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Pros: Picked this up for $99.99 while it was on sale here at Newegg and another online retailer a week or so ago. I needed an external monitor for work to connect my Macbook Pro to. I already own this monitor's bigger brother, the 27xi, using it as my primary display for my desktop at home, and I am happy with it overall so for the price this was an obvious purchase.
On the whole having had it hooked up and in use for a couple of days I am quite satisfied with it.
+Good color and image quality right out of the box, doesn't need tweaking. I turned up the brightness on mine by one level but that's just personal preference.
+Sleek, attractive, modern design. Looks good on my desk, goes well with my Macbook.
+All plastic, but it feels well built - no wobbling or creaking on the stand.
+Has on-screen setting controls and physical buttons for adjusting them, unlike some of the bigger monitors in this line.
Cons: A couple of other reviews have mentioned this display having an excessive antiglare coating on it, even comparing it to "frosted glass." I think this is a major exaggeration, but the matt antiglare coating is noticeable. My 27xi is extremely glossy with no antiglare at all, so I expected this monitor to be the same - at first I thought there was a protective plastic film over the screen that I had forgotten to remove. The screen definitely lacks luster next to the display on my Macbook. That said, some people may actually prefer the matte finish.
-Noticeable (though not excessive) antiglare coating - may be a positive to some people.
-Not compatible with VESA mounts.
Other Thoughts: It's interesting to compare it to the 27xi now that I own both. In some respects I would say it is actually superior to the bigger display, in others inferior.
Both displays have the exact same stand, but the 27xi is obviously much bigger and heavier, and it tends to be a little wobbly at times. The little 20xi, on the other hand, seems totally solid and balanced on the stand.
As mentioned above, the 27xi's screen is extremely glossy, whereas the 20xi's has an antiglare coating on it. It comes down to personal preference which is "better." Personally for gaming/movies I like the glossiness of my 27xi at home and find it just more pleasant to look at most of the time, but for work the matte look of the 20xi is no big deal.
The 27xi has no external controls at all besides its power button (which is not really a button at all, you just touch the power light), and no on-screen display for settings - you need to install HP software to make any tweaks to the picture. The 20xi has an actual power button (not as cool), but it also has a row of standard setting adjustment buttons with on-screen display for basic adjustments, so the 20xi actually outdoes its bigger sibling in that regard.
All of the Pavilion xi range are designed to be no-frills displays, you're not getting extras like USB ports or speakers, but you are getting attractively designed displays with very nice picture quality for a low price. I wouldn't want to use the 20xi as my primary/only display day in and day out, but I wouldn't want to use any 20" display for that after having monitors 23" or bigger at home for several years. For the type of use that I purchased it for - secondary or supplementary display with a laptop at work - I recommend the HP Pavilion 20xi highly.
Pros: Simple but attractive design.
Very cool and well ventilated.
Easy to install/remove drives.
Cons: Somewhat on the big and heavy side.
Front I/O panel static discharge problems (see below).
Other Thoughts: Unfortunately, problems with the front I/O panel ruin what otherwise seems to be a very nice case. The panel appears to be improperly shielded or have some other static discharge problem, because plugging in a USB thumb drive, headphones, speakers, game controller, etc. will often result in a sudden system restart.
Grounding the device you're plugging in by touching the metal back of the case prevents this sometimes, but not 100%.
This appears to be a common issue with various models Cooler Master case models lately. Just search for "HAF922 front panel shutdown" in Google and you'll find hardware discussion forum threads about the problem.
Sadly, there appears to be nothing I can do about it unless I want to fool around with various jury-rigged grounding methods involving anti-static pads and extra wires or RMA either the panel or the whole case and fight with CM to send me a new one...and even then, how do I know the replacement will work right?
Display Name: Dan M.
Date Joined: 12/29/10
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