I needed some additional screen real estate to efficiently handle coding / graphics design work so I decided to purchase an external monitor for my HP Elitebook 8560w Workstation Notebook (without a docking station)).
I ultimately decided to purchase HP zr2740w 27″ LED monitor over Dell Ultra Sharp 27″, Apple Cinema Display 27″ and HP’s own 2711x because:
- zr2740w has superior IPS panel (advantage over 2711x);
- zr2740w has higher resolution at 2550×1440 WQHD (advantage over 2711x with 1920×1080 HD);
- zr2740w has superior LED lighting vs LCD lighting (advantage over Dell and Apple);
- zr2740w has cheaper price than Apple or Dell;
- zr2740w has a three year warranty (advantage over Apples one year warranty)
I purchased the monitor directly from HP Direct because:
- they offered free overnight shipping;
- offered a discounted price ($679 as of March 10, 2012)
Yes, I could have avoided paying sales tax by purchasing from an online retailer but HP offered 30 day satisfaction guarantee. On top of that, if you made a purchase with an Amex OPEN credit card, you could receive up to 10% cash rebate (5% for purchases less than $1,000; 10% for $1,000 or higher purchase) from American Express.
Anyway, my excitement quickly turned sour when I hooked it up to my HP Elitebook 8560w workstation notebook (XU083UT#ABA) via the DisplayPort cable (included with the monitor). All I could see was a (lighted) empty screen and no matter how much I tried tweaking the Windows 7 Professional display configuration, the external screen did not display any data. After 30 minutes of frustration, I finally called the HP Small Business tech support (800.334.5144).
He made me go through the usual battery of questions to triage the problem:
1. What is the notebook configuration (Model XU083UT#ABA, BIOS f.20, 16 GB memory, ATI m5950 1GB v.ersion 8.850.7.3000 – 20111116
2. Is the master power switch on (in addition to the soft power on/off switch in front of the monitor, there is a physical on/off switch where the power cord gets plugged in)?
3. Is the DisplayPort cable HP OEM part (there are some incompatibility issues with third-party DP cables) and tightly plugged in?
4. Reset the BIOS to factory default
5. Try using a DVI or VGA cords (could not try DVI because my notebook does not come with one; could not try VGA because the monitor does NOT come with a VGA port!)?
6. Run scanning tools from here (http://www.hp.com/go/ispe) using the Internet Explorer (the scan did not work; app got stuck and got nowhere);
7. Reset the monitor to factory configuration by unplugging the monitor from power, then hold the power button for 60sec while plugging in the power cord.
When I mentioned that googling “HP Elitebook 8560w zr2740w problem” produced results with people who are having same problems (with questions being posted at hp forums to boot with HP engineers providing a beta display driver!), the tech agent told me he would escalate my case to a level 2 support agent.
An hour later, a level 2 agent sent me an email with an ftp link to SP56103.exe file with the caveat that it is in BETA and that a final driver will be published at the end of March 2012.
When I was waiting, I found the newest AMD Catalyst Control Center (CCC) software (v.3.00.0851) here and got my monitor to work (you may encounter some installation error messages; just ignore them and reboot) so I did not try the SP56103 driver. I will uninstall my latest CCC app and install the final driver from HP later.
Now that the monitor is working (FHD or 1920×1080 on my notebook and 2560×1440 WQHD on my external monitor), I can get some serious work done!