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HP Z27q 27-inch 5K Professional Monitor Review

Just as we're getting acquainted with Ultra HD, HP has upped the ante with a 5K monitor. At 5120x2880 the Z27q puts a whole lotta pixels on the screen, 14,745,600 in fact. Today we check it out in our lab.

Packaging, Physical Layout And Accessories

The Z27q ships in a right-sized carton with more than sufficient protection for the contents. Rigid foam holds the panel in place and the upright and base are already assembled for you. Just snap the two parts together and you're ready to go.

The cable bundle includes exactly what's necessary for the monitor's jack-pack. An IEC power cord provides the current to the internal power supply. A USB 3.0 cable is included along with two DisplayPort connectors. You'll need both of them to run the display at its full 5120x2880 native resolution. Rounding out the package is a CD with documentation and software and a calibration data sheet unique to each sample.

Product 360

There is nothing about the Z27q's styling that lets you know it's different from other monitors. If you placed it next to other business-class displays, it would not stand out. The aesthetic is HP's usual minimalist industrial look, which uses a nice blend of straight lines with gentle compound curves, rounded corners and no sharp edges. Everything is made from high-quality textured plastic and the material befits an expensive product.

The base and upright are solid pieces with firm movements for tilt, height and swivel. There is no portrait mode. The AMD FirePro M6100 graphics in our test system supports portrait mode at the monitor's native resolution, so if you want to use it that way, you'll have to install an aftermarket mount.

The screen's anti-glare layer is very competent at rejecting reflections even in a brightly-lit room. There is no hint of grain or softness in the image, however. Clarity is superb and you can't see the pixel gaps even when you look very closely.

Aside from the bezel you won't see any straight lines on the panel or the upright. Even the base sports a gentle curve from side to side. The Z27q isn't too thick and provides a flat area in its mount if you decide to hang it on the wall. There are two recessed USB 3.0 ports on the left side and two more on the bottom.

Ventilation is accomplished by a single large strip across the back. Even when running all day the Z27q barely exceeds room temperature. Considering it typically draws 75 watts, that's a pretty good endorsement for its cooling solution. You can see the cutouts for the side and bottom-facing input panels.

Inputs consist of just two DisplayPort 1.2 ports. You'll need to connect them both to achieve the Z27q's full 5120x2880 native resolution. That means most mainstream video cards won't cut it. HP has certified most products with AMD FirePro or Nvidia Quadro chipsets will work. We used an HP Zbook 17 G2 with a FirePro M6100 board installed for our tests, and discovered a GTX Titan X will also work.

  • Xajel
    So, how long till we will see a 21:9 version of these... the 21:9 version will be good, as it will you give you the 21:9 ratio and still be able to view a full 4K resolution in the same time, as 21:9 version will have 2160 vertical resolution with 5K width... final res is 5120x2160
    Reply
  • fmyhr
    No measurement of power consumption? Did you lose your Kill-A-Watt?
    Reply
  • Tanquen
    Rent is too damn high!

    27" is too damn small! (So is anything under 34" for 4 and 5k screens.)
    Reply
  • thor220
    No measurement of power consumption? Did you lose your Kill-A-Watt?

    This is a professional monitor and one of the few 5k screens on the market. Power consumption does not matter.
    Reply
  • utroz
    You would need a microscope to see the pixels on this bad boy!!
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    Ping me when this resolution is available in 32"...and there are GPUs powerful enough to run games at that resolution since even SLI 980Tis get taken to their knees in 4K in games like Witcher 3.
    Reply
  • Bghead8che
    Too bad regarding the Adobe RGB test. Otherwise a pretty decent monitor, especially for the price. You wonder if the Adobe RGB issue is specific to the exact monitor they tested or it affects all HP Z27q models?
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    Ping me when this resolution is available in 32"...and there are GPUs powerful enough to run games at that resolution since even SLI 980Tis get taken to their knees in 4K in games like Witcher 3.

    I have a 34 inch Dell Monitor, 21:9,, rather than wait until the GPUs will become powerful enough i simply temporarily switched to playing AAA games on the XBox One. So i have the monitor for general PC activity and play Xbox on it as well.

    Realistically it is simply too much to drop all that money on the monitor and a GPU, of the two i think GPU can wait.
    Reply
  • Karsten75
    You say "... it will send a true 10-bit signal to the display."

    That is one of my perennial questions. How to verify that when looking at a monitor's specifications. Can you provide any guidance in that area? I lnow that 10-bit (or 8-bit) is important for the entire path of image production, but I do not always know how to ensure that.
    Reply
  • none12345
    The more 200ppi screens the merrier. As far as processing power for games...ya we arent there yet, but we should have gpus later this year that will be fine on that res. I wouldnt touch this screen tho because its only 60hz. Not touching 4k till there are a bunch of 120hz monitors out. All thought id really like an OLED screen next, id really like to see 10bit per channel 120hz OLED become average for monitors.
    Reply