HP w2408h monitor review

4 out of 5
£329

For

Great picture, great size, adjustable

Against

Built-in speaker terrible, minor audio interference

With the price of flatscreen units constantly coming down, the option of having a large monitor for your PC is becoming increasingly popular – especially for those with a notebook as their main computer. But do you really need 24 inches? We find out.

Wrapped in a shiny gloss black frame, the modern design of the w2408h won’t look out of place in your über-cool city apartment. Controls are discretely placed along the right bottom of the screen allowing an impressive range of adjustments, which are also duplicated in the accompanying software.

To get the exact set-up you want, the monitor is mounted on a two piece stand allowing height adjustment and tilt. You can also rotate the monitor so you can make the most of the size in a vertical aspect.

HP has crammed in a load of technology, including BrightView and HP’s Vivid Colour Technology, meaning images are bright and as the box shouts, vivid, with a native resolution of 1920 x 1200. The gloss finish means it is particularly suited to viewing movies although it does suffer from reflection problems based on your location. In an office cube this might not be a problem, but opposite a large window it may well be. To keep things in check, there is a built-in ambient light sensor so the brightness can be adjusted accordingly, although you may wish to do this manually.

When it comes to hooking-up the monitor, your choices are the normal VGA input and an audio in to use the built-in speakers and HDMI. There is also a USB in and out as well as two additional USB sockets on the side, so you can use the monitor as a hub and hook up your peripheral devices, although this does spoil the clean lines somewhat.

At this price it is perhaps understandable that there is no Component or Composite option, reminding us that this is really a PC monitor, and not a small television.

If you choose to use the HDMI, which will ensure you are getting the most out of your monitor, it will detect the quality of input, which is a nice touch, and we tested a number of high-def sources and found good crisp clear results. Also remember the sound will also be carried across to the built-in speaker when using the HDMI, although this can be turned off.

That speaker is a rear-mounted 2 x 2W and we found it performed rather poorly, in fact, we’d prefer the built-in speakers in our notebook, which is really saying something. Of course, if you are a serious gamer or movie watcher, then you will have separates anyway, but it is still surprisingly poor and a disappointment.

The monitor comes with presets for Movie, Photo, Gaming, Text and a Custom. You can really see the difference between these presets when viewing widescreen movies, as the blacks move through shades of grey until, in Movie mode, the black is black. We found that Movie mode was actually good for all situations, and tended to leave it on that setting. The gaming setting we didn’t like – a lot of colour was lost so again Movie seemed to work well, but it really depends on the game settings too and now dark it is.

One other minor point we noticed was a small amount of audio interference, probably from our wireless mouse. This lead to a barely-noticeable buzz from the monitor’s speakers. Of course, you may have already decided you don’t want to use the speakers…

Verdict

Overall performance is very good, and it works out of the box with little in the way of set-up needed. The size makes this an idea accompaniment for those doing design work, or just wanting to view two A4 pages full size on the screen at one time. Having lived with the w2408h for some time, it is difficult return to a smaller screen as 24in just seems to be so natural.

The problem with the speakers is irritating because it means you have to have separate speakers, and this problem could certainly have been overcome without too much difficulty. In terms of display quality, we had no problems, although the presets were sometimes not the best suited to task. As a monitor, which this is designed to be, it works very well.