HP Pavilion 22CWA Review - Armchair Empire

HP Pavilion 22CWA Review

HP 22cwa Front

HP Pavilion 22CWA Review
8.3 Our Rating
Picture8.5
Performance7.5
Versatility7.5
Price9.5

If you’re shopping for a budget gaming monitor that doesn’t skimp out on picture quality or reliability, the HP Pavilion 22CWA should be your first stop. Let’s take a look at what makes this unit such a fantastic option for display aficionados and casual users alike:

HP Pavilion 22CWA Quick Specs
Screen Size 21.5 inches
Resolution 1920×1080 Full HD
Panel Type IPS
Refresh Rate 60Hz
Response Time 7ms
Input Types VGA, HDMI

HP 22CWA Design & Specifications

The 22cwa is a slick looking monitor. It features a 21.5-inch screen (measured diagonally), although the unit itself measures 19.6 x 15.8 x 5.9 inches and weighs 6 pounds. It’s marketed as having “no bezel,” but we all know that’s never quite true. The bezel is very small, however, and the screen seems much bigger than the advertised 21.5 inches. So if you’re hung up on the screen size, don’t count this HP out just yet – it feels like it has just as much screen real estate as many 24 inch models do.

The panel is pleasantly thin, and the whole unit sits elegantly atop an open-wedge style stand. The stand looks like it might have some hidden functionality, but it just let’s you tilt the monitor back and forth a bit.

The casing and stand are both made out of plastic, but it’s that “good” sort of plastic you’ll see out there – everything feels premium and very sturdy. Overall, HP has themselves a very stylish monitor. It certainly made my desk look sleeker and more modern than before!

HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5-inch IPS LED Backlit Monitor
  • Amazing angles: Share consistent high-color fidelity with In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology across a 21.5-inch diagonal screen. A stunning vantage point for everyone, from almost any angle.
  • Distinctively modern and accessible: The contemporary thin profile is enhanced by black and silver colors. The open WEDGE stand design provides convenient access to VGA and HDMI port connections.
  • Captivating imagery: Color and clarity radiate from the screen with Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, incredible 8,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 16:9 aspect ratio, and quick 7 mms response time.

HP 22CWA Features

HP’s 22CWA is championed by gamers and home users alike as a budget monitor, but its capabilities far outstrip what you might expect from a budget gaming monitor. The HP boasts an IPS panel and a full HD resolution (1920×1080), along with you standard 16:9 aspect ratio. This comes out to a pixel density of 102 PPI, which is fantastic for the price point.

The screen brightness clocks in at 250 nits, and we’re working with a dynamic contrast ratio of 8,000,000:1. Some hardcore gamers may be disappointed to learn that the monitor is somewhat limited by a 60hz refresh rate and a 7ms response time, although these numbers are certainly appropriate given the unit’s price point. As for input options, you can choose between standard VGA and HDMI ports.

As a quick note on panel technology, an IPS panel is one of three primary panel types: IPS, TN, and VA. When shopping for gaming monitors, you’ll see mostly IPS and TN panels. IPS panels are characterized by gorgeous, vivid colors and fantastic viewing angles, while TN panels often have better response times and higher refresh rates.

HP 22CWA Performance

It’s one thing to look out the on-paper specs and numbers for a gaming monitor, but it’s another thing entirely to see the unit in action. Aspect ratio, brightness, refresh rate, and response time measurements are all helpful when researching what class of monitor you’re dealing with, but they all mean different things across different manufacturers.

And this is where HP’s 22CWA truly shines: When you start using it yourself, all of those numbers fall away and you’re left with an absolutely gorgeous picture. At this price point most of the monitors you might consider are TN panels, and suffer from poor color accuracy and even worse viewing angles. Not so for this HP – it comes locked and loaded with the stunning picture and phenomenal viewing angles you should expect from all quality IPS panels out there.

I really can’t overstate how stellar the display’s picture is, considering the price. The color accuracy is incredibly, with deep blacks, white whites, and generally vivid colors.

Max viewing angles measure 178 degrees, which is great to begin with. HP went a step further and equipped this monitor with an anti-glare coating that enhances off-center viewing even more so, and it also does a fantastic job of keeping the picture vivid in bright viewing conditions.

The 60hz refresh rate is nothing unheard of – plenty of monitors far above this tier of pricing still feature a default refresh rate of 60hz. That being said, discerning users will pick up on screen-tearing and choppiness during faster-paced movies and games. For your average gamer, this isn’t a big deal at all – you’re probably using a 60hz monitor right now without even knowing it.

The one number that might give you pause is the 7ms pixel response time. This is a tad high for most gaming monitors out there – it’s usually good to keep your pixel response time at 4ms or below if possible. However, I didn’t actually notice the 7ms response time at all when gaming on the 22CWA. Higher response times can cause quick motion to appear smeared or blurred, but I didn’t notice any such thing with this HP.

HP 22CWA Extras

The 22CWA comes with HP’s “HP Enhance+” technology, which improves image quality with an advanced noise reduction filter.

As for hardware, you can opt to grab a Thunderbolt Adapter packaged with your new HP monitor, which affords Apple compatibility. The monitor does come with a VGA cable although you’ll need to provide your own HDMI cable if you opt for the HD input.

This Pavilion model does not ship ready for wall mounting, but you can purchase an additional “adapter bracket” that makes the unit VESA-compliant.

HP 22CWA Pros

  • The price is absolutely unbeatable for the features provided.
  • The picture and viewing angles are as stunning and wide as those of any other high quality IPS panel out there.
  • The unit is very well-built, and it’s backed by a standard warranty from HP.

HP 22CWA Cons

  • The 21.5-inch screen may be too small for some users. The ultra-thin bezel does help with this, however, and I honestly would have guessed the screen to be 24 inches at first glance.
  • The 7ms response time and 60hz refresh rate aren’t the best specs out there for a gaming monitor.
  • No audio input option.

We Recommend The HP 22CWA For…

This HP will serve any but the most professional gamers extremely well. If you’re a fan of beautiful, immersive gaming, the 22CWA’s IPS technology and HP image technology enhancements will provide you with top-notch graphics for years to come.

If you are a very serious gamer, or play quick twitch games (think FPSes) exclusively, you might want to look for a unit with a better refresh rate and quicker response time. However, don’t write this HP off without seeing it in person. You might be surprised by how well it performs, even when playing games or watching movies with a lot of movement in them.

HP 22CWA Conclusion

If you looked at the stats of the 22CWA in a vacuum, you’d probably be saying “meh.” The reason this monitor is so incredibly popular is its almost unbelievably low price tag. It’s rare to find an IPS panel at this price point, let alone one manufactured by a name like HP.

If you’re shopping for a new gaming monitor on a budget, just do yourself a favor and buy this one right now. You won’t regret it – it’s literally impossible to find a gaming monitor that nets you better bang for your buck.