HP Z27q; An In-Depth Review

The world is just starting to recognize the advantage of 4K, as more and more people are now shifting to Ultra HD display and upgrade their monitors with larger screens with higher resolution. But just as 4K finally hits the stride, HP set the bar a little higher with its introduction of the 5K through HP Z27q, which is 5120 x 2880 resolution. That’s quite a lot of pixels on the screen, but does it equate to better performance? Know more in this Dual Monitors Guide’s in-depth HP Z27q review.

HP Z27q (image from Amazon)


Who is it for?

Sporting the highest desktop monitor density in the market today, the HP Z27q is definitely designed for anyone looking for breathtaking image quality, especially those who work on graphically-demanding tasks such as photographers, graphic designers, etc. It is factory-calibrated and comes with a premium price, but not as expensive as you might think.

 

Benefits

HP Z27q (image from Amazon)


There’s no question that HP Z27q is made for professional users with its premium technology and factory calibration. To run the 5K 5120x2880 resolution, you will need a video card with a minimum of two DisplayPort 1.2 inputs. And just like its Ultra HD counterparts (3840 pixels × 2160 resolution), the panel of this monitor has two processors, which uses a tiled approach to deliver its full pixel count, as it takes advantage of DP's Multi-Stream Transport feature. 5K resolution is a 5120x2800, which means it has 78% more pixels than 4K Ultra HD which is already at 3840x2160.

Excellent Color Accuracy and Performance

The HP Z27q may lack some bells and whistles for its management compared to its early version HP Z27x, but its powerful features are undeniable. This full 10-but panel can show 1.07 billion colors, and with 14-bit 3D Look-Up Table (LUT) feature and settings for both the standard sRGB color space and the wider AdobeRGB color space. There are some small anomalies in gamma and Adobe RGB color gamut, but when compared to its 4K rivals, it is still way ahead of the competition.

 

Good Viewing Angles Quality, Perfect for Multiple Viewers

The off-axis angle of this HP monitor is typical for any IPS panel – images viewed from 45° to the side shows moderate light falloff and some signs of shifting of red and green colors. The same goes when viewed form the top and down. Details however, looked well-preserved, and should be good enough even for viewers not sitting directly in front of the screen.

 

Decently Quick Pixel Response and Impressive Input Lag

Surprisingly, the pixel response of this HP monitor is faster than what we could expect from a monitor of its native resolution, which is at 14ms average. However, full motion videos shows far less motion blur than any of its competitors.

The lag is equally impressive as well when paired it with the right graphics card. It is snappy considering the processing going on. As a matter of fact, it is one of the faster IPS screens out there in the market today.


Dual Monitors and Multiple Monitors Setup

 

As with other professional 27-inch displays, this HP monitor can really benefit from third party stands or mounts with fully articulating arms. Also, those who wish to put two of these monitors side-by-side, or use it alongside with another different monitor, dual monitor stand with fully articulating arm can really make a world of difference in terms of viewing comfort and work ergonomics.

 

There are two good options out there for dual monitor setup with HP Z27q, namely Ergotron LX Dual  side-by-side arm and AmazonBasics dual side-by-side monitor arm.

Ergotron LX Dual  side-by-side arm (image from Amazon)


Ergotron LX Dual  side-by-side arm is a high-end monitor stand with two fully-articulating and independently-adjustable arms. It is made with solid polished aluminum construction and high quality materials. It can supports two 27-inch displays and both arms can be adjusted independently, allowing users to reposition their display; up, down, forward and back, with one simple touch, and still keep the displays secured and stable in place through the help of its patented Constant Force (CF) technology.

 

AmazonBasics dual side-by-side monitor arm (image from Amazon)


AmazonBasics dual side-by-side monitor arm on the other hand, is the more practical and affordable choice. They look very similar, which gives you an idea where Amazon took its inspiration from.  It comes equipped with two fully-adjustable monitor arms, both can be adjusted independently, allowing users to position their display to the most ergonomic setup. It is built with quite sturdy construction, and its matte-black finish actually make it look better than in photos online.



Design and Features

HP Z27q (image from Amazon)


Design wise, there is nothing about this 5K monitor that makes it unique from other monitors in the market. HP is known for its minimalistic industrial look, which combines nice straight lines and gentle compound curves, no sharp edges, just rounded corners. Everything however, looks high quality, even the textured plastic and its materials, hinting that is an expensive product.

