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HP EliteDisplay E271i Review: Solid Performance From A 27" Screen

Is HP's EliteDisplay E271i A Budget User’s Ideal Monitor?

It's evident to us that you don't need a boutique display to get high performance on your desktop. Even though this is a business-class product, it boasts superb build quality, excellent results in almost all of our benchmarks, and a competitive price. While you forgo the higher pixel density of a QHD monitor, this is still a 27" screen for about half of the money. Priced around $350, HP is packing quite a lot into the EliteDisplay E271i's package. And with little to no movement in LCD prices right now, that strong value is likely to endure.

As far as benchmarks go, the E271i’s single greatest achievement is its excellent contrast. In fact, it delivers the best on/off result we’ve ever measured. The screen also delivers fantastic out-of-box grayscale accuracy and decent color performance. Even though you’re not paying a calibrated-at-the-factory price, you’re getting quality that comes very close. Our only complaint is below-average gamma values. This could easily be fixed with a firmware update, should HP decide to issue one. For business and entertainment use, however, we expect few would find fault with this new monitor.

Another impressive extra you get with the E271i is HP’s Desktop Assistant software. This tool was bundled with many of the company's past displays, but this was our first opportunity to test drive it thoroughly. Having the ability to manage monitor settings from the desktop is much more convenient than using the OSD. And the by-eye calibration feature integrated into the package is unique, in our experience. We prefer making adjustments to the display directly, rather than creating look-up tables for our calibrations. But if you don't have access to meters and test patterns, HP’s tools are really the next best thing. Then again, we found that the E271i is set up well enough from the factory that you'll probably want to set brightness to a comfortable level and leave the other options alone. Out-of-the-box performance is just that good.

More superficially, the updated styling is a welcome change to HP’s industrial design, and we feel the look appeals equally to enthusiasts and business users. Moreover, the fit and finish of the materials continues HP’s tradition of well-made hardware. The E271i is equally at home in a cubicle as it is in an enthusiast’s techno-lair. We suspect it will also stand up well to being moved around. Transporting gear to a LAN party challenges durability, and in our experience, this monitor is up to the task.

For those who spend most of their time using their computers for business rather than entertainment, the FHD resolution is not really a shortcoming. And if you’re gaming on a graphics card sporting less than the latest bleeding-edge GPU, 1920x1080 might actually be a good thing. Gaming at 2560x1440 requires a fair bit of additional horsepower, and that means spending more money on a higher-end GPU. Budget-oriented gaming rig builders take note: HP’s E271i is worthy of your consideration.

  • Someone Somewhere
    I'd like to see what the difference in the actual manufacturing costs/panel prices are for QHD vs FHD for large screens - pixel density is certainly not a problem.

    I'd guess it's merely a chicken/egg issue - people won't buy high-res screens until they are cheap and they won't be cheap until lots of people buy them.
    Reply
  • realibrad
    11518024 said:
    I'd like to see what the difference in the actual manufacturing costs/panel prices are for QHD vs FHD for large screens - pixel density is certainly not a problem.

    I'd guess it's merely a chicken/egg issue - people won't buy high-res screens until they are cheap and they won't be cheap until lots of people buy them.

    That is the beauty of Capitalism. The rich have more than enough money, and will be more likely to spend money on something new. Companies wanting to maximize profits, try and make production cheaper. When company X makes production cheaper than company Y, then Y undercuts X and yay cheaper products.
    Reply
  • rolli59
    I wonder if they will come out with a similar IPS 23-24" monitor, I find that is the perfect size for me.
    Reply
  • rezzahd
    Honestly from what I can tell this display is worth the money you pay. I might just have to pick up two of these and see what I can't do with them.
    Reply
  • clownbaby
    meh, meh, meh, meh, meh. Toms, please leave these bland, generic products on the shelves of staples and office max where they belong. There is NOTHING impressive, interesting, or even noteworthy about a 27" 1920x1080 monitor today. I don't care if it makes gremlins when wet. At that resolution and size, it's just not going to be a good looking screen. Reading text on 27" 1920x1080 monitors SUCKS.

    Aside from the fact that compared to the QHD monitors you can pick up for under $300 this is garbage, it's just a silly format. Dated resolution on a cheap panel that's too big.
    Reply
  • Bondfc11
    I have 3 2560x1440 Overlord Tempests. Would NEVER use a 1080 panel again - especially an IPS. And TN panels? Forget it - IPS is so pretty at 1440.
    Reply
  • rezzahd
    11519571 said:
    meh, meh, meh, meh, meh. Toms, please leave these bland, generic products on the shelves of staples and office max where they belong. There is NOTHING impressive, interesting, or even noteworthy about a 27" 1920x1080 monitor today. I don't care if it makes gremlins when wet. At that resolution and size, it's just not going to be a good looking screen. Reading text on 27" 1920x1080 monitors SUCKS.

    Aside from the fact that compared to the QHD monitors you can pick up for under $300 this is garbage, it's just a silly format. Dated resolution on a cheap panel that's too big.

    I understand where you are come from bot not every is looking for an extreme like that. If I had one of those I wouldn't complain. The monitor I currently have is better than this one, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't use this monitor. Tom's I believe is just trying to cater to everyone they can. So i say this kind of review is good for everyone.
    Reply
  • jn77
    This is a massive 27 inch monster sitting with in 12-18 inches of your face while sitting at a desk.

    Why on earth would anyone want 1920x1080 on a screen 27 inches diagonal? Are you looking for pot holes between the pixels?

    The reason I say this is, I work with media all day, We currently create, edit and produce 4k video and store it for transfer to quad layer blu-ray disc's (200GB).

    Also, if you use any digital camera over 8MP, you will get close to a 1:1 pixel ratio at 4K resolutions.

    We want to see a continuous image and seeing the gaps between the pixels is distracting.

    24 inch monitors should have a minimum 4k pixel resolution, 708 might be able to get away with 4k on a 27 inch, but 8k would be better.

    Now, lets look at the other side, How much would a 24 inch 1920x1080 flat trinitron cost you back in the day? $6,000 ? $12,000?
    Reply
  • griptwister
    They should review QHD monitors. Not this crap.
    Reply
  • Hakumisoso Terror
    The first good product i have seen from hp
    Reply