Review of HP Pavilion 22cwa
The HP Pavilion 22cwa is an affordable 22-inch monitor which sacrifices nifty extras such as an ergonomic stand and extra ports so the company can squeeze in a gorgeous IPS panel in a simple exterior. The best monitors for gaming and professional use available today usually cost a several hundred dollars, so most of the time, budget-conscious builders, and PC users are left with little choices for their visual needs. Of course, we are not saying these expensive but cutting edge products aren’t worth the money. If you have a lot of extra cash laying around, you might as well invest in the best that your money can buy. But there are always hidden gems a bargain hunter can find for a small amount if you look hard enough.
HP Pavilion 22cwa Specifications
- Screen Size: 22 Inches
- Resolution: 1080p FHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: 7ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 250 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: No
- Stand: Height -No
- Stand: Tilt – Yes (-2°/+25°)
- Stand: Swivel – No
- VESA Compatibility: Yes (75 x 75)
- Connectivity: 1 HDMI, 1 VGA, 3.5mm Audio Jack
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 19.6” x 5.9” x 15.8”
- Weight: 8.5lbs
Design and Features
The HP Pavilion 22cwa is as lightweight as its sub $100 price tag, coming it at a mere 8.5lbs making it easy to lug around for LAN sessions with your neighborhood friend. But surprisingly, HP did not skimp on the product’s exterior looks. This model features a near-zero bezel design you typically find on the company’s high-end products like the Envy 27 we previously mentioned. This design provides a pleasing view of the 22-inch screen, which by today’s standards, is already too small for gaming applications. But the real kicker for enthusiasts in this product is its suitability for a triple head setup. The bezels are mostly unnoticeable, so putting three of this model side by side is ideal since the splits in the screen would not present too much of a distraction when furiously gaming at 5760 x 1080. The smaller 22-inch form factor and the slim profile will also help with desktop placement since setting a triple-head rig can consume the whole desk. Only the bottom strip is thicker than the rest, as it houses the silver HP logo in the middle and the white-LED power button residing on the lower right-hand side. The cabinet has a matte black finish with a fantastic texture making it less of a fingerprint magnet, plus the whole package is impressively thin from the side view.
The stand for the Pavilion 22cwa utilizes an open-wedge design so you can easily slip your hand in the middle to access the connections on the back panel. Despite how thin and frail it looks, the screen did stand its ground on our office desk. Assembly is easy since everything just snaps into place, but one caveat this part has is it does not reveal VESA mounting holes. We’d like to think wall mounting options are already standard for these products, but for this unit, it isn’t the case. I/O options are also limited since there is only a port each for HDMI and VGA connections, but this is mostly forgivable since these are the aspects of the 22cwa which HP decided to shed some features to lower the price. You can still use this 22-inch widescreen for dual inputs; you can connect your PC via the VGA slot and use the HDMI port for a console like the PS4 or a Bluray player.
Performance and Features
22-inch monitors with 1080p resolution offer 100 pixels per inch, which is already a substantial improvement when compared to the 92PPI of 24-inch offerings. Upon turning on the HP Pavilion 22cwa, it was an immediate fact that our wallpaper appeared crisp and clean. Another remarkable feature it offers despite having an unbeatable price is it utilizes a great-looking IPS panel. To compare, the HP 22cwa’s predecessor, the HP w2207, featured a 1680 x 1050 active matrix TFT LCD panel in a cabinet with over an inch thick bezels. This 2007 model was great for its time, but the colors and clarity are worlds apart when compared to a decent LED-backlit IPS screen. The w2207 was priced at $350 at its 2007 release, and back in that day, it was already considered as an affordable cost range. Although the latter had extra ports and USB receptacles, we still think that the step-up to IPS makes a better case.
Skeptics would be quick to criticize the 22cwa, but fortunately, HP’s fantastic quality also comes into play for this model as well. Our test unit did not show any detrimental backlight bleeds or uniformity issues across the 22-inch real estate. Color quality was acceptable for most intents and purposes, but what shines in this affordable product is the wider viewing angle IPS tech provides. If you already have a high-end 144Hz monitor and you need a secondary display on the side for when you process documents or do a bit of productivity, the HP Pavilion 22cwa fits the bill perfectly since viewing it at an offset angle will not cause image degradation.
Of course, you can’t compare the picture qualities such as contrast and gamma levels to what fantastic models like the Acer XB271HU can offer. We tested this product on different titles to see how the 7ms pixel response which is too slow for competitive gaming affects your visual experience. On games that do not require twitch aiming, we can safely say that the HP Pavilion 22cwa does a great job if you consider its price. We tested this model with Starcraft 2 and Civilization 6, and we found the images to be brilliant and without loss of details going to the edges since our unit did have decent panel uniformity across the screen. 1080p at 22-inches also offers a slightly denser pixel count, so image details such as object edges were clean and less jagged for the most part. Blurring was not an issue for these titles, but of course, trails and ghosting did become noticeable in Overwatch while dashing around the map. Coming from high-end monitors we reviewed, we can say that you could feel the input lag if you neurotically paid attention while playing, but we don’t think it could be detrimental enough for casual purposes or enjoyment.
High-end monitors can cost as much as a new PC build with a zippy CPU and a meaty graphics card, but thankfully, manufacturers still offer affordable products under $200. Although, budget-builders will get a kick out of the HP Pavilion 22cwa for its sub-$100 price tag at the time of this review, so it isn’t a surprising fact that this model is listed as one of the best sellers on Amazon. Imagine getting a display for the price of a kit of RAM or an HDD/SSD. Despite not costing an arm and a leg, the 22cwa’s IPS panel provided us with decently vibrant images with a fantastic viewing angle. The absence of backlight bleeding and excellent uniformity is a testament to the quality control and sophistication of HP, and that alone is a hugely commendable facet of this model. If you can live with the 7ms response time, the smaller 22-inch form factor (which offers improvement in pixel density over 24-inch 1080p models), or the limited exterior features, then the HP Pavilion 22cwa can justify every penny in the $100 or so you spend if you get this monitor.