The Z27k G3 by HP is a 4K monitor with a matte-finish 27-inch IPS display, a compact but highly adjustable stand and a wide range of connectivity options, including USB-C. With that port, the monitor can connect to a laptop but also power it with up to 65 watts (or 100 watts for compatible HP laptops).
Priced at about half a grand, the HP sits at the higher end of the consumer desktop monitor market. It hopes to justify this position with its slim bezels and attractive design, as well as the aforementioned wide range of connectivity options, plus software features like a blue light reduction system that claims to have zero impact on colour accuracy.
Is this HP monitor the right one for you? Can it make T3's best 4K monitors buying guide? We’ve been using this monitor with our work computer for the past couple of weeks to find out.
HP Z27k G3 monitor review: design and setup
Despite its clunky name, the HP Z27k G3 is one stylish monitor. It has thin bezels and the display panel itself is beautifully thin, giving it a modern and minimalist feel. It might not take up any less desk space than other 27-inch monitors, but the slim profile at least makes it seem more compact.
The display sits on a slim but highly adjustable mount that allows for easy tilting, turning rotating and height adjustment. We really like how easy it is to adjust the monitor’s position and angle, with the stand offering just the right amount of resistance in every direction. Crucially, you can press the monitor’s power and menu buttons without accidentally adjusting its position.
The rear of the stand features a simple loop for cable management. While the stand itself is quite thin, the foot it is fixed to is fairly large and takes up a little more desk space than some of the HP's rivals. However, with the foot being completely flat and square, it’s easy to place desk items on there – something that isn’t possible with the arched feet of some monitors.
Most of the monitor’s connections are located on the rear and towards the bottom of the display. These include one HDMI 2.0, a pair of USB-A 3.2, one USB-C, one DisplayPort 1.4 in and one DisplayPort 1.4 out. There’s also an Ethernet port, plus a second pair of USB-A 3.2 ports higher up and on the side of the display, making them more accessible for frequent use. Finally, the power button sits at the lower-right corner, and on the rear of the display in the same corner there’s a button for operating the menu system.
There is no headphone jack or audio output, and the monitor has no speakers either (or a webcam or microphone), so you will need to connect your computer to a separate audio system. Given how poor the audio quality is of most computer monitors, we think doing without speakers entirely is the right move by HP.
All in all, we think this is an attractive monitor that is cleverly designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional.
HP Z27k G3 monitor review: features and picture
Being a 4K monitor, the HP has a maximum resolution for all of its inputs of 3840 x 2160, an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. That latter figure is absolutely fine for regular computer use, video and casual gaming. But gamers with more powerful computers or the latest-generation consoles with their 120Hz option will want to look elsewhere if they want the best visual experience.
Being an IPS panel, viewing angles are excellent and even when sat quite close to the screen we didn’t notice undue amounts of shift in colour or contrast across the display. It is also fairly bright at 350 nits and has a perfectly adaquest 1,000:1 contrast ratio, with a speedy 5ms response time and 99% sRGB colour gamut.
On that note, we think this is a highly accurate display for casual users, but if your job depends on colour accuracy then you should look for a panel that offers 100% RGB. And, while HP says its always-on blue light reduction system, called Eye Ease, doesn’t affect colour accuracy, we would again suggest video and photo editing professionals look carefully at this before buying.
That said, the monitor’s default settings looked very good to us, without a noticeable reduction in blue light. There are nine pre-set colour modes to pick from, or you can adjust the settings to your own preference; we stuck with the default mode but lowered the brightness to help save our eyes from long days staring at word documents.
Being a work-orientated monitor, the display has a glare-free matte finish that seriously cuts down on reflections compared to a glossy equivalent.
As far as features go, the story starts and ends with the Ease Eye system we mentioned earlier. The menu system is simple to navigate with the rear-mounted directional and select buttons, and it takes just a few seconds to switch to a different colour preset, adjust the brightness, or create your own balance of red, green and blue.
HP Z27k G3 monitor review: price and verdict
The HP Z27k G3 is a very good desktop monitor, with 4K resolution, USB-C and a sleek design with highly adjustable stand – and so it should, given the half-a-grand price tag. There are plenty of monitors around for a little less than the HP, but few bundle everything together in quite such an attractive package.
Aside from a higher refresh rate for better gaming, we really can’t pick fault with the Z27k G3. The display panel is bright, sharp and accurate, while the design is slim and stylish, the stand is highly adjustable while feeling very well made, and the Ease Eye system is a welcome extra feature.
You will need to bring your own audio system, webcam and microphone, but those omissions meant HP was able to concentrate on making the display the best it can be, rather than a Jack of all trades that misses the target. If you have the budget, and are happy with 60hz, then you won’t be disappointed.
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