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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Olaf van der Spek - Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - linkCheap? It might not be as expensive as this one but the ZR2704w isn't cheap.
DiHydro - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkTo me, that uniformity error looks like problems I've seen in monitors with bent or squashed frames. Sometimes in shipping, the inner metal frame can bend or get squeezed, and this will cause the diffuser to get moved slightly closer to the screen or away. This will case atypical uniformity along the edges of the monitor. Does this monitor have a very sturdy outer casing? Was it picked up by one side, or maybe bent just a little while unpacking? It's certainly worth investigating for such a strange result.
joelypolly - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkWould be interesting if liquidmetal will ever be used as internal framing due to its more crystalline structure which is less likely to bend or warp.
anactoraaron - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkI was thinking the same thing, especially since it's in the top corner.
mapesdhs - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - link
Amusing that so much is being made of 4K issues for professionals, when studios are
already working with 8K. :D For example, see the article on creativecow entitled,
"Quantel Unveils 8K 60p Pablo Rio Workflow" (they use quad-4K monitors for preview,
three Tesla K80s for processing).
tyger11 - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkMaybe _some_ are working with 8K, but most high-end cinematographers say they don't want more resolution than 4K, they want much more dynamic range. I saw a discussion panel with 3-4 very high-end hollywood cinematographers, and every one of them were disinterested in resolutions higher than 4K, but were salivating at next year's big expected jump in dynamic range (in the area of 20-21 stops of DR). If we can get rid of the Bayer sensor once and for all, 4K resolution will have a noticeable amount of increased detail; no need for any more than that, even in a cinema setting. More DR - especially if we can get to 20-21 stops - will be huge.
Doach - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkI really dont know what to say. I dont think you realize what display you are reviewing. Or know the history behind the dreamcolor display. Know this. A retina display from a 5k imac cannot come close to the performance of the display you just reviewed. Not even in the same ballpark. Do you even now that this is a dreamcolor display? From the article it appears you do not. They really dont need any introduction as most movie production companies use these displays.
You just reviewed a display that was damaged in shipping, which would impact all aspects of your review. Black levels, uniformity etc.
That monitor was damaged in shipping. I work for dreamworks and we have several of these. We had one with the same problem. The box it came in was damaged on one side.
You should have called tech support before writing this review and got another one. Saying that this shipped from the factory like that to your readers implies that HP has a quality issue is amatuer at best without knowing for sure.
There is a reason we use dreamcolor displays and not NEC displays. It seems you need to reeducate your self on why rec 2020 is important in a professional display.
Poorly written review. You guys need to do better if you want to be taken seriously by the professional community. Anand was more through and would contact the company first before writing such a review. You just threw them (HP)under the bus over a shipping error.
These monitors are calibrated and tested for accuracy and yes uniformaty issues before they leave the factory. If they were not they would not be used very long by the professional community. As it stands now HP dreamcolor displays own the professional market.
You should know this. If you do not you should not be writing articles for anandtech.
Techinator - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkI'm sorry, but there's an awful lot of arrogance in your comment. How do *you* know the box was damaged in shipping? You're making a pretty big assumption there, and you know what they say about those. But let me just make sure you understand what I'm saying: you are being a complete ASS in your comment. There. We're now clear.
I could say more, but there's not much point. You're so biased that you can't even objectively point out problems with the review and resort to simple blanket statements. "Poorly written" -- what part, the part where he ran all the tests, talked about why Rec 2020 and other wide gamut options matter, and all of the other text? Or just the part where he showed that HP sent a reviewer a display that clearly has a uniformity problem?
anactoraaron - Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - linkYeah, but he may have a point about it being damaged in shipping. None of the other $1k+ displays reviewed here are THAT off in one corner. A quick email to HP about this should have been done.
cheinonen - Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - linkIf I were to request a new sample from HP, then I'd be accused of having HP pick me out a perfect review sample that isn't anything like what they ship to people buying one. If I don't, then I get these comments. As I said, the only real negative about the HP is the uniformity on mine. This is my 2nd sample, as the first developed a pink stripe and HP replaced it. However, I've not had the same uniformity issues with samples from NEC in their professional lines. Perhaps they hand pick them, or perhaps their packaging (which is the best out there, IMO) helps to prevent these issues.
There's a very good chance this is just a sample issue and most don't have this problem, but unless I get in 20 samples to test I really won't know.