The HP ZR2330w monitor is a solid, good-quality monitor at a reasonable price. Its built-in color profile is rich and vibrant, and it tackles contrast well, which is where most low-end monitors fall down. The HP ZR2330w is a very good 23″ monitor for a very attractive price.

Last December, I reviewed the aging but still-excellent Dell UltraSharp U2412M, which was such a good monitor that I bought one. It is still my top pick for a monitor, and the Wirecutter agrees. Read on to find out why the 23″ HP doesn’t quite bump the 24″ Dell as my top pick.

What I like about the HP ZR2330w

Look, monitors aren’t all that exciting — until you get a decent one and realize what you are missing. Last year, I bought an ASUS VE-248h because, hey, less than $200! Big mistake. The real problem was the color profile. In WordPress, for example, there are shaded headers on every box in the UI. They don’t show up on my ASUS monitor, which has an awful, overly-bright color profile. They show up just fine on the HP, though.

This also comes into play when you are editing documents. If you want to select a block of text in Word, for example, you can’t see the selection highlighting on the ASUS. But you can on a better monitor like the HP or my Dell. That is pretty important if, like most lawyers, you spend most of your time working on documents.

In fact, colors on the HP are nice and bright, in general, with excellent contrast. If the saturation is a bit high, it’s nothing to complain about.

The adjustable stand means you can adjust the monitor to an ergonomic position without buying an expensive peripheral. This means a lot when you spend most of the day in front of your computer. You can spin the monitor to vertical orientation if you want to be able to see an entire page at a time, or keep it horizontal for viewing two pages side-by-side (or watching the occasional TV show).

What I don’t like about the HP ZR2330w

There is not a lot to dislike about this monitor, honestly. But since it’s my job to find negatives, here are a few reasons why the Dell is the better choice, even if nobody will be disappointed with the HP.

First, the HP is a very widescreen monitor. I really appreciate my Dell for being a bit less wide and a bit taller. It’s also a bit bigger, overall, at 24″. That’s better for working on documents, which is what lawyers do, after all. You need a monitor that fits two documents comfortably while giving you as much vertical real estate as possible. That’s where the Dell wins.

You get two USB ports, which is useful, but still two less than my Dell. USB ports on your monitor are ideal for three things: your keyboard, mouse, and webcam. Sometimes the keyboard and mouse use the same dongle; sometimes not. Choose according to your needs.

So while I’m giving the HP a 5 and it’s a perfectly good monitor, the Dell is only $40 more. And it is bigger, with a better aspect ratio, and just as good (or better) on quality. With all that in mind, it’s hard to pick the HP.

Who should buy the HP ZR2330w

If $40 makes a difference to your budget, or if you are going to be watching movies more than editing documents, get the HP. Otherwise, the Dell UltraSharp U2412M remains the better monitor for lawyers.

Score

HP ZR2330w

Reviewed by Sam Glover on .

Summary: The HP ZR2330w is a very good 23″ monitor for a very attractive price. But the Dell UltraSharp U2412M is a slightly better buy.

Overall score: 5 (out of 5)