There’s something about a frame with no bezel that catches your eye, which is one reason why we’re starting to see more and more monitors sporting the “floating screen” design. One such model, the HP Pavilion 27xi, features a 27-inch IPS panel and an ultra-thin cabinet with silver accents. In addition to its pleasing aesthetics, this monitor delivers great color and good grayscale quality and provides the wide viewing angles that IPS technology is famous for. Its glossy screen can be reflective in certain lighting environments and its feature set is nothing to write home about, but at $340 it’s a good deal for a big-screen monitor that offers both style and performance.
Design and Features
As with the AOC i2757fh, the HP 27xi uses a bezel-less design that makes the 27-inch panel seem larger than it is. The 1.25-inch bottom bezel sports a brushed aluminum finish and has an HP logo in the center and six touch sensitive button, including the power switch, on the right. There are no button labels here and you can’t even see where the buttons are until you swipe a fingertip across the area, at which point they light up with white backlighting. Only the power switch is visible, for obvious reasons.
The 1,920-by-1,080 screen uses HP’s Brightview coating to help punch up colors and improve image clarity, but it is reflective. Under certain lighting conditions the screen can act like a mirror, which can be distracting when the image background is dark. The matte black cabinet, which measures just 0.5 inches thick, has a slight curve at the back and yet another HP logo etched into the plastic. There are three outward facing video ports (HDMI, DVI, and VGA) and a power jack back here but that’s all you get; there are no USB or audio ports. This model also lacks speakers and a webcam.
The nine-pound cabinet is supported by a square brushed metal base equipped with a hinge that provides 30 degrees of tilt maneuverability. Height, swivel, and pivot adjustments are not supported and the monitor lacks VESA mounting holes for attaching it to a wall.
You can adjust settings using the function buttons on the front of the monitor or you can use the included My Display software to change certain settings with your keyboard and mouse.
Picture settings include brightness, contrast, gamma (off, low, medium, high), and four color temperature choices (warm, standard, cool, custom). The Quick View menu offers five picture presets (text, gaming, photo, movie, HP Enhance+) and a custom setting. HP Enhance+ is a noise reduction feature with low, medium, and high settings.
The My Display utility contains a wizard that helps you set optimal brightness and contrast levels. It also has a rudimentary calibration tool to optimize grayscale and a partitioning tool that lets you define split screen regions and drag windows to any open partition.
HP comes up short in terms of warranty coverage for their monitors; the 27xi comes with a one year warranty whereas the AOC i2757fh, Asus PB278Q, and Acer T232HL all come with three-year plans.
The 27xi is a strong performer. Colors appeared evenly saturated and uniform across the screen, and they stayed that way when viewed off angle. The IPS panel was able to display all shades of the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test but the darkest shade was not as dark as it should have been. As a result there was some loss of detail in my black and white test photo but the flaw was minor and not what I would consider a deal-breaker.
Small fonts were well formed and easy to read, and HD content was crisp and highly detailed. Watching Men In Black III on this monitor was a pleasure; skin tones looked natural and the bezel-free chassis makes you feel like you’re watching the movie on an HDTV rather than a desktop monitor. The panel’s 7-ms (g-g) pixel response did an adequate job of handling fast motion, but as with the AOC i2757fh, there was very minor blurring in portions of my PS3 gaming tests.
The 27xi used 22-watts of power during testing. That’s less than the AOC i2757fh (30 watts) and the Viewsonic VX2770Smh-LED (30 watts) and right in line with the Dell S2740L (21 watts). It doesn’t have an ECO mode but its low energy consumption and use of recycled packaging earn the 27xi our GreenTech stamp of approval nonetheless.
Great performance and striking good looks make the HP Pavilion 27xi a solid choice for anyone looking to move up to a big-screen monitor. It’s reasonably priced and cheap to operate as well. I’d love to see more features on this model, such as a webcam or the ability to swivel the panel and adjust its height, though. For users who require two HDMI ports, consider our Editors’ Choice for mainstream big-screen monitors, the AOC i2757fh. It also boasts a slick bezel-free design and IPS technology, but it’s a bit easier on the wallet and comes with a three-year warranty.
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|Native Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Supported Video Formats||1080p|
|PC Interfaces||Analog VGA, Digital (DVI-D), HDMI|
|Video Inputs||DVI, HDMI|
|Diagonal Screen Size||27 inches|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc