The 25.5-inch HP w2558hc, available for around £390, is packed with features. Highlights include two HDMI ports, a webcam, a microphone, five USB ports, a CompactFlash and SD card reader, a night light, and a built-in digital-photo-frame tool. What the w2558hc lacks in viewing angles, it makes up for in value for money.
Feature-packed fingerprint magnet
The w2558hc looks like a larger version of the HP w2408h. The monitor's black bezel and 25.5-inch screen are strikingly glossy and, unsurprisingly, fingerprint magnets.
The bezel measures 38mm on all sides. The grey footstand is about 295mm wide and 290mm deep. Knocking the display from the sides makes only the screen wobble, while the footstand and the rest of the display stay put. The screen height is adjustable by nearly 76mm, and it sits about 89mm from the desktop. The panel is 83mm deep from bezel to back.
The neck of the display has a hinge at its base and top. This lets the screen tilt all the way back so that it's facing directly up. If the display were a touchscreen, this would be useful. Since it isn't, we don't see anyone using this feature. We appreciate, however, the cable router on the neck that keeps loose cables tidy.
Video connection options include one DVI and two HDMI ports, with three USB sockets to the right of the DVI. On the left side of the panel are a number of connection options, including two USB ports, a CompactFlash port and a SD/Memory Stick card reader. Also, sticking out on the side is a removable mini remote control, used for navigating through photos and editing slideshows with the w2558hc's built-in digital-photo-frame tool. There are also built-in speakers on the back of the display.
There's a built-in webcam on the top part of the bezel and, to the right of that, a small hole for the built-in microphone. Facing downwards, in the bottom middle of the bezel, is a 'task light'. The task light has three different brightness settings and can be helpful if there isn't enough ambient light in the room to calibrate the monitor in the dark.
Located in the upper-left-hand corner of the bezel is a useful ambient light sensor. The light sensor automatically increases or decreases the brightness of the display to match the environment it's in. You can disable the sensor via the on-screen display.
The four buttons for controlling the on-screen display are located on the lower right-hand corner of the bezel. Each button feels distinct and clicks satisfyingly when pressed. The on-screen display includes controls for brightness, contrast, aspect ratio and colour temperature. In addition, there are four video presets: movie, photo, gaming and text. Each preset changes the brightness, contrast and -- in some cases -- colour temperature. While the settings for movie, photo and text achieve their intended goals, the gaming preset made our test game look too drab.
The digital picture frame editor can be accessed by pressing the picture button next to the on-screen display array. Either the mini remote or the on-screen display can be used to navigate through the media viewer. The viewer is responsive and the user interface is straightforward. In the picture frame interface, you have the option to create a slideshow and add music to give it a personal touch. The settings let you change the slideshow transition type and speed, as well as adjust settings like contrast, colour and brightness.