP display hits all the marks for connectivity options too. There is DVI, HDMI and a DisplayPort 1.2 inputs, all of them are HDCP enabled. The DisplayPort can be daisy-chained for a second monitor, which videographers will be pleased as the port supports 24p, 30p, and 5-p video signals (that’s of course aside from the usual 60p), at both 720P and 1080P resolutions.

 

HP DreamColor Z24x (Image from Amazon)


For the USB hubs, there are four USB 3.0 ports, which is a welcome addition for professionals. Two of which are at the rear, while the other two are located on the left hand edge of the cabinet for easy access.

 

Stable and Smooth Fully Adjustable Stand, with VESA Too

HP DreamColor Z24x (Image from Amazon)


Designed for and with professionals in mind, HP DreamColor Z24x may not look sleek, but it comes with an excellent build quality, which is what most professionals look for. It comes with a fully adjustable stand that secures the monitor in place while allowing wide variety of fluid and smooth adjustments, such as tilting, swiveling, height adjust, and pivot, all without wobbling the screen.

If you’re not happy with the stand, then you can ditch it and opt for more ergonomic choices, such as monitor stands with fully articulating arm or even dual monitor stand for dual monitor setup. Simply detach the stand and use the VESA-compliant mounting holes.

 

Tech Specs

Package includes an AC power cord, a VGA cable, a DisplayPort cable, HP Display Assistant software, and a CD (includes user guide, warranty, drivers).

 

Bottom Line

If it weren’t for its fiddly backlighting, HP DreamColor Z24x would be a really excellent monitor. Note however that each LCD panel of this product model may have some variations of back lighting to some degree. This means others may have slightly better backlighting.

Although this model is not as good as its 27-inch brother – HP DreamColor Z27X, or the upcoming DreamColor Z31X, this model is still quite good for its price. If you’re professional however, make sure you have the budget for corresponding colorimeter (as what most graphic professionals do for their computer setups).

 

The biggest selling point of HP DreamColor Z24x is easily its price. Factor that with the optional calibration solution kit and you have potentially a really impressive colour-accurate display, with wide gamut package for a really reasonably, if not affordable price. Quite an impressive deal for your money. If you can stretch your budget for about a couple hundreds of dollars however, then you might want to consider the Eizo ColorEdge CS240, which is a little more superior when it comes to backlighting and colour accuracy.

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



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