HP Omen 27i Monitor Tempts TN Gamers With 165Hz IPS

HP omen 27i

(Image credit: HP)

HP knows players seeking the best gaming monitors for speed have traditionally stuck with TN, accepting a sacrifice in image quality. But the vendor is hoping to change that with the release of the HP Omen 27i today. With a Nano IPS panel from LG, 165 Hz refresh rate and G-Sync Compatibility, it’s easy to see why someone might break TN tradition to game on this display.

HP Omen 27i Specs

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Panel Type / Backlight Nano IPS / LED
Screen Size / Aspect Ratio 27 inches / 16:9
Max Resolution & Refresh Rate 2560 x 1440 @ 165 Hz
Color98% DCI-P3
Response Time (GTG) 1ms with overdrive
Brightness 350 nits
Contrast 1,000:1
PortsHDMI, DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0 upstream, USB 3.0 downstream, 3.5mm headphone jack

The Omen 27i will debut at $500 on May 4 with 1440p resolution and 1ms GTG response time with overdrive (standard response time wasn't provided). That price puts it near the middle of other 27-inch IPS monitors hitting 165 Hz currently on the market. A quick glance showed prices typically running from around $400-$650 as of writing. 

(Image credit: HP)

The Omen 27i marks the first Omen gaming monitor to use an IPS panel, with prior models typically opting for TN or high contrast VA for its larger displays. More specifically, the new display uses LG’s Nano IPS panel tech, which uses nanoparticles on the LED backlight to reach greater color coverage than traditional IPS (the Omen 27i is supposed to cover 98% of the DCI-P3 color space). 

"With higher refresh rates becoming available on IPS panels, more gamers are switching to higher quality images over a traditional TN panel," Erik Galyean, NPI content manager, gaming displays and accessories at HP, said during a press briefing. He added that gamers are also playing multiple game genres. While a gamer might prioritize fast refresh rates and response times for FPS titles, image quality is more important in RTS and sports games and especially RPG titles. With IPS (and VA) now hitting refresh rates once only achievable by TN panels, HP’s looking to capture a market of gamers with display needs besides just speed. 

(Image credit: HP)

The 27-incher claims a max brightness of 350 nit, and without VA, contrast ratio is just typical at 1,000:1. But what IPS does offer over VA is good viewing angles. And based on the images HP provided of the Omen 27i, it’s the vendor wouldn’t mind if you bought two or three of these for a multi-display setup. 

During its press briefing, HP discussed hopes for the Omen 27i to appeal to a broad market of gamers, pointing to January 2019 IHS global data showing 46% of gamers using a 27-inch display (the majority), a number that Galyean said has been “steadily rising since 2017.” It also noted 59% of gamers playing at 1080p and 38% at QHD, which could suggest room for upgrades. 

Design Tweaks

(Image credit: HP)

Prior Omen gaming monitors, such as the HP Omen X 25f, have used a diamond-shaped base, but the Omen 27i is extra flashy with an RGB diamond on the back that holds the electronic components, as well as the port hub for easy access. Gamers can ever so carefully feed cables down from that diamond through the monitor’s dual-pillar stand that also has 130mm of total height adjustment range. 

The monitor also features RGB lighting that can match the color of your system or what’s on screen. Since it’s on the back of the screen, this light show won’t be visible unless it’s bright enough to cast a glow on a nearby wall. But the RGB also helps light up the port bank when needed, (although not in the cool motion-activated way like with the HP Omen X 65 Emperium). According to HP, the RGB can also help fight eye fatigue during late night gaming, as the ambient lighting “casts a glow onto the base and stand, diffusing the bright light of the display.” Of course, reducing the screen's brightness is also a tried-and-true method. 

(Image credit: HP)

The 27-inch gaming monitor space is a hot one, and HP isn’t the only one readying 165 Hz QHD displays in the form factor this year. We’ll see if IPS, RGB and a handy USB bank are enough to stand out.  

Scharon Harding

Scharon Harding has a special affinity for gaming peripherals (especially monitors), laptops and virtual reality. Previously, she covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.

  • setx
    How much nV is paying to continue mentioning the technology that obviously lost the format war (G-Sync)?