* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this monitor for about £250 sown from £300. So it was actually quite a good deal for me. The M50's casing is semi-stylish in the same fashion as HP's entire Pavilion line of PC's. It's as if they really want to capture some of that iMac 'clear casings and curves' crowd, but don't feel that they can risk alienating the more traditional 'grognard' crowd that won't stand for some strange looking THING on their desk masquerading as a monitor. To me the look is attractive, but not particularly so -- it's nice to see ANY departure from the cream colored boxes we all know so well, and the contrasting shades of grey and rounded shape seem like a good compromise. If you purchase it with a Pavilion PC, as I did, It'll look right at home parked next to the tower and speakers. To be honest, the only thing I noticed when I set the monitor up was the extra cord sticking out of the back of the casing. It seems that the cord was a standard audio input cable and jack, as the M50 has a built-in microphone directly above the screen. I'm not sure I understand the logic of integrating a microphone into a monitor (web conferencing, maybe?), but it certainly hasn't hurt anything by being there. Just for kicks, I tried it out, and it actually picks up sound very well up to 10 feet away. If HP's going to put a microphone in a weird place, at least they make sure it's a decent microphone in a weird place. The rest of the setup involved tuning the picture to my liking -- a procedure that took exactly 3 seconds as the picture was perfect upon startup. Despite the fact that I was quite happy with the default settings, I played around with the menus, just to see what I could do if I wanted to. All the usual options are there, except for degaussing. I don't know if anyone has ever NEEDED to degauss their monitors, but I always liked to do it every now and again, just to watch the picture wobble
. I'm weird that way, I guess... The options are easily adjusted through a series of easy to use, intuitive menus controlled by the 6 smaller buttons located on the front of the monitor. You'll probably never need to do so, though. After setup, I promptly forgot about the monitor entirely, which to me is probably the best thing I can say about ANY monitor. You can always spot picture problems like flickering, uneven edges, or color distortion, but the M50 exhibited none of these negative traits whatsoever in any supported resolution (up to 1024x768). In fact, it's exactly what I expect of a computer monitor in the year 2000 -- a nice, crisp, clear picture housed in a durable, attractive case with, uh, a microphone built into it. I encourage anyone looking for a good quality monitor -- especially owners of HP Pavilion PC's -- to at least take a look at the HP M50 monitor and see what it has to offer. Chances are, it'll serve you so well, you'll never really notice it again.