I strongly believe the push for consumers to buy into 3D monitors, cameras, TVs and the glasses for which to view such tech, is a Hollywood-lead charge. They want you to want–in your home–the same 3D experience “Tinseltown” is serving up in the theaters. So be it! Some will bite and bite down hard. Others are content to fly their banners high in 2-dimensional country.  After all… All that hardware ain’t cheap!

But what if you could baby step your way into the 3-dimensional realm with a commendable garden variety 1080p monitor that just happens to have  3D functionality hidden up its sleeve? I give you the HP 2311gt 23-inch 3D LED monitor. It’s performance is virtually identical to the original 2311 (non-3D) version we evaluated earlier in the year. It’s build and aesthetics are about the same, as are the specifications. It would be good to reference that review here. But notable hot points include 1080p resolution, 5ms response time, 3mil:1 contrast ratio, low energy footprint and “true” 3D capabilities (specific to the gt 3D model).

Out of the box, the 2311gt 3D is just as distinguished as its non-3D sibling. It’s super thin, comes in an elegant glossy black finish and ships with two pairs of passive FPR 3D glasses, protective pouches, cleaning cloth and software installation CD. You can get the unit up running through one of the three port options. Connect via HDMI, DVI or old school VGA. We stuck with DVI.

FOB (fresh out the box), the HP 2311gt 3D monitor functions as if pre-calibrated, leaving me with little reason to dive into the handy and expansive OSD. I love my 30-inch HP LP3065 monitor, but again, it was robbed at birth of any sort of on-screen display. The 2311gt 3D suffers not from these early developmental disorders. The OSD on the 2311gt 3D offers a few default settings for gaming, movies, text and a selection for custom  settings. Yet the FOB movie setting was a bit dark and the default gaming setting yields lackluster sharpness and contrast. Just like the 2311x before it, I tweaked these and made a few adjustments to the color and calibrated this puppy as close to 6500 K as possible. It’s the more standard and oft-used white point for games, digital cameras, videos and other media. I don’t like switching between modes each time I go from movies to games and such. So I found a happy medium between the three. Again, the ability to do this via an on-screen display, was very welcome.

The result is a highly capable and competent technical offspring from Papa HP. Color reproduction is accurate and rich, without over saturation. Blacks are deep. But reproduction of grays comes out too pale or too light. This can be adjusted but I never felt completely satisfied with the gray color reproduction. Nonetheless, I was quite satisfied with the performance despite the muted grays.

As suspected, general use matches the performance of the non-3D version we tested previously. But we’re gathered here today, to report on the difference the 3rd dimension brings. The HP 2311gt 3D monitor comes with two pairs of wireless 3D glasses and and a disc housing the TriDef 3D Ignition technology. User must launch their games through this app to take advantage of the monitor IR-less 3D technology. Immediately one can see 3D gaming, photos and movies are fantastic for the $300 price of admission.

I have an EVGA GTX 580 Classified video cards. With ample texel-tackling power I pushed the 3D resolution to match the max screen resolution of 1900 x 1080 (aka: 1080p). For testing we entered the 3-diemensional space of Battlefield 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Metro 2033 and a little open-world zombie survival horror RPG called Day Z (mod for ARMA 2). Day Z easily made the most impressive use of the 3D tech. This is more due to the mechanics and gameplay featured in this game and not anything to do with the monitor per se. Day Z is a very atmospheric game which uses sound and sight in very crucial ways. Walking through the forest with was simply amazing with bugs flying past my face, rabbits hopping through and between bushes and lights from headlights, glow sticks and road flares adding illumination and enhanced depth to the 3D world. The 2311gt 3D really amps up the immersion factor. I did find the glasses produced a weird glare depending on the lighting in your room or office. There was also slight ghosting at the highest resolutions. And finally the 3D effect on movies was less substantial and awe-inspiring than in games. I checked out Batman Returns 3D and a Puss n’ Boots extended 3D trailer. There was absolutely no ghosting in the 3D movies but the overall three dimensional in-your-face effect was less impressive than when gaming.

On the positive, the HP 2311gt 3D monitor should be seen as a laudable inexpensive stellar performing 1080p LED monitor that just happens to do 3D. This is a monitor for those still on the fence when it comes to 3D. You get a fabulous HD monitor with oodles of on-screen display options to tweak, a nice set of connectivity options and a rock-solid introduction to 3D games and movies.

Editor Rating:

Rating: ★★★½☆

Very Good

The Bottom Line: Buy an excellent 1080 LED monitor and get a solid entry level 3D display to boot.

Pros

  • Excellent performance on general use
  • Expansive and intuitive OSD
  • Elegant and light
  • Super solid 3D performance

Cons

  • Muted grays
  • Mild ghost using 3D in fast-paced games
  • Out-performed my higher-priced dedicated 3D solutions

You can buy the HP 2311gt 3D monitor at Amazon for $289.99



Shawn Sanders

 
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.