HP's new 22-inch LCD, the w2207, is a striking update in design and functionality to its mainstream line of computer LCDs. Borrowing visual cues from its new TouchSmart PC and Pavilion desktops, this sleek, black, wide-screen monitor will aid the overall look of any room you put it in. Considering its performance and its overall features, its $380 price tag also seems reasonable, compared with other 22-inch LCDs that cost a little less but don't deliver quite as much. Traditional TVs still have the advantage in high-definition movie watching; we found a few minor software issues. And HP's support lags behind other display vendors, but on balance, this monitor is one of the best in its class.
In addition to the attractive black bezel, the sturdy base of the display gives you a decent range of tilt and height adjustment options. It has no swivel capability, but you can rotate the display 90 degrees to portrait mode. The stand also gives you room to slide your keyboard underneath the monitor, a handy feature that helps keep your desk area tidy. Two sleeves on either side of the neck of the display corral the power and signal cables, although when you go into portrait mode from landscape, be sure to leave yourself enough slack or the cables will yank out of their sockets.
The w2270's onscreen display gives you most of the options you'd expect to find on a modern LCD. One feature we like in particular is that both within the menu and via two dedicated buttons on the display itself, you can scroll through four preset settings schemes for gaming, watching movies, viewing photos, and typing. You can also set your own custom scheme. If there's anything we'd change about the menu it's that as soon as you back out of an option, the default selection brings you instantly to the menu exit button. It's annoying to have to backtrack to another option when you want to adjust more than one setting.
Dot pitch: .28mm
Pixel-response rate: 5ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Viewing angle: 160 degrees horizontal, 160 degrees vertical
Connectivity: Analog, digital, USB
Included VGA, USB, and audio cables (no DVI)
Integrated, two-watt speakers
Like most display speakers, the two-watt pair on the w2207 doesn't really do the job. Their biggest issue is that the volume doesn't get anywhere near loud enough. We found their output barely audible.
A bigger problem with this display is its software. HP's My Display software is supposed to give you a Windows-based interface for adjusting various settings. This software is also supposed to enable the auto-pivot feature that automatically adjusts the screen to portrait mode when you rotate it 90 degrees. We had better luck getting My Display to work on the few Windows Vista machines we tried it on, but we never got the auto-pivot feature to work, even on the HP Pavilion SlimLine s3020n PC, which was designed in conjunction with the display.
Among our various test PCs, all used Windows Vista and an Nvidia GeForce graphics chip of one kind or another. We have a feeling My Display conflicted with either Windows Vista or the Nvidia graphics drivers. HP informed us that it's working to get to the bottom of the issue, and that it hopes to have a fix available to download as soon as it can. For the record, you can use Nvidia's software to manually change the screen to portrait mode, even if HP's auto-pivot software doesn't currently work.