The HP w2207 is one of the better-designed 22in widescreen LCD monitors we've seen, earning extra points for its easily adjustable double-hinged base and for its strikingly good looks.
It does lag behind other 22in LCDs in overall performance, particularly on graphics tests. And the HP w2207 is pricier than some better-performing displays. But we feel it offers a solidcombination of features and quality.
The display's glossy screen (which HP calls BrightView) may not be for you, particularly if you find background reflections distracting, but the HP w2207 produced natural colour and uniformly sharp text. Word and Excel documents looked consistently bright across the screen, even at the corners.
Text edges were sharp, resulting in easy-to-read documents on web pages and other text-heavy documents. The LCD rendered skin tones on a diverse group portrait with few traces of purple on darker skin or of overly pink tones on lighter skin, though jury members did note a lack of richness. The HP w2207 was weakest on our grayscale and colour-scale tests, where judges penalized it for dark shades and hard-to-discern colors. Graphics work that requires precise, deep contrast may suffer on the HP w2207.
In a screening of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl', the HP w2207 rendered realistic skin tones, especially those of the pirate Jack Sparrow, contrasting nicely against the lighter tones of the rest of the cast. Reds, particularly in uniforms, were balanced and saturated, while blues were pleasing, though darker uniforms tended to lose some detail. Panning motion was excellent, with only the barest hints of shadowing.
The HP w2207 comes with speakers built into the back, which keeps the monitor's appearance clean and consistent. But partly because they're in the back and partly because they're rather weak, the speakers produced muffled and at times almost unintelligible dialogue; they're inadequate for any real multimedia applications that require sound.
The display moves up and down easily, thanks to a height-adjustable double-hinged base that seems to float when you push it up, but becomes quite stable when positioned. Slivers of silver accent the top and bottom of the black glossy bezel. The HP w2207's stand reminded us of a rectangular paddle. The main drawback of the double hinge is that it makes the w2207's footprint large for an LCD of its class - so it may not be suitable for tiny, crammed desks.
The OSD (onscreen display) menu is easy to access, thanks to clearly labelled buttons at the bottom of the display. It includes presets for four common viewing tasks: 'movie', 'photo', 'gaming', and 'text'. The monitor can pivot from its default landscape position to a vertical portrait mode; and HP includes My Display software for automatically adjusting the orientation of the display 90 degrees clockwise.
In our tests the software worked well - but after activating the automatic function. We couldn't access the HP w2207's regular OSD menu until we exited the My Display software. After we concluded our tests, an HP representative told us that the company had solved the incompatibility. In any case, My Display replaces many OSD functions with an easier-to-use monitor calibration tool. It offers brightness, contrast, and white-point (or white-balance) control via a software interface.
HP separately sells various Easy Clip accessories that you can attach to the sides of your monitor. Among your options are a webcam, a clip to hold photos, and a bud vase to add whimsy to a frequently ignored peripheral. We didn't receive any accessories with our test HP w2207, but they're available from HP's website.
The HP w2207 has a lot to offer, including sharp text and good design. And if you want to personalise your monitor with lots of adjustments, it deserves a serious look.