HP Releases Trio of New Monitors Including a 30-bit, LED Billion-Color Panel

by Reads (5,200)

Today at SIGGRAPH’08 HP released three updates to its line of displays.  Two of them were traditional monitors at 22 and 24 inches; the big announcement, however, comes in the form of a 24 inch monitor developed in conjunction with DreamWorks Animation SKG.  Read on for more information on this impressive piece of technology.

The 22-inch model is known as the LP2275w.  It features a WSXGA resolution of 1680×1050 and offers a 92 percent color range. 

The 24-inch model is similar, but has a WUXGA resolution of 1920×1200 and a 102 percent color range.  It’s nice to see that not every display manufacturer has jumped onto the 16:9 bandwagon and is still producing new displays that don’t cut off extra pixels.  The height and tilt of both monitors can be adjusted, and can be pivoted ninety degrees.  This is no mean feat on a 24-inch panel.  Each display features HP’s Quick Release stand to allow either wall or arm mounting.  As ecologically-friendly technology is becoming more and more popular, it’s also no surprise that HP managed to get both monitors ENERGY STAR and EPEAT Silver certified.

The real star of the show, however, is the new DreamColor LP2480zx Professional Display.  It’s a stunning 30-bit LED-backlit panel that was co-developed by both HP and DreamWorks Animation studios.  It offers a WUXGA 1920×1200 resolution and the same tilting, raising and rotating features of the other two displays.  It delivers a whopping 110 percent of the NTSC color gamut, which HP says works out to be over a billion colors (1.07 billion, to be exact).  The 30-bit claim comes from the fact that each red, green and blue subpixel can be manipulated 2^10 times, or 1024 levels.  10 bits per color channel times 3 subpixels works out to 30 bits per pixel. 

The color range, however, is not the only impressive technological wizardry behind this display.  The LP2480zx features on-screen presets that allow the user to switch between several industry standard color palettes with the touch of a button: Rec. 601, Rec. 709, sRGB, Adobe RGB and DCI-P3.  The monitor also features a large span of varying levels of backlighting — from 40 cd/m^2 peak white luminance to 250 cd/m^2 — allowing a 3-D animator to see how images might look in a dim theater, an unsurprising point of view considering the engineering collaboration with DreamWorks.  Another interesting feature is the ability to dynamically adjust the white point of the display, by manipulating the relative brightness of the RGB channels.  This is one area in which the LED backlighting provides a tremendous advantage over traditional CCFL-backlit displays.

The new DreamColor LP2480zx Professional Display is not the first example of collaboration between HP and DreamWorks Animation SKG.  The initiative started over two years ago as a means to develop application and device agnostic color displays.  HP’s printer lines first took advantage of the HP DreamColor Engine technology and were released in March of 2007.  The LP2480zx is the first non-printer example of the tech.

While the LP2480zx is very impressive piece of kit, it also carries an impressively high price tag of $3299.  It’s a high price tag, true, but it’s also an impressive achievement considering the very high price of other super wide gamut monitors.  The DreamColor Advanced Profiling Solution, which allows Windows users to take advantage of the exceptional features of the monitor.  As a means to offset the high price of the display somewhat, HP is offering discounts on certain workstations when bought in conjunction with the LP2480zx: buying the xw4550 or xw4600 will save you an additional $200 while buying the xw6600 or xw8600 will save you $300 and $400, respectively.  The 22-inch LP2275w is available today for $459.  The 24-inch LP2475w will cost $649 and be available sometime in September.  Both of the latter two displays offer solid features for the cost, and are respectable additions to HP’s lines.  Hopefully, it won’t take too long for HP to port some of the DreamColor features over to more affordably priced models.

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