The HP Z27q is pretty easy to put together, there are only two major parts that you need to snap together and it’s good to go.

The screen comes with an anti-glare layer, which is pretty impressive in blocking excessive light and rejecting glares and reflections, even in a brightly-lit room. There are no signs of grains or softness, and screen clarity is exceptional – no pixel gaps even when you look closer.

Except from its bezels, there are no noticeable lines on this monitor’s panel and its upright, even its base features a slight curve in both sides. Also, the cabinet is not too thick, leaving a flat area in its mount should you decide to use it with a wall mount.

HP Z27q (image from Amazon)


The upper part of the backside of the cabinet comes with a ventilation made up of a single large strip, helping the cabinet release heat and keep its temperature cool from the inside. Pretty smart cooling solution, considering the size and type of performance this display runs.

Buttons and Controls

The OSD (On-Screen Display) selection of this HP 5K monitor is extensive, but due to the fact that this product is already factory-calibrated, adjustment options are quite limited. The OSD are nicely set and pretty easy and convenient  to navigate, as it offers easy set up for the color space, brightness adjustment, and even set the individual color channels. There are 9 sub-menus, namely; Luminance (for brightness), Color Control, Input Control, Image Control, Power Control, OSD Control, Management, Language and Information.

The Information menu provides information for the screen resolution, refresh rates, and other color presets.

For the Calibration Settings, calibration is only possible in Custom RGB mode, and only its white point can be changed.

 

I/O Ports

HP Z27q (image from Amazon)


Connectivity options include two DisplayPorts 1.2 ports, and you will need to hook up both of them to run the monitor at its full 5K capacity. This means regular video cards won’t be enough. You need AMD FirePro or Nvidia Quadro chipsets to make the 5120x2880 native resolution work. Obviously, they got rid of the HDMI and DVI input, as they lack power for 5K resolution.

HP Z27q (image from Amazon)


There are also two USB 3.0 ports on the left side, and two more on the bottom of the cabinet.

 

Solid and Stable Stand

The stand and its base feels pretty solid, with smooth and firm movements such as tilt, swivel, and height adjustments, Unfortunately, it doesn’t support pivot, which would have been nice as it can switch landscape orientation mode to portrait, and vice versa. You can get the AMD FirePro graphics card and a fully adjustable monitor stand or a monitor stand with fully articulating arm if you wish to switch between different orientation of this display.

Also, the backside of the cabinet features VESA mounting holes, which makes using aftermarket ergonomic solutions such as monitor stands, monitor mounts, wall mounts, and sit-stand workstations easy.

 

Tech Specs

Package includes IEC power cord, USB 3.0 cable and two DisplayPort connectors. You will need both of the DisplayPort cables to run the monitor at its full 5K native resolution.

Also comes with the package is the CD documentation, and software and calibration data sheet.

 

Bottom Line

The only real competition of HP Z27q is its fellow 5K and 27-inch monitor from Dell, but it costs almost $2000. This monitor came to the market offering the same size and resolution, but cut a huge chunk from its price tag, making it the more reasonable, if not affordable, considering its capabilities and functions. If you’re someone who needs high resolution for work and entertainment, then HP Z27q is definitely the right one for you.

Design wise, this product is not going to ‘wow’ anyone, its simple and straightforward aesthetics is a common thing for HP. However, it has almost all the functionality you need for a high quality professional monitor, such as the adjustable stand (without pivot adjustment however).

In terms of colour accuracy, this HP 5K monitor showed great performance, particularly in Adobe RGB color mode, while sRGB need some calibration in its grayscale and white point for perfect performance. The factory calibration of LUT of is already quite good though, showing good out-of-the-box experience.

There are of course some issues, such as the uneven backlight. Backlight drops at almost 20% from the center to the top left corner, pretty much the same issue as its older brother HPZ27x.

Also, to maximize this display to its full potential (5K 5120x2800p native resolution), you need a graphics card capable of supporting such demand in power, as well as two DisplayPort 1.2 inputs, which means display leverages MST.

All in all, the HP Z27q is one of the very few of its kind, and though there are not a lot of people out there who needs 15 million pixels to work with, it can certainly help for a particular type of users and particular types of tasks, such as editing videos, graphic works, design, photography, etc. If HP can solve the screen uniformity issue, this monitor will like be the 5K to beat, especially in its price range.

For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!



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