HP Z38c monitor envy - I want one now!
4.7Overall Score
Name: HP Z38c monitor
Price (RRP): $2596 but shop around - you will be amazed
Manufacturer: HP

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As the name suggests it is 38-inches, and the successor to the famous and now superseded HP Z34c that set industry standards for Ultra-wide, UDH, ‘ludicrous mode’ monitors when released in 2016.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.

HP Z38c
My Z34c with those great speakers – but it made it very wide!

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.

HP Z38c

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.

HP Z38c

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.

Why Ultra-wide?

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.

HP Z38c

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.

HP Z38c
HP Z38c

Review: HP Z38c UWQHD monitor

Website here

Panel 3840 x 1600 @60Hz (100.93ppi)

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.

HP Z38c
My desktop – HP38c left and HP34c right – al on an 1800mm desk

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).