HP x2301 Micro Thin LED Monitor - The Thinnest Display Yet

This is officially getting ridiculous. When I was tinkering with the HP 2310e monitor a few months back, I was really impressed with how thin and bright this LED backlit monitor is – not to mention its performance. Now I’m eyeballing a display that’s even thinner, the x2301. Today it’s officially being unveiled, but I’ve had a chance to play with it over a weekend and I just wanted to share a couple quick thoughts about the monitor itself. First, let’s go over the obvious – this thing looks beautiful.


Don’t believe me? See for yourself. (By the way, I intentionally shot the above video in an overly bright setting to show that you can still get a clear view of the monitor).



I was initially knocked out by the slim screen (9.8mm deep), sure, but I thought moving the ports and most of the electronics into that stylish aquamarine base is just plain smart. That makes the screen easy to adjust as you tilt to taste and, when you get to plug something in, it’s a breeze to spin around thanks to the low center of gravity. In fact, for the above video when I turned the monitor, I spun it by literally twirling two fingers. Try doing that with the monitor sitting on your desk right now.


I also think that the four front OSD control buttons are exactly what I want: a couple to adjust settings and one button that can quickly toggle between the HDMI, DVI-D and VGA inputs.


…But how does it work?


Since it’s a little tough to show you exactly how it performs (if you’re not reading this post through the x2301, that is), here’s a couple additional things I wanted to throw at you:


The twisted nematic (TN)  panel in this monitor actually manages to provide a bright, colorful (72% Color Gamut) picture – as you probably noticed in the video I shot, the screen is clearly visible. But you might also notice a spot of glare. That shouldn’t be all too surprising because glossy screens cast reflections if you look at them from wide angles. On the bright side, glossy panels makes colors pop – even if you’re in a well-lit room.


Running the Blu-ray version of Tron Legacy on the screen, the bright neon blues popped out from the black cyberspaciness in the background. Meanwhile, both Jeff Bridges and his younger digitally-enhanced counterpart looked sharp and clear. Thanks to the 3ms response time of the x2301, fast-paced combat wasn’t lost on me for a nanosecond. Whether it was light cycle racing or aerial combat it looked silky-smooth. And looked like a videogame. Speaking of which…


X2301_BACK_ANGLE.jpgIn-game performance was great. In fact, I’ve been using it to play-test this past week’s release of Brink (One humble opinion: While this game is available on consoles, the only way to really play it is on a PC). Obviously, the heavy lifting is done with the CPU and GPU, but the 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution screen looks sharp. That 3ms response time a huge factor when playing fast-paced games and in my subjective experience, it worked great with no noticeable on-screen ghosting. Explosions lit up the screen, but didn’t blast out the colors (except, of course, when I intentionally dropped a flashbang grenade in my face). I gunned the engine on the racing game, Blur, and didn’t have to contend with much in the way of…well…unintended blur. And Portal 2 just looked pretty. Overall, a solid experience.


Another bonus to the size-and-shape of the unit is that if you’re inclined to go the multiple-monitor route, the thin bezel and base make it simple to stack them side-by-side. The only thing I found missing from the x2301: DisplayPort. Not a deal-breaker by any means, but I just wanted to put it out there.


What I don’t know is if I’ll be able to part with this monitor. I’m serious. I’ve already warned HP’s Pete Ellis that I might need to lock the x2301 down to my desk so that they can’t take it back. (But if I had to buy it, I wouldn’t mind the $279 price tag when it ships June 10).


But that’s me. Do you have any specific questions or thoughts about the monitor?

by davepermen
on ‎05-18-2011 09:38 PM
Looks like this one isn'tuseful for wallmounting, having its stuff in the base
by GizmoGladstone
on ‎05-19-2011 08:13 AM

Yeah, this one isn't suited for wall-mounting, Dave. I think the screws would be thicker than the monitor! Smiley Wink


Seriously, though, a question for you: I honestly never considered wall mounting my computer monitor -- probably because of where my work desk is set up. How is it for you? Do you like it?


(It's funny, I've tinkered with the idea of wall-mounting my TV before. Multiple times. but my computer monitor? never.)

by mich071
on ‎06-08-2011 04:49 PM

I like. Having a heavy base with all the inputs at the back is a plus. Not sure being so thin is that important when the base is that big though. Just my opinion. Even for the base it has it still does not eat up a lot of real estate. HP rocks it again. 

by Mariana
on ‎06-26-2011 10:06 PM
Hello im staying a few days in Miami and I'm desperately looking for this led monitor. Do you where I can buy it? Thank you very much!
by PhoenixAP
on ‎07-07-2011 08:58 AM

I bought one of these this weekend and I am really impressed. The colors are vivid and the screen is bright. I was a little concerned that heat would be an issue because there is not much in the way of venting on the base, but it only seems to warm up a little. The monitor is so thin. I wish I had space on my desk for 2!

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