Top critical review
26 people found this helpful
Very Cheap Display
on September 7, 2014
If you're wondering where they skimped in order to get the price to this point, wonder no more – it's the display. I haven't seen a display with these types of contrast, color temperature, viewing angle, and color depth issues in probably 6 or 7 years. Now, you might consider this nitpicking at this price point. But, when you consider that it makes nearly all text difficult to read, it should probably weigh more heavily into your decision-making.
Light colors don't render correctly at all, and are much paler and grayer than what you would see on any other display. It's as if the LCD pixels have trouble stopping the LED backlight from bleeding through. Text appears particularly washed out and difficult to read, since the anti-aliasing pixels all but vanish. The color temperature is also way off. You can mess with the color temperature, but it will go from blue tinged, to ugly yellowish, to slightly red. In fact, you can change the color and display settings all you want, but you will never find a good balance. You will gain something in one place but lose a lot more somewhere else. Don't even think about using this laptop for any color-sensitive work.
Don't let the WLED specification fool you. Every CCFL display I've used in the past five years has looked better than this display. I also suspect that the WLED refresh rate is fairly low, and this has been known to induce headaches and discomfort in some people. Note that this is separate from the LCD refresh rate and rarely quoted in specs.
Add all these problems to a very narrow and low optimum viewing angle, and the already well known Windows 8 font rendering issues, and you have a laptop that feels like a real chore to use.
Maybe I got a bad example. Maybe HP uses a couple different vendors to supply the screens. I don't know. It surprises me that no one else has brought up this point. I've connected the laptop to several other external displays and they all look fine. So, the core problem is almost assuredly with the display panel and not a driver/hardware/software issue. I imagine if I complained about the quality, I'd just end up without the laptop for a couple weeks and they would tell me that they checked it and everything was in spec.
Bottom line is, if you are used to the much higher end displays used on phones, tablets, monitors, tvs, and more expensive laptops, this display will probably be an unpleasant surprise.