Review: HP 2311gt 3D monitor

HP targets budget market with 2311gt 3D monitor (February 3rd, 2012)

HP is among the many companies embracing 3D technology, and its 2311gt monitor aims to make the technology an affordable upgrade. The 23-inch monitor works as a standard 2D display, or as a 3D panel when combined with passive 3D glasses. In our full review, we will see how the company’s passive 3D technology stacks up against pricier active-shutter tech.

Electronista Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: HP

Price: $270

The Good

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight glasses
  • No problems with flicker, crosstalk
  • Full HD

The Bad

  • Mediocre color, contrast ratio
  • Narrow viewing angle compared to IPS

HP is among the many companies embracing 3D technology, and its 2311gt monitor aims to make the technology an affordable upgrade. The 23-inch monitor works as a standard 2D display, or as a 3D panel when combined with passive 3D glasses. In our full review, we will see how the company's passive 3D technology stacks up against pricier active-shutter tech.

Design

Aesthetically, the 2311gt monitor matches the same design as the company's existing 2311x monitor. Both share 1920x1080 resolution, LED backlighting, 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 5ms response time and 250-nit brightness in 2D mode.

In 2D mode, we found the 231gt to be a decent monitor for a standard LCD panel. The colors are not as vibrant as OLED technology, while the viewing angles are not as wide as IPS technology, however the price tag is much lower than both alternatives.



3D

The 2311gt utilizes film patterned retarder (FPR) technology to split the left and right images for a 3D effect. Stereoscopic presentation is then viewed using glasses with circular polarization on each lens. The system contrasts with active 3D technology, which utilizes electronic glasses that shutter each eye in sequence.

Both technologies currently have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some users complain of flickering or ghosting when using the active shutter glasses, which are much heavier and expensive compared to simple passive glasses. FPR technology, in contrast, is more sensitive to viewer distance from the display, but generally brighter.

We found the FPR technology of the 2311gt to be relatively easy on the eyes, without causing much strain or headaches over long viewing times. We did not experience any flickering, crosstalk or ghosting issues that affect some active shutter displays. The glasses are also more comfortable to wear, due to the light frame that does not require electronic components.

We were surprised to find that the 3D quality of HP's FPR technology is comparable to, and in some ways better than, active shutter technology that typically costs much more. Similar technology is used by LG, as Cinema 3D, and by many movie theaters.



Software

The 2311gt ships with driver software and CyberLink PowerDVD utilities for 2D DVDs and 3D Blu-ray discs. The software is claimed to convert 2D content to 3D, however we found the results to be less than spectacular. The same can be said for many of the 3D Blu-ray discs produced from videos that were not recorded in 3D, however this drawback is universal across all 3D display technology. Obviously there is no way to truly add the proper depth range to content recorded in 2D.

We found the software to be easy to install on Windows 7. For buyers who have yet to purchase 3D Blu-ray discs or 3D games, the software also provides a few 3D demos.





Final thoughts

The 2311gt sells for $269 directly from HP, commanding a $90 premium over the standard 2311x. Despite many electronics companies' current focus on 3D technology, we find many of the televisions and monitors to be considerably more expensive than 2D displays.

Most users will likely use the 2311gt's 3D capabilities only on occasion, as 3D content is currently limited, however the $90 price difference might be worth the jump for anyone who wants to experience 3D movies and gaming at home without paying several thousand dollars for a new 3D HDTV. HP includes two pair of 3D glasses, though replacements or additional glasses are not expensive.

by Justin King


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