"I'm taking mine back"2.0 starson by excelguru
Pros: Big, bright, inexpensive
Cons: Software!!!, color rendering/fade
Summary: I bought mine yesterday and spent several HOURS trying to get it "right" last night.
The editors at CNET harped briefly about the "HP MyDisplay" software, but they didn't harp quite enough. Maybe it's better if you're running Vista, but you know what? Most people aren't running Vista. I use XP and the software was so troublesome that I uninstalled it and downloaded the latest one from the website. That wouldn't work either, so I eventually uninstalled it gave up on the software completely.
One of the more aggrivating bugs involves the fact that the software WILL NOT set the monitor's resolution to its maximum settings despite having a beautifully-rendered little button on the screen to do so. Click that pretty little button all you want. Your resolution won't change. If I can't take advantage of the resolution, then what's the point?
And after you run through the software once and try to use it again later, nothing works at all!!!! You can move that little contrast slider all you want. Your contrast won't change.
Okay, so the software sucks. I'll just use the manual buttons to operate the OSD, right? Nope. Apparently the OSD conflicts with the software and the OSD menu disappears almost immediately after you access it (less than one second). After I uninstalled the software for good, the OSD worked fine. (sigh)
So I eventually used my Gretag Macbeth Eye-1 monitor calibrator (which I love) to get the colors right. But wait... what's this? When the screen is viewed straight-on (not at an angle), the top of the screen is darker than the bottom. In other words, it fades gradually from top to bottom. This will not be a big deal to most users and can be ignored if you just want a big pretty monitor. But for those of us who do serious photographic editing on our computers (e.g. for money), this fault is absolutely NOT acceptable. Not by a long shot.
Because of the inability to utilize the maximum resolution settings, I have to use the 1280x1024 option available in Windows. The 1600x1200 setting is outiside the monitor's cabaility and results in a remarkably annoying error message that stays in the center of your screen indefinitely until you change the resolution settings back.
So with the 1280x1024 resolution, if you choose to fill the screen, everything gets stretched. Circles look like ovals. Squares looks like rectagles. This may not be a big deal unless, again, you just happen to derive income from editing photographs. Not cool. Not cool at all. If that darn "preferred resolution" button would work...
So to prevent the distortion, you can use the OSD to squeeze the aspect ratio back to "normal", but then why bother having the wide monitor?
(sigh) I'll return mine tomorrow for a refund. I hope all this ranting proves useful for some of you.