Most helpful critical review
54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Nice IPS monitor for the price, but there are caveats
on February 20, 2013
My reliable HP 2509m monitor got the black screen of death after 3 years of use. I began researching IPS monitors and I had narrowed my selections to Asus, Dell and Viewsonic, but at the last moment HP released the Xi series of IPS monitors with great specs: an IPS LED-lit panel with an almost bezeless screen, with HDMI, DVI and VGA, all for less than the price of competitors I researched. I took the chance and ordered without waiting for reviews, except for a short one that mentioned that this monitor reflected sunlight quite a bit (my HP 2509m was glossy but I liked the frame-like quality of the pictures). On that account I bought this one.
Got it home, and set it up. The power button was stuck, but managed to dislodge it. I turned it on and the first thing I noticed is that going from 25" to 23" is really drastic, even if you move the smaller screen closer to you. Next, I was waiting for the images to jump out at me like my previous monitor, but to my surprise, the Anti-Glare coating is very thick, and it reflects no light at all. I thought this model had less aggressive AG coating than competitors. My viewing distance is at arm's length and on white backgrounds you can clearly see the oily background of the coating, very distracting. It makes you want to grab a towel and the clean those pearly droplets off.
For an IPS panel, the vertical angles are not as great as I had hoped. On a white blackground website, the bottom of the screen looks yellowish instead of pure white, and likewise, when viewing from horizontal angles the screen darkens a bit, although but not to the point of being shadowy. Still, the angles are an improvement from my old TN HP 2509m.
Next, I loaded up some of my test photos, and immediately noticed details that were unseen before, specially color banding and gradients in blue skies or sunsets. My older monitor didn't show these, so I'm thinking this is a plus as this monitor will allow me to adjust some of the photos I took.
I spent a day calibrating this to my needs, and the colors really stand out compared to my old monitor. The thin bezel is also a plus, and it's very thin. Text looks razor sharp. Still, I can't feel but disappointed at the lack of punch and wow of the images produced on this screen compared to my old glossy HP 2509m. I feel like I downgraded. The product itself it not at fault, as most monitors in this price range are very similar. I'm keeping this like a stepson, hoping it wins me over with time.
+ Accurate Colors
+ Detail in shadow areas
+ Sharp text
- Anti-glare coating is excessive.
- Viewing angles not great for an IPS panel.
- Flimsy OSD buttons.
- Plasticky feel everywhere.