Being the proud new owner of a used HP ZR24W business monitor and having seen the peaked interest in the recent months about HP’s (future) monitors from reader emails, there are a couple of ideas I’d like to list down for my ideal ‘next’ monitor, hopefully from HP (since I do like their no-nonsense mostly all black with some silvery accents industrial designs)
- HD webcam: This is probably the number one most wanted feature for HP’s business monitors since they pretty much lack any sort of webcam (including that very recently announced ultra-thin one); if you’re shopping for a consumer class/Pavilion monitor, not to worry, since those monitors have webcams already. It may seem like no biggie at first, like what I thought, but soon it gets a little tedious to lift up that laptop display to use its webcam (or purchase a dedicated webcam; the cheap ones are a little too pricy for what they are, that you’d rather go with a higher end HD one, which can rack up $50-$100 of additional cost over the monitor).
For the sake of catering to security and privacy concerned corporations, HP should make HD webcam equipped and webcam-less variants of future monitors. HP already does this webcam/no webcam thing with their EliteBooks, so it’s not going to be something they haven’t done before if they choose to do that with their monitors.
- Backlit monitor buttons: Yes, for Mac users, our monitors still do have buttons and for all the right reasons too. I’d like them buttons to still stick around (instead of going the route of buttonless monitors) but this time, make them backlit. They really come in handy when using the monitor in total darkness, which a surprising number of people do, especially those who work with photos and videos.
- LCD custom preset profiles: A couple of monitor user-customizable profiles would be very nice indeed throughout the product range. If you use your monitor from very early in the morning till late at night, you’re bound to have come across the annoyance of having to lower brightness and contrast so it won’t kill your eyes (unless you work in a windowless room all day long). And with pairs or trios of monitors becoming increasingly popular nowadays, it can be a chore to adjust the brightness and contrast of all monitors together… even a button that toggles between two modes (which for me, would be ‘day brightness’ and ‘night brightness’) would be really helpful and better than nothing.
- Pop-up Night Light: Since not everyone has a fancy backlit keyboard (or wants a fancy backlit keyboard), I think having a HP Night Light on HP’s dedicated monitors would be a very nice touch, especially for desktop users (the backlit keyboard of the HP EliteBook laptops also don’t work when the laptop’s built-in screen is powered off). Since there’s more room to work with and no need to make desktop monitors portable, they could do up a multi-position (and perhaps swivel enabled) Night Light so it can illuminate the keyboard below the monitor, while doubling as a webcam light when needed.
- USB 3.0 ports, all of them! I think this is pretty much self-explanatory.
- SDHC/SDXC card slot(s), maybe Compact Flash and CFast too. Panasonic is already doing it with their televisions, I’d say HP should include media card readers in their monitors! Some folks really would appreciate one or two of these slots since they work with multiple memory cards; it could also substitute or completely negate the need for a dedicated card reader (Which adds yet another peripheral device to the desk!)
- Bonus: Built-in low voltage processor and WebOS: Well, we all heard about HP wanting to slap WebOS on potentially everything in the future. They have WebOS phones, WebOS tablets, WebOS printers… I think monitors are next. If they integrated some very low voltage processors with WebOS (Think one of those dual core 1.2 GHz processors found in the HP TouchPad), which shouldn’t be too hard, one can use the monitor for web surfing or in Exhibition mode when not attached to a computer. Now THAT’s an idea!