At a Glance
Matte-silver unit delivers excellent overall image quality. Detached 3-watt speakers can use a subwoofer.
When a PC maker offers you a monitor with a PC purchase, it's natural to worry that the company is offering you the tech equivalent of "fries with that." The HP LCD monitors we've seen in the past haven't thrilled us, but the F1905 is a more enticing offering. Overall, the F1905 received a rating of Outstanding for text and Very Good for graphics. On our test screens, this model's clean, crisp text nearly equaled that of the top-ranked Sony SDM-HS95P. Our jury liked the F1905's pure, even whites and intense colors on our graphics test screens, too. The closest recent contenders in screen quality--the Sony, the BenQ FP91V+, and the CTX F973--all have glossy screens. So if you want great image quality but find glossy screens distracting, consider the F1905.
This pretty monitor's dual-hinged, ring-shaped stand is reminiscent of LG's recent 80 series models, such as the Flatron L1980U. A rubber bumper on the bottom bezel keeps the bezel from scratching the base when you adjust the height and tilt (the only two adjustments available). One part of the design doesn't mesh with the rest: The detached speakers are made of gray plastic that matches neither the color nor the texture of the matte silver monitor. However, they pack 3 watts per channel, can hook up to a subwoofer (assuming you have one), and sound pretty darn good--much richer and louder than you'd expect from typical speakers that come with a monitor.
All in all, the HP F1905 delivers good value for a moderate price ($480 at time of testing). If I were buying an HP system, I wouldn't hesitate to accept this monitor as part of the deal. And if you're in the market for a monitor by itself, the F1905 is worth looking up.
Excellent screen quality and worthwhile bonus speakers make the HP F1905 a sweet deal.