One of the guys at work decided he wanted a Mac Mini, and being the resident Mac expert, he asked me if I’d help him get a monitor and set it up for him. So I started looking around at monitors – the one he really wanted was the one on my desk, but HP had discontinued it.
We finally found a monitor he liked from HP in his price range, a 2509p. Looked nice, big 25″ screen, 1080p with HDMI input, built-in speakers – everything he wanted. It even had a built-in webcam, which he thought was great. (Yes, the Apple monitor has all those things – other than HDMI, but it has Thunderbolt – but it also costs 5 times as much as this monitor; he wasn’t looking for anything that high resolution or that expensive.)
So I started looking over the HP support web pages, checking to see if a special driver was needed for the webcam. There were plenty of drivers listed, but all for various versions of Windows only. Then I hit on this, which quite frankly floored me:
Say what? Are you kidding me? I could see if they said “sorry, no webcam drivers for that monitor.” But a blanket statement like that? Seriously? C’mon, HP, we’re talking about monitors, not some specialzed internal card!
So I told my co-worker that there was a possibility we wouldn’t be able to make the webcam work. He was willing to take a chance, saying we’d send it back if it didn’t. I was hopeful it would work, but I was a bit worried because of the need for drivers in Windows 7. I could see XP or Vista not having them, but Win 7 seems pretty complete.
Everything showed up and I put the system together. Lo and behold, while doing the initial setup, it asked if he wanted to take his picture – and there was a nice live shot from the webcam! Everything worked just fine out of the box, no drivers required.
So if you’re looking for a monitor – and 1080p is high enough res for you – you could do worse than this “unsupported” HP 2509p.