HP VH240a Review

A welcome workstation addition with good adjustability

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4.2

HP VH240a 23.8-Inch Monitor

HP VH240a

Lifewire / Todd Braylor

What We Like

  • Inexpensive

  • Set up in minutes

  • Standard VESA mount option

  • Great viewing angles

What We Don't Like

  • Limited warranty coverage

  • Mediocre color gamut specs

  • Large base takes up desk space

The HP VH240a FHD 23.8-inch IPS monitor is a worthy consideration for any workstation setup in need of full HD specs with decent color gamut and contrast.

4.2

HP VH240a 23.8-Inch Monitor

HP VH240a

Lifewire / Todd Braylor

The HP VH240a monitor delivers good-looking visuals and also looks good at your desk. Featuring 1920 x 1080p resolution at two million pixels on a 16:9 widescreen LED LCD display, this IPS monitor is a good option to consider if you are in the market for a full HD monitor that won't eat your entire paycheck. 

The 1000:1 native contrast ratio and 72% sRGB are industry standard for this tier of monitor. Yet, the great viewing angles that IPS technology offers makes this monitor look particularly good for the price. 

Potential buyers should beware of HP's limited warranty. Despite being in the minority, there are several online reports of units that malfunction after only a few months. Although we did not encounter any issues while testing the HP VH240a monitor, this deal is almost certainly worth some extra cash for a protection plan.

Design: Adjustable and fit for a dual-screen setup 

The HP VH240a monitor is a slim and minimally-designed panel supported by an adjustable upright stand arm and square base. It also has some welcome height adjustability—you can easily slide the panel up or down so it’s at your eye level while sitting.

The panel is almost 24 inches diagonally, which makes it a sufficiently sized display, but also is the perfect size for a dual-screen setup. The panel has the ability to rotate 90 degrees on its stand into portrait mode, so you can customize a multiple-monitor workstation if that's your style (coders out there, take note). The screen appears flush with all edges of the matte plastic housing, making the panel feel like its HD graphics have a good amount of visual real estate.

HP VH240a
Lifewire / Todd Braylor 

Three of the HP VH240a’s bezels are very thin, measuring only about 1/16 of an inch wide. The bottom bezel is about 3/4 of an inch tall, but the horizontal weight of this edge, visually speaking, makes the other bezels almost disappear into the screen.

The monitor stand feels sturdy with a single but sizable upright, and the panel has the ability to tilt 30 degrees to adjust the vertical viewing angle. The upright can also slide the monitor up and down about five inches. The tilt and height adjustments give the VH240a a pretty good amount of customization for any workstation, but the monitor also comes standard with a VESA mounting option, so you can attach the monitor to the wall or an adjustable arm

The VESA mounting option is especially handy for the VH240a because its base and stand feel a bit large for the otherwise slim design. The square base is almost 9 x 9 inches, which takes up quite a bit of desk space, especially if you're going the multiple-screen route. 

The VH240a has singular HDMI and VGA ports, plus a 1/8-inch auxiliary cable to connect an audio source to the monitor’s built-in speakers. The power access point and HDMI and VGA ports are located on the rear of the panel and are still easily accessible with a VESA mount.

HP VH240a
Lifewire / Todd Braylor 

As with many kinds of budget hardware, there have been some reports of the VH240a malfunctioning after moderate usage. While we didn’t experience any of the issues other reviewers have, it may very well be worth it to ensure the longevity of the VH240a to spend $20 to $30 on a multi-year electronics protection plan offered by the retailer you buy it from.

Setup Process: No tools necessary

The HP VH240a is simple and straightforward to set up and took us less than five minutes to unbox and fully assemble. The monitor comes with a single sheet of paper taped to the edges of the screen with instructions to walk you through the installation of its three components: the square base, upright, and panel. 

HP VH240a
Lifewire / Todd Braylor

The upright attaches to the square base with a single flat head screw (included). The screw has a foldable clasp on it, making it easy to install and tighten without the need for any tools (a quick tighten with a flathead screwdriver makes it that much more secure). 

With the upright attached, the monitor panel is ready to install. The vertical mounting plate slides into three notches on the back of the panel and snaps securely into place in one motion. You can just as easily unsnap the panel from the stand unit with the plastic clasp on the panel housing. 

Image Quality: Full HD with good viewing angles

We tested the VH240a as an external display for a MacBook and used it to edit video. We found its combination of picture quality, native 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, and adjustable stand performed well for its price tier.

The HP VH240a is a great price-tier introduction to the world of full high definition, or FHD. FHD, or 1080p, simply refers to display technology that is capable of showing images that are 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels tall—this resolution is what we have come to expect as a standard for “good quality” videos and digital images. As you shop for FHD monitors, you'll become accustomed to seeing 1080p referenced for many panel's progressive scanning technology features.

But not all laptop screens—even from top brands—are capable of full HD display. 

HP VH240a
Lifewire / Todd Braylor 

If you have an older computer (like a Macbook without a Retina display), then it may not have a native 1080p display. But many are still able to support an external display at 1080p, making a monitor like the VH240a a good option for those who may be looking to upgrade to full HD that they can’t get on their computer screen.

