Almost a year ago, we reviewed the HP Z27x monitor, which was a 27-inch display capable of covering a very wide gamut. It had a reasonable 2560x1440 resolution, which was pretty common for this size of display. But at CES 2015, HP announced the HP Z27q monitor, which takes a step back on gamut and manageability, but takes two steps forward with resolution. The HP Z27q is a '5K’ display, which means it has an impressive 5120x2880 resolution. This easily passes the UHD or '4K' levels which are becoming more popular. The HP Z27q is one of a handful of 5K displays on the market now, and HP came in with a pretty low launch price of $1300. When I say pretty low, it’s of course relative to the other 5K displays in the market, but it undercuts the Dell UP2715K by several hundred dollars, even today.

The Z27q lacks some of the management capabilities of it’s Z27x brethren, but it still packs in some powerful features. This is a full 10-bit panel, so it can display 1.07 billion colors. It features a 14-bit 3D Look-Up Table (LUT), and it has settings for both the standard sRGB color space and the wider AdobeRGB color space. It does drop the wide-gamut of the Z27x, which had support for Rec. 2020 (although it can’t reach the full gamut), and there is no option for DCI either. There is an option for BT.709 though, if you need it.

Due to the high resolution, there is no option for HDMI or DVI input. The only inputs are the two DisplayPort connectors required to drive this monitor. As a refresher, DisplayPort 1.2, which is the current standard, has enough bandwidth to run UHD, or 3840x2160 content at 60Hz. In order to drive 5K, or 5120x2800, which is 14.7 million pixels, two DisplayPort 1.2 outputs are tied together to form a single display. 4K and 5K sound awfully similar, but 5K has 78% more pixels than 4K. It takes a lot of bandwidth to drive this. HP does offer a USB hub built in, and it is USB 3.0. The hub has two USB ports on the back of the display, and another two on the left side.

HP 27-Inch 5K Display
Manufacturer Specifications Model Z27q
Video Inputs 2 x DisplayPort 1.2
Panel Type IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.116 mm
Colors 1.07 billion (10 bit panel)
Gamut sRGB
AdobeRGB
BT.709
Brightness 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Time 14ms (on/off)
Viewable Size 27-inch
Resolution 5120x2880@60Hz
Viewing Angle 178°/178°
Backlight LED
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height Adjustable 130 mm
Tilt -5° to +22°
Swivel +- 45°
VESA Wall Mounting Yes
Dimensions w/Stand
at maximum height
63.43 x 21.71 x 54.88 cm
24.97 x 8.55 x 21.61 inches
Weight 7.42 kg
16.36 lb
Additional Features 4 x USB 3.0 output
Accessories 2 x DisplayPort Cables
USB 3.0 Cable
All cables 1.8 m

HP uses a pretty decent on-screen display which can be set to either icons or text. I prefer the text mode, but regardless of how you use it, it offers an easy way to set up the color space, adjust the brightness, and set the individual color channels as needed. Since there are no extra inputs, the menu itself is pretty simple.

Pressing any of the buttons opens up the On-Screen Display, and once opened, the bottom of the OSD shows what each button will do. You can set the device to automatically power off and on at certain times of the day, as well as set the target color range. Brightness is of course one of the quick adjustments. You can also check out the input to ensure that you are running at the correct resolution. There are a lot less options here than some monitors, only because there is really only the one input, where as most lower resolution panels may offer selection of any of the inputs and adjustments for each.

All in all, the OSD design is good enough to get the job done. Once configured, you likely won't be in there much.

Design

The design of the HP Z27q is fairly pedestrian, with the monitor built out of flat black plastic. The HP logo is unobtrusive in the centre, and the on-screen menu options are on the right side. If you were wondering how HP was able to undercut the competition, this is one of the areas where they have saved some money. 

The stand easily blends into the background - it is made out of the same plastic material, but it is a fully featured stand. There is tilt, swivel, and height adjustments available. Cable management is a bit sparse, with just a single rectangular slot at the bottom of the stand to route the cables through. If you use the display at maximum height, all of the cables are going to be exposed here, so some more cable management options would be nice, but in the end it’s functional.

The bottom of the display houses the two DisplayPort inputs, as well as a USB 3.0 input, which then branches off to two USB 3.0 ports on the bottom, and two on the left side.

Although the Z27q is just a plain black monitor, the design is very functional, with plenty of adjustments available to suit pretty much any workspace. If the stand is not of your liking, you can of course mount it using a standard VESA mount as well.

