Comparison Review 27" iMac, ZR30W, U2711, all sitting in my office

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Eric-PTEK, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Eric-PTEK macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    So my new ZR30W showed up today.

    I had bought a Dell U2711 last week and my wife has a 27" Late 2009 iMac so figured this is a good comparison.

    Her iMac has the yellow tint issue, Apple shipped out a new i5 last night so we'll get it next week. Still for the color issue the iMac monitor was fantastic to look at.

    I bought the Dell for my MB Pro because of the yellow tint issue. Really the new 27" CD is a great deal because not only is it cheaper but the integrated charger for the laptop is a big deal since they are $80 by themselves.

    This is all just my opinion, no real measurement but I do have a Huey Pro and I let it do all the work on each monitor.

    Off the top the Dell is the worst of the 3. Considering its close pricing I would not even consider it after seeing the other 2. The anti-glare coating was very difficult to look at. It was either too bright or two dark. My eyes hurt after looking at it for a while.

    Color quality I can't really comment on because I have nothing to measure with but uniformity was great, I can say that. It did not have the POP the iMac monitor has.

    The ZR30 out of the box was much better. The Dell you could really tell it had antiglare on it, the HP its a much finer finish. Text is clear and the color is great.

    Now the buzzes/hums...bad...I'm sure I just got a bad unit...and it has the yellow tint, right hand side...its not bad.

    If I chose Apple RGB for color correction I can't see it at all. But doing the tint test it is perceivable. Its way better than my wife's iMac though.

    I got 5 years of on site HP service so I'll just call HP and they will come out to look at the buzz/tint issue. The tint is SO faint but I can see it, and can only see it when I have something full screen.

    If I put 2 windows up side by side its very hard to tell but 1 window you can see the gradient change.

    So given that the HP and iMac, and I assume 27" CD will have the same issue I'd say get the CD unless you need the extra res.

    I plan on keeping the HP for a few reasons. One is I need the extra res, doesn't sound like much but I don't do photo's or video. I spend all day in RDP sessions for customers so every last bit of screen real estate is important to me.

    If I didn't need the extra pixels then I would have waited for the 27" CD. The Dell IMO is not even worth looking at. It has its own little quirks and holy crap did it get HOT.

    So a first for Apple, they make not only the best monitor for its class/usage but also the cheapest :)

    One other bad thing about the HP, and this isn't HP's fault, my brand new 2010 MB Pro 13 inch struggles to keep up with the higher res.

    At 2560x1440 it was a little sluggish opening/closing windows as far as draw speed. At 2560x1600 its opening from the dock is very sluggish.

    I'll have to try in clamshell mode and see if its better.

    BTW I'm using a mini-DP to DP converter right now but will be ordering a 6' mini-dp to dp cable. I ordered a 3' thinking I could get away with it but it doesn't reach.

    $8.00 at Monoprice and it works perfect.
  2. macintel4me macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2006
    Very useful review!!

    I have the HP ZR30w and I do NOT have any taint or buzz issue. I'm very happy with my purchase and I have been using it with my 2008 Mac Pro for about 1 month now.
  3. Eric-PTEK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    Yeah I'm sure I just got a bad unit. HP will be out in a day to look at it.

    Considering both issues should be easily repaired if you need the space and have the $ its a great monitor.

    You know though I go upstairs and look at her monitor and it really is super sharp, its just the anti-glare on the HP.

    If the sold one without it I'd take it.

    Then again for someone who has never seen or compared a CD/iMac back to back will love the monitor, or you can be adventurous like a few users and remove the antiglare :)

    I think the Dell without the antiglare would be a great monitor but it just kills it.
  4. MacSince1985 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2009
    I looked at the ZR30, but it had a street price of $1200 vs. $800 for the u2711. That's not what I call close. :rolleyes:

    For $400, you get an extra 3", 160 vertical pixels, and probably a better build quality. It may be worth it, but it's still $400.

    The iMac being a full computer can't be compared on price. We'll have to wait for the 27" ACD to come out to really compare it on price.

    Thanks for sharing your impressions.
  5. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    Do you find the ZR30's really wide gamut a problem? Since it has no OSD it should also be a bit trickier to calibrate, but I assume the Huey takes care of it just fine?

    I'm surprised that your 2010 13" MBP can't handle the res. I have a 2009 13" MBP with the 9400M and there's only slight sluggishness when I use it with my Dell 3008WFP via Displayport. Expose and Stacks animations are noticeably not as smooth as when using the laptop's internal display but otherwise I find no real difference to my Hackintosh with a GTX460. I thought it was the GPU, but the 320M should be far faster so I assumed it would handle 2560x1600 just fine.

    I guess the U2711's antiglare coating must be really bad because everyone seems to complain about it. My 3008WFP's AG coating hasn't bothered me at all. Also does the ZR30W have any resolution/input switching lag (about 5 seconds) like the U2711 and 3008WFP have? It's my only problem with the 3008WFP.
  6. Eric-PTEK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    We'll see if its the 320M or not, I'll drag it upstairs and plug it into my wife's new iMac when it comes, that has a 4850 and should be more than enough. It's not unusable, I just notice it. Whats strange is scrolling is no problem, its just windows opening/closing, dragging and everything else is fine.

    Like the Apple displays it doesn't need a OSD, all controlled via the video card. Took the Huey a few minutes and it was good enough for me.

    I only have one input hooked up. I gotta pick up a DVI to VGA converter for my KVM...but I might skip it and get a cheap 15" for the bench instead.

    I do think of the Dell did not have the AG it would be a great monitor.
  7. foodle macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Thanks for posting the review/comparison.

    Can you say a little more about the anti-glare coating on the ZR30W? How noticeable it it on a pure white background? If you look back and forth from the iMac to the ZR30W, can you tell there's an AG coating on the ZR30W?
  8. Eric-PTEK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    Oh yeah....if I had my choice I would have a non-AG cinema display with the same resolution.

    If you've seen a 30" CD its much better than that. HP seems to have put about the least they could and still do the job.

    From a purely aesthetics standpoint the iMac looks nicer, brighter, accurate is and all that I don't know.

    It's a great display and I don't know how much the fact Apple puts glass on their monitors makes a difference. I think we're all assuming the new CD will have a glass front like the iMac.

    If I had a way to get the MB Pro to output to 2 displays then I'd get 27" CD's instead but no go.

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