Displays and Input Devices

HP Compaq L2311c Notebook-Docking Monitor

6 Sep, 2012 By: Curt Moreno

First Look Review: Well-designed monitor offers more screen real estate and power for mobile users.

Highly RecommendedThe HP Compaq L2311c 23" LED-backlit LCD monitor is a slim, polished unit designed as an expansion screen for mobile computers. It provides a clear, bright display and plenty of features that make it the perfect companion for users seeking more screen real estate.

This LCD monitor sports a nonreflective 16:9 screen with full high-definition resolution (1,920 x 1,080), 250 cd/m2 brightness, 1,000:1 static (1,000,000:1 dynamic) contrast ratio, and a 5-ms response time. Although this monitor offers only VGA and USB 3.0 upstream support for video, it does provide a four-port USB hub (two 3.0 and two 2.0 downstream), one RJ-45 network port, audio input and output, and a built-in 720p HD webcam. Dimensions (including the stand) are 21.7" x 9.8" x 18.4".

HP Compaq L2311c
The HP Compaq L2311c is a 23" LCD backlit display designed to serve as an expansion monitor and docking station for notebook users.

The standout feature of the HP Compaq L2311c is that it not only provides more screen space for a laptop user, but also can act as a docking station: Via the DC-to-DC cable, the laptop can gain power from the monitor! Network connections pass through the USB cable via the onboard network connection, located on the back of the monitor. Up to 90 W of power is supplied to the laptop using HP's standard connector and Smart AC Technology. Even though the L2311c power supply looks more like the AC adapter of a laptop than a monitor power cord, its features come together to make for fewer cables and a cleaner footprint overall.

HP Compaq L2311cThe monitor stand has an unusual, playful design that brings the screen closer to the user and offers space to store a keyboard and manage cables. Like many modern monitor stands, it features a highly adjustable design, including a 35-degree tilt range, 90 degrees of rotation, and 130 mm (approximately 5") of height customization. Unlike many other monitors with vertical adjustment, the L2311c can be lowered to desktop level to align with the bottom bezel of a laptop display. This is essential for any users who want their main and expansion displays to be at the same height. Users can also mount the L2311c on a wall by removing the stand and attaching a flexible arm with a standard 100 mm x 100 mm VESA mount (instructions included).

Connecting and supporting a laptop is straightforward. Drivers are stored on a built-in flash drive within the monitor, and once connected, the unit automatically prompts for installation.

HP presents the L2311c with an eye toward the environment. This monitor is manufactured with arsenic-free glass and mercury-free LED backlighting, helping it achieve both ENERGY STAR and EPEAT Gold certifications. The L2311c is designed and constructed to comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Restriction of Hazardous Substances directives. It also contains 28% postconsumer recycled plastic and is 99% recyclable.

The HP Compaq L2311c is compatible with Windows 7. I ran it through extensive display benchmark tests using NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards and PassMark MonitorTest software. It produced excellent results in brightness, contrast, focus, color purity, geometric distortion, and raster rotation. The LED-backlit display did not suffer from noticeable ghosting or flickers, and it produced consistently vibrant colors and clear, sharp images with its 0.265-mm pixel pitch.

The HP Compaq L2311c is currently available for $299 and includes HP's three-year limited warranty covering parts, labor, and backlight. The L2311c is a good value when compared to similarly sized units, especially considering its added laptop support features.

The HP Compaq L2311c is a solid monitor that has a smart, space-saving design. With a bright, energy-efficient display, a well-designed base, and innovative notebook-support features, this monitor should be on the wish list of any mobile work-station user. Highly Recommended.

About the Author: Curt Moreno

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