HP W2558hc 25.5-inch widescreen LCD monitor

The HP (NYSE: HPQ) W2558hc 25.5-inch widescreen LCD offers impressive image quality, a host of extra features, and a pleasant design. What’s not to like? You have to be willing to pay $549 to get it.

The W2558hc performed well in our image-quality tests, presenting sharp, readable text on black and white backgrounds alike. Text was quite easy to read even at six points; we didn’t have to strain to see the lettering.

Colours looked bright, particularly in a portrait. Skin tones appeared realistic, with even shading and the proper amount of contrast to give the image a pleasing feel. The display also handled our motion tests well, showing smooth video with no visible fluttering.

The unit’s 25.5-inch size is unusual, but that allows it to have a 1920 by 1200 native resolution.

As for extras, the W2558hc has them in spades. A built-in Webcam resides at the center of the top bezel. On the left side of the display sits a card reader that accommodates all types of media cards. Two USB ports are also on the left. On the back, the W2558hc has two HDMI ports, DVI and VGA ports, USB-in and -out ports, and an audio-in jack.

Four inset buttons on the bottom-right lip of the bezel control the easy-to-navigate on-screen menus. Two additional buttons control the W2558hc’s other unique feature: a built-in task light that shines from under the monitor down onto any papers or items you might have placed on the table. The W2558hc also doubles as a digital picture frame, as it can show photos stored on memory cards placed in the card reader.

All of those extra features are integrated well into the monitor’s clean design, which sports HP’s signature piano-black finish. The display is height-adjustable, too; a built-in lever allows you to make the adjustments. Though the W2558hc can tilt, it does not swivel.

Given the HP W2558hc’s wealth of extras, its excellent image quality, and its distinctive design, $549 might be a good deal for this well-rounded monitor after all.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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