Contrast, Brightness and Gamut
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  • geok1ng - Thursday, January 07, 2016 - link

    Actually, even 32" is way below the confortable reading limit. Most users complain of the PPI on 24" 256x1440 screens, which have a PPI similar to an hypothetical 34" 4k screen. reading at 1:1 4k is impossible for most users even at the 32" monitors. you can not compare with smartphones screens, because the viewing diustance for smartphones is smaller. Reply
  • MatthiasP - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    It's almost double the price of a 4K display, connects via stopgap MST and doesn't bring much improvement in perceived details at arm's length viewing distance over 4K@27".
    We 4K display owners are still fine, thank you very much.
    Reply
  • quickbunnie - Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - link

    Problem is, can you even see 5k resolution at 27 inches and a normal viewing distance? You need to be only 21 inches away for a 4k pixel to take up 1 arc minute, nominally considered the limit of average human vision. At this distance, a 27" display takes up 58.5 degrees of you field of vision, which is very large.
    Even when editing pixel perfect 1:1 4k video, I'm not sure most people will actually be able to see the extra pixels. If you scoot in and look real close, for sure (which I'm sure many professionals do), but I would say 5k does not automatically mean better for most use cases.
    Reply
  • LisaValentin3 - Thursday, December 31, 2015 - link

    Prima di poter determinare ciò che schermo è giusto per voi, dobbiamo sapere la vostra situazione. Che cosa hai intenzione di utilizzare il portatile per?
    <a href=http://schermiportatili.it/hp.html>schermo hp</a>
    <a href=http://schermiportatili.it/samsung.html>schermo samsung</a>
    Reply
  • gonzo98x - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    What's the deal with the price of this monitor when Samsung can squeeze a 4k display into a 6 inch screen and sell it for far less?

    Doesn't it take a higher level of specialized technology to cram a 4k resolution into such a small display? To me that would mean a phone display should be more expensive or in the case a 27" monitor should cost less.

    So where does the cost come from? Or is this simply another example of setting the price for something 'because they can'. We expect it to be expensive so it is expensive?

    I'd love to see a teardown and bill of goods for a monitor such as this.

    Insert <thesepricesaretoodamnhigh.jpg>
    Reply
  • TheStu - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    I imagine it has something to do with the economies of scale. Whoever is making this panel for HP, they're probably looking at less than 100,000 sales (especially if it is NOT the same panel that's in the 27" iMac). Samsung is going to sell tens of millions of their phone displays. Reply
  • bryanlarsen - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    A 6" display has an area of 15 in^2. A 27" display has an area of over 300 in^2. 20x in size, ~20x in cost, where's the disparity? Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    Yes and no. It's very much about paying extra to be an early adopter. In many cases small scale means higher price because it requires a lot more manufacturing accuracy.
    Prices of these 4 and 5 k displays will plummet in a couple of years. Though, to be fair, it's no rush as GPU's really aren't able to display much else than static images, text and video on this resolution today.
    Reply
  • CaedenV - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    less material used, plus higher output capability, plus a more reliable process. It all adds up to far less cost, and far FAR less waste, so the product costs much less.
    Think of it this way... a 6" 16:9 display has 15.37 square inches of material. A 27" display with the same aspect ratio has an area of 311.53 square inches.
    Lets say that the phone display costs ~$50 (just for the sake of nice round numbers... I have no idea what a high end cell phone display costs). That would break down to $3.25 per square inch... extrapolating that to the larger display it would scale up to $1,012.50.

    But there is a difference between a cell phone display and a computer monitor. A cell display is merely the display, and the backlight with minimal controllers and other electronics, and no housing... the monitor has a USB3 hub ($), a stand ($$), a housing ($), a controller supporting multiple inputs, resolutions, frequencies, and scaling ($$$), a power supply ($), higher shipping costs per unit ($), higher storage costs per unit ($) etc.

    Plus, lets not forget about issues of manufacturing. Lets say that for every 1000sq" there is a defect that makes a device unusable. That means that for every ~67 cell phone displays, there is one bad apple, so the average cost of each display rises ~1/67th, or 75 cents per unit.
    But if that same kind of manufacturing ratio is applied to the larger screen, then that means that one out of every 4 displays is going to be bad, which means a 25% increase in screen price (+$253 per unit! way more than 75 cents!).

    TL;DR... smaller things are going to cost less.
    Reply
  • Frenetic Pony - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    Size of the display matters more than PPI of the display in terms of cost. Reply

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