HP z27x Reviewby Chris Heinonen on December 2, 2014 4:00 PM EST
The HP z27x is loaded with features. Beyond the usual features like a USB hub and multiple inputs it offers multiple color space support for AdobeRGB, DCI, and even Rec. 2020. It goes well beyond this by offering the ability to self-calibrate any of the presets to your own requirements and an Ethernet jack for network management.
With all of these features it is obvious that the HP z27x isn’t a monitor generally meant for home use. It is very much targeted at the professional world, say someone like Pixar, where control and flexibility are necessary. The first feature that the HP z27x brings to the table is support for a very large color gamut.
While AdobeRGB support is common in professional displays, a gamut that goes beyond that is not as common. The HP z27x also has support for the DCI P3 (Digital Cinema Initiative) and Rec. 2020 which is the color gamut of the UltraHD TV standard. Now nothing can actually display the full Rec. 2020 gamut, and that includes the HP z27x, but it gets much closer than other monitors out there on the market today. We will see later just how large the gamut is on the HP z27x.
It also has features for working with digital cinema material. It is still a QHD display with 2560x1440 resolution but can display true 4K content (4096 pixels wide) through either scaling or 1:1 pixel mapping. Using this mode lets you scroll around a larger desktop or scale it to fit onto the screen so you can see your whole desktop and then zoom into 1:1 mode when you need to edit. Very few displays can handle a 4096 pixel signal but the HP z27x can.
Your inputs are limited to a single HDMI 1.4a and dual DisplayPort 1.2 inputs. Either of these can accept a 4096 pixel signal, though at 24Hz and not 60Hz due to bandwidth limits. There is a complement of USB ports with four USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. Four of these are on the bottom of the display and are harder to access but two are on the side and convenient for flash drives and other accessories.
All the features of the HP z27x are accessible through a well designed on screen display. Straight out of the Dell handbook for how to do it right, buttons on the right control the features while they are clearly labeled on-screen. There are no annoying touch sensitive buttons that are hard to use or controls that don’t work intuitively. Finding the setting you need is easy, as is switching between calibrated presets. HP seems to have actually spent time working on the OSD of the z27x to make sure it is easy to use, which I can’t say for most companies.
The Ethernet jack on the HP z27x is a first for a display that I have reviewed. After all, why does a monitor need Ethernet? What it allows is for complete management of the display over the network and to tie it into your account management. Once again, let’s look at a company like Pixar. You have people that work on film production and home video production. Each of these has a different color gamut and a different setting in the HP z27x. With the management features in the HP z27x you can tie accounts to those profiles. Log in to a machine and the display automatically chooses the appropriate profile for you. If it is a work environment where people share machines during different shifts, this prevents errors from happening. You can get notifications on how long it has been since a calibration happened, letting you know that a monitor calibration needs to be done and sending someone to do it. It’s another feature that the home user will not need, but it can prove very useful in a large corporate environment.
|Video Inputs||1x HDMI 1.4a, 2x DisplayPort 1.2|
|Response Time||7ms GtG|
|Viewing Angle (H/V)||178 / 178|
|Power Consumption (operation)||65 W|
|Power Consumption (standby)||< 1.2W|
|Tilt||Yes, -5 to 20 degrees|
|Swivel||Yes, 45 Degrees|
|VESA Wall Mounting||Yes, 100mm VESA|
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)||25.24" x 9.55" x 15.55"|
|Additional Features||3.5mm stereo out, 4x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0|
|Limited Warranty||3 year|
|Accessories||DisplayPort Cable, MiniDP to DP Cable, USB 3.0 Cable, HDMI Cable|
Online: Starting at $1,396
The HP z27x has all the features it needs to be a great performer, but it still has to prove itself on our test bench.
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bobbozzo - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkHi,
It wasn't clear to me which is preferred - using (renting?) a Klein K-10A colorimeter and doing the self-calibration, or doing software calibration?
Thanks for the article
cheinonen - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkDoing it inside the monitor is best, as you don't need to worry about the PC LUT being correct, it will just be accurate on any computer hooked up to it.
Samus - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkA worthy successor to my Dreamcolor LP2480, moar resolution and USB 3.0!
Oubadah - Sunday, December 21, 2014 - linkPlus no A-TW Polarizer and inferior backlight array. This monitor isn't in the same class as the last gen Dreamcolor. Not to mention it's bugs and abysmal quality control. http://www.liftgammagain.com/forum/index.php?threa... I wouldn't touch this monitor with a barge pole at the moment.
tyger11 - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkWhen are we going to see monitors with HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.3?
cheinonen - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkOnce we have chipsets. The issue with HDMI 2.0 is that all the current HDMI 2.0 chipsets with the full bandwidth don't have HDCP 2.2 as well. The HDCP 2.2 chipsets only use a subset of HDMI 2.0 and so they can't send as much data. Hopefully at CES next month we'll see products announced using new chipsets.
wolrah - Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - linkDoes HDCP actually matter to PC users? Aside from legitimate playback of Bluray/HD-DVD content what else on a PC ever gave a shit about it? I think iTunes did at one point, no idea if it still does.
I mean there are technically roles a PC can fill for which it matters, but personally even among those I know who have BD-ROM drives in their PCs (a slim number, optical drives altogether are a dying breed) I don't know anyone who actually uses their PC to watch movies from disc. Anyone who uses discs uses a hardware player or more often a console, and anyone who uses a PC just sources from the internet in one way or another.
For TVs HDCP is a big deal, but for a computer monitor I'm finding it hard to care.
cheinonen - Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - linkI don't know that it's a big deal for straight PC usage, but it's also likely to upset people if they buy an HDMI 2.0 monitor, only to discover when they try to hook up their other 4K devices to it that they won't play back a 4K image. Since the chips are expected to be at CES, I don't think we will have to wait too long for them and IMO I'd rather have a display that can do that, without needing MST for a 60Hz refresh rate, than have a monitor today that will be out of date that fast.
chaos215bar2 - Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - linkOn a Mac, at least, iTunes most certainly still does care about HDCP. Even Netflix manages to check it when using the HTML5 player. HDCP may be silly, but it's still important if you want to watch videos on your computer without the hassle of stripping DRM.
DanNeely - Thursday, December 4, 2014 - linkAs of about 8 months ago (last time I tried using it) Amazon Instant Video also required HDCP for higher quality streams.