Designed to complement the company’s Z-series workstations, the Z27i is HP’s latest addition to its stable of business displays. It features a 27-inch energy-efficient IPS panel (dubbed IPS Gen 2 by HP) with a 2,560-by-1,440 resolution, an ergonomic stand, and plenty of I/O ports. At $769 (list) it’s a good deal more expensive than a typical 27-inch monitor, but it offers more features than a typical 27-inch monitor, and it’s a solid performer. Unfortunately, its green color accuracy is slightly skewed, and image adjustments are scarce.
Design and Features
The Z27i employs the same familiar matte-black finish found on most business-class displays. The high-resolution (2,560-by-1,440) IPS panel has anti-glare coating and is framed by thin black bezels. The cabinet is 2.6 inches thick, weighs around 16 pounds, and has four VESA-compliant mounting holes for mounting the monitor on a wall or in a kiosk. The bottom bezel contains Z Display and HP logos and five buttons, one of which is a power switch.
The included stand has a trapezoid-shaped base and a multi-position hinge that gives you more than four inches of height and 25 degrees of tilt. It allows you to pivot the panel 90 degrees, and the mounting arm offers 90 degrees of swivel maneuverability.
The rear of the cabinet hold the Z27i’s many video inputs, including DisplayPort, DVI-D, HDMI, and VGA ports. There’s also one upstream USB 3.0 port and two downstream USB 3.0 ports, and an audio input. Two additional USB 3.0 ports are mounted on the left side of the cabinet, facing outward for easy access.
Picture settings are limited. There are the usual brightness, contrast, and color temperature adjustments as well as sharpness, black stretch, and dynamic contrast adjustments, but you don’t get the wealth of settings options that you do with other pro-grade models like the Dell UltraSharp U2713HM and the NEC MultiSync PA271W.
HP covers the Z27i with a three-year warranty. Included in the box are DVI, DisplayPort, and USB cables, and a resource CD containing drivers and a user manual.
The Z27i had no trouble displaying every shade of light and dark gray on the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test. Swatches gradated evenly from dark to light and showed no evidence of tinting.
The Z27i produces bold colors, but out-of-the-box color accuracy was less than ideal. As shown on the CIE chromaticity chart below, red and blue (represented by the colored dots) were relatively close to their ideal coordinates (represented by the boxes) but green was completely outside of its box. Fortunately, the slightly heavy greens do not result in tinting or skewed colors.
The panel’s 8-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response handles video just fine, but I observed some smearing while playing Call Of Duty: Black Ops on the XBox 360 console and also while playing Burnout Paradise on the PS3 console. However, the Z27i isn’t designed for gaming and most likely won’t see much gaming action.
Compared with other 27 inch monitors, the Z27i is quite energy efficient. It consumed 41 watts of power during testing with Power Saving disabled. With power saving set to 10-percent power usage dropped to 32 watts, and at 20 percent it dropped to 29 watts. The 30-percent setting provided the best balance of luminance and energy usage (25 watts), while the 40-percent (22 watts) and 50-percent (18 watts) settings were a bit too dim. By way of comparison, the Planar PXL2790MW used 48 watts, and the Dell U2713HM used 32 watts.
If you’re looking for a highly adjustable workstation-class monitor with a 27-inch IPS panel and a boatload of features, the HP Z27i is a solid choice. It provides very good grayscale reproduction, delivers vibrant colors, and comes with almost every video input you’ll ever need. While it is more expensive than most 27-inch monitors, it is still a few hundred dollars cheaper than the NEC PA271W. That said, the NEC PA271W offers better overall performance and a wealth of image adjustments, which is why it remains our Editors’ Choice for big-screen, professional-grade monitors.
|Native Resolution||2560 x 1440|
|Supported Video Formats||1080p|
|PC Interfaces||Digital (DVI-D), HDMI|
|Video Inputs||DVI, HDMI|
|Diagonal Screen Size||27 inches|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc