Black Friday was the biggest shopping day of the year in the US, and this year I bought a few things for myself. One of my purchases was a new 32-inch LCD Monitor to replace the 24-inch one that I currently have at home. My old Dell 24″ monitor still works fine, but I got used to having two 30″ monitors at work so I wanted a larger monitor at home as well. I ended up getting a 32″ unit from HP (model no. 4WH45AA). Here are my first impressions of my big new monitor.
The HP 4WH45AA came in a good-sized box as expected for a monitor of this size. It wasn’t heavy (weight is about 15 lbs), but was a bit awkward to carry because of the size. I wished the box had a handle on the top.
Opening the box reviewed two Styrofoam trays, one with the LCD panel and the other with all the other parts, which includes the base, the power brick and cable, an HDMI cable, and a VESA bracket for mounting the monitor. Putting the base onto the monitor required installing two screws using the included Allen wrench.
The monitor has a simple matte black finish to everything. The bezel is pretty thin. All of the ports are on the back of the monitor on the lower right (when looking from the front), facing backwards. This includes 2 USB 3 ports, a USB-C port, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, and a stereo audio output jack. The power button and the menu button is also on the back. The menu button is actually a clickable joy stick which I found to be easy to use.
One of the reasons I chose this HP model over other 30+ inch monitors during Black Friday is because of the USB-C port. The USB-C port is used to connect to the integrated hub with the 2 USB 3 ports, and also supports USB-C alt mode to drive the display. My Dell laptop has USB-C ports that support display output, so this helps me cut down the number of cables I have to connect directly to my laptop. This monitor would have been even better if the USB-C port can supply more power. It only supplies up to 15W, which is not quite enough to charge my laptop. So instead of connecting just one USB-C cable for everything, I have to plug in my laptop’s power supply as well. Still, two wires is an improvement over 4 wires to my laptop, and I have two free USB ports on my laptop to use. It would have been nice if the new monitor had 4 USB ports, but 2 is better than none.
Setting the monitor up was pretty straight-forward. For my purposes, I did have to get my own USB-C cable since it’s not included in the box. The cable needs to be a proper USB-C cable supporting USB 3.1 for the display alt mode to work. I know because I tried with my work Macbook Pro’s USB-C charging cable and it does not work.
The HP 4WH45AA is definitely a big monitor. With QHD resolution (2560 x 1440), it has 80% more pixels compared to my old 1080p Dell monitor. The screen is actually the same size as my TV. Having all that extra screen space is nice, and makes it easier for me to work at home if I ever need to.
Overall I’m pretty pleased with my purchase so far. Everything works, no dead pixels or defects, and the big screen looks good. I could have spent more to get a 4K or ultra-wide (3840 x 1440) display, but QHD is high enough resolution for my purposes. I have my new monitor set up so its behind and above my laptop’s screen, so I don’t have to turn my head when looking at the different screens. As for my old 24″ Dell monitor, I’ll be giving it to my parents so it’ll still be put to good use.