Business in the front, party in the back.
I’m a hardcore PC gamer. This fact has not changed since 1998 (and yes, every day I party like it’s such). When I build a rig, I expect nothing less than time travel, with it opening worm holes and real-world applications of string theory. Ha! In the end I’d just be happy to run Crysis on full tilt with a resolution of 2560×1600 while maintaining a silky smooth 60 frames per second. Dare to dream, right?
[image1]Wrong! I’ll dream when I’m dead. For now, I’m a proud resident of 1600p country, thanks to HP’s 30-inch LP3065 desktop monitor and its native 2560×1600 resolution. It’s a beast of a performer with strong color accuracy, response time, and a good deal of noteworthy features. Sadly it’s still missing a few bells and whistles, which bar it from opening the gates to the land of visually supreme milk and honey. Nonetheless, it gets real close.
The LP3065 is simple in appearance and straight-forward – black bezel with a black and silver stand. The footprint is restrained and unassuming, taking up moderate room. Plus the bottom of the stand houses a flat recessed tray where pens, Post-its, and other office/gamer supplies can be held. My extra mouse and wireless Xbox 360 controller (for PC) are permanent tenants here. What I really like is that the monitor can be raised up or down, as well as pivot for an ideal viewing angle. No more placing my display on my hardcover tome of A Feast for Crows.
After connecting the included DVI cable to one of three (count them, three!) DVI ports, I was only a software install away from pushing my GeForce GTX 295 vid card to its max supported resolution. Those three DVI ports mean you can connect up to three computers! All ports are Dual-Link DVI-D and HDCP-capable. Users are also treated to a 4-port USB connector and a subpar detachable speaker bar.
This is definitely a high-end unit, targeting professional graphic designers and such. However, prices have come down considerably since its launch, dropping from $1699 to sub-$1000 from some online retailers, making it a more accessible commodity for relatively frugal gamers. The stellar color accuracy does much to cement this fact as do the deep black levels and high contrast ratio. All work in concert for tremendous performance and vibrancy in every game to hit the screen, including Mass Effect 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and the new Just Cause 2 demo.
[image2]I could not be more pleased with the performance. Images are bright and colorful without over-saturation. And the low-low 5ms response time assures there will be no ghosting or distortion in speedy FPS games like Unreal Tournament, Counter-Strike, Modern Warfare 2, and even Blu-ray movies. Moreover, all that graphic greatness runs at 2560×1600! Well, there’s just nothing like it.
On the dark side, this king of the graphic jungle does suffer from a few thorns in the toe. There is no HDMI support. This is slightly understandable as it’s targeting a different user, but it still leaves the LP3065 with no real multimedia performance and no love for PS3, 360, cable set-top boxes, or separate DVD/Blu-ray players. Combine that with the absence of a scaling chip or onboard video processor, and you now have a giant window that only does 2560×1600 on some OS. Luckily, Windows 7 kicks in to help. Some users have reported only the native res, while others are saying they get 2560×1600 and 1280×800. With my video card and Win7, I’m seeing 2560×1600, 1680×1050, 1280×800, and 800×600.
To round out the omissions, there is hide nor hair of an on-screen display. You can merely adjust the brightness with the included "+ and -" buttons on the front of the bezel. All color, gamma, and contrast settings are handled within your video card control panel. That just blows.
Consequently, if you’re like me, and you absolutely need your hardware to run at its full bleeding-edge potential, give the HP LP3065 a go. It may have been all business upfront, but with the price drop and highly laudable performance, it parties like a gamer. Kinda like a mullet!
[Full spec sheet found here.]