With the rapid increase of more home theater owners using central storage to pipe their media around the home, it’s inevitable that we will want the same viewing experience when the theater room is being used and the kids are taking up all the other televisions in the house. The HP 2310e monitor is a step to that direction with 23 inches of display that offers a lovely 1920 by 1080 resolution for all your high definition content.
Aesthetically, the design of the 2310e is stunning and really takes after Apple’s take on minimalism as well as making a small footprint on the home office. The sleek black bezel is accented by the shiny gray base. Putting together the panel with the base is a painless one step option that’s simple and looks great when connected. The front of the panel is completely barren with the exception of the illuminated HP logo in the center bottom of the panel and touch screen buttons that appear when your finger taps the seven small white lines on the bottom right hand corner. That’s also where the power button is located, something you have to memorize if you tend to turn your monitor power on and off.
This is one of the thinnest monitors that I’ve tested as well, clocking in at 1 inch thick at the deepest section. The panel is also a light 9 pounds making it simple to relocate to another section of the house if needed. The power adaptor is also very thin and light as well, very unlike Dell’s hefty power bricks. The screen can be tilted up to 30 degrees and was simple to re-adjust depending on how much I slouched on the office chair or recliner. There are no swivel options on the base though. You have to move the entire monitor to swing it around to another viewing position.
All this minimalism comes at a price though. There are only three choices for connecting your computer or other video source to the 2310e, HDMI, DVI and Displayport. Those with older computers that have VGA only connections need not apply. There are also no USB ports on the monitor for those that want extra connections from their PCs. Finally, HP assumes that you have a separate speaker system as there are no built-ins. That’s really not a negative point though as anyone that purchases this wide-angle display probably values audio as much as video.
I didn’t care for the preset Text solution for viewing situations. The Text option seemed too washed out and tinted green for my tastes. However, by lowering the green tint down to about 200 and lowering the contrast ratio to about 70, I found a much more natural look when typing in Word or working in Excel. The Photo option is also pretty darn good for simple web browsing due to the increased brightness. The Gaming option was excellent for the PS3 / Xbox 360 though as well as some MMO’ing with the recently released DC Universe Online and Fallout: New Vegas. The on-screen interface is very simple to navigate and make quick tuning options for those seeking nitty-gritty control of their image quality.
The black levels in darker games like Batman: Arkham Asylum and Bioshock 2 were very deep and the contrast was some of the best I’ve seen on a panel this size. However, I really disliked the dynamic contrast ratio auto-correction tool. I tried it out on The Dark Knight and, while the blacks looked fantastic, they oversaturated the screen and detail was ultimately sacrificed. It also kept pulling me out of the movie experience as the auto-correction would dim and brighten the screen constantly. It wasn’t any better when gaming either.