HP dropped off its HP Z38c monitor for review, and it instantly had hordes of Gadgeteers volunteering to review it – a great sign.
As the name suggests it is 38-inches, and the successor to the famous and now superseded
HP Z34c that set industry standards for Ultra-wide, UDH, ‘ludicrous mode’
monitors when released in 2016.
In fact, I still use one – its 3440 x 1440, gently 3000R curved, PVA, LED-backlit panel with front-firing Dolby DTS 2.0 speakers is my day-to-day production monitor. So much so I took it to GadgetGuy when I became Managing Editor there.
So, is the HP Z38c monitor the successor to the throne?
Well, I was so excited
(as a good monitor is a thing of beauty) that I opened the large box, put it
in the desk, plugged in the USB-C connector and have been using it since as my
second production monitor.
It adds a new dimension to the word ‘ludicrous’ size monitor – but in a good way. Not like the huge, huge, I tell you, Samsung 49” QLED that had Gadgeteers fawning over it.
For starters, it has lost
the dual DTS speakers that made the 34-inch so wide.
It has upped the resolution to UWQHD 3840 x 1600 (that is ultra-wide 4K), 10-bit
colour, added UBS-C data/video/power support, increased contrast to 1000:1 and tightened
the curve a little to 2300R … Need I go on?
Yes, it is the successor and probably the best and most expensive
38”, high accuracy colour ultra-wide available. It is a monitor for business professionals
that need real estate and high accuracy.
Its competitors are Acer XR382CQK, ASUS MX38VQ, Dell UltraSharp
U3818DW and LG 38WK95C while they are all worthy and a little less expensive
the HP Z38c is king.
The ratio is 21:9 – wider
than the standard 16:9 so you get a wider
screen. But unlike flat panel monitors at 4:3 (that is 12:9) you get a longer, wider,
more usable workspace instead of a very tall squarish workspace.
The 2300R curve is gentler but still helps focus your eyes
and allows you to see the whole screen at the usual 600mm eye-to-screen
distance. It has a denser, sharper image.
You can get 4.5 standard A4 sized documents on 87.97 x 36.65
cm screen and can even scale them up or the mother of all spreadsheets out to
column BG and row 66. It is the perfect compromise between flat and the aggressively
curved 1800R monitors.
The HP Z38c uses an AH-IPS (Advanced High-Performance IPS) from LG. It is the type of panel Apple uses on some of its larger Retina screens. This allows a more stable 60Hz refresh rate, higher contrast (1000:1), wider viewing angles than VA or IPS, more even colours, and wider colour gamut.
It has a thin bezel – 11 mm top and sides and 22 mm on the bottom
so you could put two of these together for a very wide desktop.
It is 10-bit colour (8-bit with 2-bit Frame Rate Control)
and reproduces 1,07 billion colours (compared
to an 8-bit of 16.7 million).
Refresh rate defaults to 14ms but can be adjusted down to
5ms G-t-G. It is not a gamers display as
it does not support FreeSync or G-Sync.
Brightness is 300 nits (we found 324 nits across the entire
screen), and colour uniformity is accurate
across the screen.
Colour accuracy – spot on
HP individually colour calibrate the HP38c monitor to 98% sRGB and 99% Rec.709 modes and include a report. You can select these or play worth custom modes. But the Delta E (accuracy) is very good in both modes so why bother?
For viewing modes, you get toggles for Night, Low Blue
Light, Reading, HP Enhance+, and Photo.
sRGB reproduces all of the colours you could hope to see in
real life on an LCD. Our tests show 100%
– slightly more than claimed.
Rec. 709 colour standard was created by ITU (International Telecommunication
Union) for TV, movie and A/V industries to ensure all HD equipment including
displays, DVDs, and Blu-rays uses the same colour gamut, resolution, frame rate
and video specifications. Again, our tests were just above claimed.
While still and video editors might want 100% DCI-P3 that
only comes in reference monitors several times the price. We estimate that it
is about 78% Adobe RGB.
All that is complemented by a low glare screen that rejects
office light and reflections admirably.
Stand and size
It has a -5° to +20° tilt, +/-45° swivel and a 120mm height adjustment.
It also comes with a VESA wall mount bracket.
Overall it is 89.55 x 24.80 x 55.87 cm x 13.8kg
USB Type-C 3.1 65W PD 2.0
Three USB Type-A
3.5mm headphone jack
The USB-C 3.1, Gen1, 5Gbps, port
is both data and power supporting three USB-A ports and USB-C Alt mode –
DisplayPort 1.2 (video support) as well as power
output of 5V/5.25A, /9/10/12/15V/3A and 20V/3.25 A (65 W) – you could charge a
MacBook or most Windows 10 laptops from that.
It comes with a USB-C cable, Display Port cable, HDMI cable
GadgetGuy’s take: HP has done it again
First, th HP Z38c is aimed squarely at business. There are no tricks like FreeSync, no speakers or sexy red bands you find on some monitors.
No, it is subtle, has
a three-year warranty and does its job extremely
well. It is very colour accurate, has
heaps of adjustments and made well – as we
expect from HP.
For me – working on it is an absolute pleasure. Getting work
done takes on a whole new meaning on a monitor this large. Once you try it, you
won’t want to go back to a smaller screen. Highly
recommended. Hey Boss, I want one – now!