Contrast and Brightness

Monitors for desktops don’t need the very high brightness of a tablet or smartphone, since they are used indoors. HP rates the Z27q as a 300 cd/m2 display, and I was able to hit almost exactly that at 296 cd/m2 which is plenty for indoor use. Minimum brightness was 50 cd/m2 so there is quite a bit of dynamic range there to find a suitable brightness for pretty much any office space.

White Level -  i1DisplayPro

Black levels are pretty consistent with IPS desktop panels, but overall they are a bit too high. Techniques like photo-aligning the backlight and panel can bring some big gains in black levels, but HP is not using such a panel. As such, the overall black levels are less than amazing. Contrast is ultimately not as important as proper gamma for this type of display, but still it would be nice to see better in expensive desktop panels at this point since the technology is available.

Black Level - i1DisplayPro

This gives us a pretty paltry contrast ratio of 833:1, which is a long way from the 1800:1 seen in some tablets and notebooks. HP is clearly ok with this performance though since it matches the Z27x almost exactly.

Contrast Ratio -  i1DisplayPro

Ultimately even though this is a low price for a 5K monitor, it is still far from inexpensive. This is targeted more towards professionals who are after a better overall gamma curve and color accuracy, and consumers may want to stick to a more traditional panel with better contrast for things like watching movies.

Gamut Options

HP offers the very high gamut Z27x display, but the Z27q trades off that gamut for a higher resolution. Still, it can cover both sRGB and AdobeRGB (as well as Rec. 709) and there are built in options for picking the color gamut. The Z27q has a 14-bit LUT, but it is not user accessible, and is calibrated at the factory. Once dialed in, there is no way to adjust it after the fact, so people who are after the utmost in accuracy will likely have to spend a bit more.

Below you can see the gamut options for the Z27q. The additional gamut of AdobeRGB is easily achieved by this panel.

sRGB Gamut

AdobeRGB Gamut

The built in calibration is quite impressive, with the Z27q nicely matching both the sRGB and AdobeRGB spaces with no issues. Some additional options would be nice though, especially DCI/P3, if only because the gamut is likely covered by this display anyway, but there is no way to set the panel to that range.

Introduction and Design sRGB Calibration


View All Comments

  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    And all those people look at their shiny 4k monitors and go, "well shit."

    It's good to see some 5k monitors hitting the market, even if there are some nagging issues like in this case.
  • xenol - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    Not really. The PPI is too small to use at 1:1 at typical monitor viewing distances, leaving the effective resolution somewhere between 2560x1440 and 4K. 4K is barely on the edge where 27" is just too small to comfortably read at typical monitor viewing distances.

    It'd be going Nelson Muntz over someone who got a 1080p 5" smartphone and a 1440p 5" one came out.
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    No one in their right mind would use such a monitor in default scaling. I thought it was commonly understood that you're supposed to set dpi scaling at about 200%. That's why the dimensions are literally doubled as compared to the classic 1440p for this 27" size. Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    If you aren't using it at close to 1:1 scaling then that means the extra resolution is wasted on your eyes. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    Nonsense. I'm using a 24" 4k screen at 175% scaling. It means I get more desktop real-estate than a 1080p monitor, text rendering is extremely good and in Lightroom I can check an image for focus without having to zoom in to 100%. It gives me a much, much better idea of whether or not a photo is suitable for printing. Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    I never mentioned comparing to 1080p. I'm comparing to native res. If your eyes were good enough to use it at 125% scaling or 100% scaling you would get even more real estate, nor have to zoom as much! Basically 75% of the resolution is being wasted on your eyes and probably more for other people. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    That's only true for the shrinking subset of software that's not DPI aware (or games where you lack the GPU power to run native). For anything that does work, you don't get the 100% version scaled up and full of artifacts; you get things drawn with more pixels so they look much sharper. The 3200x1800 screen on my XPS13 (275DPI - 250% scaling) looks beautiful in every day use because it uses more than 6 times (2.5^2 - 6.25) as many pixels to draw characters; making them much sharper. My next major tech purchase is probably going to be a 5k monitor and 2 of next years flagship GPUs (so I can game at native resolution) and have the same viewing quality on my desktop. Reply
  • blzd - Thursday, December 24, 2015 - link

    Gaming at native 5k? That's a lot of money to play at 30 FPS. Reply
  • ethanolson - Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - link

    It's simple.

    a) set the desktop scaling to match a piece of paper at full zoom in Acrobat and Word so document viewing is correct, and icon size and placement is completely functional.

    b) enjoy the added resolution (and, in this case, color accuracy) for media work, smooth renderings of text in documents and the web.

    c) enjoy the 27" for overall desktop real estate even with the desktop scaled.
  • javishd - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    No no no. You goofball, the point of high dpi isn't to make everything tiny, it's to make everything sharp. You want 2x scaling on this screen. Text would be readable by normal person, same size as the 27 1440p display. The text, along with everything else would appear much sharper due to high dpi. The same thing that's happening on your phone or rMBP if you have one. Reply

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