HP’s updated premium Z-line 27-inch 4K monitor is a very slick and capable productivity panel.
Fabulous design and build
Super feature set
Limited color coverage
Slight backlight uniformity issue
No HDR support
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If you’re looking for a slick, sleek 27-inch 4K monitor for getting things done and looking great on your desktop, we suggest you get an eyeful of the HP Z27K G3. It’s the latest updated version of HP’s 27-inch monitor from its premium Z-line of screens. And it looks like a million bucks.
That’s thanks to seriously sweet slim-bezel design and premium materials including aluminum. It’s a very nice bit of hardware from an aesthetic perspective. However, the beauty also runs a little deeper than that, thanks to a strong feature set.
As you’d expect, at the core of the HP Z27K G3 is a 4K IPS panel. It’s not a wide-gamut pro panel, nor does it support HDR. Instead, it majors on usability, primarily courtesy of USB Type-C connectivity with power delivery up to 100W, which is the maximum the standard currently supports, plus ethernet passthrough for full docking functionality.
As ever with an HP Z product, it’s not the cheapest option available. But quality costs and the HP Z27K G3’s upscale vibe goes a long way to justifying what is in any case not a huge price premium over the alternatives.
Price and availability
At $544 in the US and £478 in the UK, the HP Z27K G3 isn’t exactly a bargain. But then, there’s no such thing as a cheap 4K monitor with USB-C connectivity. Unfortunately, it remains an expensive addition. The likes of the Philips Brilliance 279P1 and BenQ EW2780U offer a similar USB-C proposition for less money. But neither are nearly as stylish as the HP. Meanwhile, the Dell S2722QC, Dell U2720QM and LG 27UK850 are all more expensive.
Design and features
Slick design has long been the differentiator for HP’s Z-line of products and the HP Z27K G3 definitely delivers that signature premium aesthetic and feel. For starters, it’s a genuine slim-bezel monitor on all four sides of the panel, where many screens have big, ugly chins.
The quality of the aluminum stand is also exceptional, both in terms of the cool alloy feel and the polished engineering of how it clips into the rear of the panel chassis. The stand is also fully adjustable, including rotation into portrait mode. Overall, the HP Z27K G3 looks very expensive without being showy and would complement pretty much any work environment.
What it’s not, however, is a monitor aimed at high-end content creation. It has a decent 4K 27-inch IPS panel. But the specs aren’t hugely impressive. Inevitably, it’s 60Hz. The lack of HDR support is likewise no surprise on this display type. But the 1,000:1 contrast and 99 percent coverage of the sRGB space are a touch pedestrian.
More impressive is the 100W power delivery of the USB Type-C interface. That’s the maximum supported by current gen USB-C connections and means you can hook up a pretty powerful laptop, actually use its performance and not find the battery draining on you as you might a display limited to 60W or less.
Panel size 27-inch
Panel type IPS
Resolution 3,840 x 2,160
Pixel response 5ms
color coverage 99% sRGB
Refresh rate 60Hz
Vesa 100mm x 100mm
Inputs DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, USB-C with 100W PD
The HP Z27K G3 also has an ethernet port with support for passthrough over USB-C. The upshot of which is full single-cable docking, which is exactly what you want and makes life so much more pleasant when it comes to landing and your desk, hooking up and getting down to doing something productive in an instant. Old school docking solutions or - heaven forbid - having to wrestle with a rats nest of cables is absolutely hateful by comparison.
Connectivity is rounded out with not only HDMI and DisplayPort, but also DisplayPort out for daisy chaining. From a usability perspective, the HP Z27K G3 has things very nicely covered.
As this type of SDR panel goes, the HP Z27K G3 is pretty punchy. Rated at 350 nits, there’s plenty of zing. If anything, the contrast looks subjectively better than you might expect given the modest 1,000:1 specification, too, and there’s little if any of that horrid IPS glow that used to be common on this panel type.
If there is an issue it involves backlight uniformity. The HP Z27K G3 isn’t hugely flawed in this regard, but there is just a little noticeable dimming in the very corners and edges of the panel, which is disappointing. Still, it’s a nicely calibrated screen in other regards with no evidence of compression across all test images and scales.
Of course, any 27-inch 4K monitor offers good pixel density. Fonts are super crisp and sharp. That’s true in Windows, but MacOS looks particularly sweet on this display type. As for pixel response, this is actually a fairly quick panel, with multiple-levels of user configurable overdrive allowing you to settle on the best compromise between raw speed and the downsides of ramping things up including overshoot, which does appear at the fastest settings.
Where the HP Z27K G3 is less impressive concerns color fidelity. The lack of HDR support is no biggie. If anything, it’s a relief to not have to report how this display notionally supports HDR but can’t actually render an HDR image, which is the case for most so-called “HDR” monitors right now.
But if you’re after something seriously color accurate for serious content creation, the HP Z27K G3 isn’t an obvious choice. The 99 percent coverage of the basic sRGB gamut isn’t hugely impressive. That said, along with sRGB, the USD does provide a preset for the DCI-P3 gamut, albeit coverage is fairly limited at just 85 percent.
A good PC monitor is all about delivering on remit, not being all things to all computing users. And the HP Z27K G3 does just that. As a productivity tool in the 27-inch 4K segment, it’s very sweet indeed.
The feature set, including USB-C with 100W of power delivery and networking support is great, the styling and engineering quality if anything are even better. As for image quality, the HP Z27K G3 isn’t outstanding with limited color coverage and a slight issue with backlight uniformity.
However, it still delivers that crispy, sharp 4K experience and the IPS panel is pretty punchy by SDR standard. All told, the slight image-related issues aren’t enough to spoil a very appealing overall package that’s also competitively priced.
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