The HP VH204a is an FHD display, and the image quality is sharp with very good viewing angles. The VH240a is an IPS monitor, which is a type of panel technology specific to liquid crystal displays (LCD) that allows for greater viewing angles.

The tilt and height adjustments give the VH240a a pretty good amount of customization for any workstation

This is certainly true for the HP VH240a. The panel looks very good from multiple viewing angles and positions, which is an ideal feature for any workstation monitor. This makes it very easy to refer to a colleague's workstation or to share your work with someone who may be standing or sitting next to you or looking over your shoulder. Even when viewed from some pretty sharp angles, the VH240a still has good visual clarity and color reproduction with hardly any color shifting or washing out.

The refresh rate of the VH240a is 60Hz, which is a standard refresh rate for a native 1920 x 1080 display. The refresh rate measures how many times the screen is refreshed with new image frames—measured in cycles per second (Hz). 60Hz is plenty fast for streaming and editing video, although gamers will consider much faster refresh rates desirable.

The VH240a has a 72% sRGB color gamut which isn't super great, but certainly gets the job done. Color gamut, or color range, defines the perceptible colors within a color space. There are two most common industry standards of color space: sRGB and Adobe RGB. The VH240a features sRGB color and can accurately display about 72% of the total sRGB color space. 

This IPS monitor is a good option to consider if you are in the market for a full HD monitor that won't eat your entire paycheck.

sRGB is an acceptable industry standard across the vast majority of applications and is the most common default setting used in internet browsers for all web-based imagery. The 72% sRGB color space coverage of the VH240a is good for an entry-level display, but it's not what we would consider great for professional use. Chances are you won't really notice any difference unless your eye is trained and you are experienced in working with sRGB and Adobe RGB.

Some mid-tier and most high-tier LCD monitors are capable of displaying up to 100% of sRGB, which just means those monitors can reproduce a greater range of colors within the color space. This consideration is most important for designers—when it comes to streaming, coding or editing video, the VH240a will perform just fine.

Audio: You might reach for your headphones instead

The VH240a features two small built-in two-watt speakers and a 1/8-inch auxiliary input for an audio source. We tested the speakers with various kinds of audio and we were not impressed. The sound quality is pretty thin with a prominent high mid-tone range—not the quality we would really want for listening to music we love. 

We found ourselves using headphones in most applications instead. It’s unclear why HP would bother to include a set of pretty weak speakers in a budget model anyway.

Price: An honest budget price

The VH240a has an MSRP of $139.99 but it’s frequently on sale for closer to $100 at most major retailers. This is a pretty good deal for a 1080p IPS monitor with adjustable stand. One can certainly appreciate that HP clearly markets the color gamut and contrast ratio of the monitor as standard entry-tier specs. You're getting what you pay for, which is acceptable full HD quality that will work just fine in almost all applications. The only extra price consideration to make with a budget monitor is a protection plan.

HP VH240a vs. Acer R240HY bidx 

There are a lot of options to consider when shopping for an LCD monitor, and the competition between manufacturers often comes down to price point and design. The industry-standard quality for IPS panels has been increasing over the years and cheaply-priced but good-quality 1080p display monitors abound. 

A direct price point competitor to the VH240a is the Acer RH240HY bidx, another 24-inch IPS monitor. The Acer has an MSRP of $229.99 but is frequently found on sale for about $110. This monitor has stronger color and contrast specs than the VH240a, but it also has a limited stand design that is very minimal with no height adjustments and no VESA mount capability. 

Despite the slightly better screen, we don’t feel the Acer is as versatile as a workstation panel as the VH240a. When it comes to choosing between these two similarly-priced panels, the adjustability of the monitor stand will probably make a bigger difference than the slight discrepancy in image quality. 

Final Verdict

It has good-quality 1080p visuals and an adjustable stand, but consider buying additional protection.

The HP 23.8-inch FHD VH240a IPS monitor is upfront and honest about what it has to offer, and should serve as a solid extra screen for coders, video editors, and casual users alike. Professional designers and gamers, however, will most likely want to invest in something with a larger color gamut or a faster refresh rate.

Specs

  • Product Name HP VH240a
  • Product Brand HP
  • Price $139.99
  • Release Date July 2017
  • Weight 10.3 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 8.58 x 21.22 x 19.65 in.
  • Warranty Limited, covers manufacturer defects only
  • Screen size 23.8 inches
  • Resolution Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Aspect ratio 16:9
  • Panel type IPS
  • Color gamut 72% sRGB
  • Pixel pitch 0.275 x 0.275 mm, 92.55 PPI
  • Brightness 250 nits
  • Contrast ratio Up to 1000:1
  • Viewing angle 178/178
  • Processor brand ARM
  • Processor count 2
  • Computer memory type DDR DRAM
  • Hard drive interface ATA100
  • Ports HDMI, VGA, 1/8-inch aux
  • Included cables Power cord, HDMI cable, 1/8-inch aux cable
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