Many PC enthusiasts have recently taken a renewed interest in monitor technology. This is because they think that design and aesthetics are just as important as the panel itself. This has been noticed by the manufacturers, who are ensuring that monitors are being produced to satisfy the demand.
Long gone are the days where we used to see beige boxes and lines of identical looking frames. Today a monitor needs to look amazing as well as displaying the best possible picture.
So, what is the best way to make sure that a monitor stands out from the rest of the thousands of available screens today?
The answer that many companies came up with was to simply have a millimeter thin bezel and ultra-thin design. HP realized this at an early stage, and in 2016, they released the HP 27es, which we have tested in this in-depth HP 27es Review.
But before we get to that, let’s take a quick look at…
- 1 The Benefits of Bezel-less Monitors
- 2 Image Quality
- 3 Performance
- 4 Design and connectivity
- 5 Price and similar monitors
- 6 HP 27es Review Pros and Cons
- 7 Looking For More Superb Monitor Options?
- 8 HP 27es Review Conclusion
The Benefits of Bezel-less Monitors
Despite giving the monitor a personalized appearance, thin bezels also provide real benefits to average PC users, as well as enthusiasts and professionals. This advantage occurs when you utilize these monitors to set up more than one display.
By simply removing the bigger, bulkier bezeled monitors and replacing them with thinner ones side by side, you get the illusion of one massive ultra-thin screen.
Bigger than it is…
Monitors like the HP 27es don’t only give you a better viewing experience when multiple monitors are set up but also greatly improves the viewing experience with a single monitor setup. That is simply because the screen actually feels bigger than it really is.
The HP 27es is a monitor that was created for everyday use. It can be used for gaming, professional work, and casual usage, as we shall find out.
A superb looking monitor…
If you value elegance above all else when choosing any electronic device, and want something incredible to look at, then ultra-slim monitors are a must. They somehow manage to feel more modern and powerful than they often actually are. They also save space on your desk, which is always a nice bonus.
So, let’s take a closer look to decide if the HP 27es is worth your while…
Does the 27es still hold up against its younger competitors?
The HP 27es is, as the name indicates, a 27” monitor, and was created for everyday use and was very popular when HP first released it. The ultra-thin design and the glossy screen surface was something most people hadn’t seen before. Since it has a few years behind it, we decided to compare it to modern monitors to see if it still has what it takes. And for reference, the exact model we are reviewing is the 2016 HP 27es.
So, let’s get to it…
The 27es features an IPS panel. The IPS technology has improved a lot during the last couple of years, which makes the panel technology of the 27es a bit out of date. It still offers accurate and vibrant colors, though. And the viewing angle of 178-degrees is still something to be reckoned with and is actually a lot better than many modern TN panel monitors.
Since it is an older design, it only supports 8-bit color depth through dithering. This results in the 27es only covering 96% of the RGB spectrum or 16.7 million colors. This may sound a lot, but it makes it less than ideal for color-critical work, even if the colors are both vibrant and consistent.
However, luckily, if you are looking for a monitor for professional photo-editing, there are a few options on the market in the same price range as the HP 27es.
Lower pixel density…
The screen resolution is 1920 x 1080. Full HD, of course, but on a large screen like a 27-incher, it results in a rather low pixel-per-inch ratio. 81PPI to be precise, which is not very impressive by modern standards. Compared to a 24-inch 1080p with 92 PPI, or compared to a 27-inch 1440p with 1080 PPI, the details are a bit smudgy and pixelated.
The dynamic contrast ratio on the monitor is 10000000:1. This gives you a high number of shades between black and white, resulting in accurate color reproduction. However, the brightness only offers you 250-nits, which is very low. Compare it to some modern-day monitors like the ACER XFA240, which has 352 nits.
It is more than enough for everyday use under normal viewing conditions. But thanks to the reflective screen surface, you will need to dim the screen if you sit in a room with a lot of lighting or natural daylight.
The 27es delivers excellent performance even though it’s “only” a 1080p monitor.
A known phenomenon when it comes to IPS panels is the glowing around the corners of the panel. Luckily the IPS glow on the 27es is minimal and hardly noticeable. It will become more obvious in darker rooms, though, especially if you are watching movies or videos with a lot of dark content.
Furthermore, there are no dead/stuck pixels, which sometimes can be noticed on cheaper IPS panels. The input lag is around 11ms, which makes it less than ideal for gamers, but for average users, it’s hardly noticeable.
Not the best gaming option…
Speaking of gaming, the 60Hz frame rate is a bit low to suit any dedicated gamer. Also, considering there are cheaper monitors available that offer up to 75Hz with the AMD FreeSync, there might be better options out there. You can even find 144Hz monitors within the same price range.
Don’t get us wrong, it will work for gaming, but it’s just not ideal. We tested it with Battlefield, and it worked just fine; although it was a little slow on the response time, the colors and landscapes looked amazing.
The response rate on the 27es is 7ms. This is a bit slower than recommended for gamers. 4ms is what we would recommend, but there was no particularly noticeable trailing of fast-moving objects in the games we tested.
Design and connectivity
Four hotkeys for the OSD, On-Screen Display, navigation are located on the bottom bezel of the screen. This is where you can adjust the settings, changing brightness, contrast, color, etc. There is even a saving picture preset, which allows you to save your preferred picture mode for each viewing environment.
There are no built-in speakers or headphones jack, so you need to either connect your sound devices to your soundcard or use the onboard sound device on the motherboard. Not many people use the speakers on their monitors anyway but, for the price you actually have to pay for the 27es, we would have liked to see some speakers. Or at least a headphone jack.
Wide viewing angle…
The stand is flat and quite thin, but it feels sturdy and stable. You can only tilt the monitor 25 degrees, which is sufficient, but again, it would have been nice to be able to tilt it more. However, it does have 178-degree vertical and horizontal viewing angles, which gives you a clear view from multiple vantage points.
The connectivity options include two HDMI 1.4 ports and a single VGA port. Not nearly enough for the modern gamer. The lack of DisplayPorts and USB ports is quite disappointing but don’t forget that this is an “old” monitor. The screen is not VESA mount compatible either, so you can’t mount it on your wall or any fancy stands.
Great-breaking at the time, but…
Today many monitors have the same ultra-slim design as the 27es, which makes it quite ordinary. But some features still make it worthwhile. And it looks amazing.
Price and similar monitors
The HP 27es is quite expensive, especially considering the specs. There are many better and cheaper options currently on the market. These include the ASUS VA24DQ, which would be a better choice if you are a gamer since it has a higher pixel density, AMD FreeSync up to 75Hz, a DisplayPort, higher RGB spectrum, and more features for a lot less.
But then again, the ASUS is not a bezel-less monitor. You could also take a look at the HP 27er, which is almost identical to the 27es, with only a few minor differences.
HP 27es Review Pros and Cons
- Great color quality.
- Glossy screen surface.
- Slim design.
- Low pixel density.
- No DisplayPort.
- No AMD FreeSync.
- Not VESA mount compatible.
Looking For More Superb Monitor Options?
Then check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Gaming Monitor under 300 Dollars, our Best Ultrawide Monitor reviews, the Best Gaming Monitors under 200 Dollars, the Best Cheap Gaming Monitors under 300 Dollars, or if you happen to be on a really tight budget, take a look at the Best Gaming Monitors under 100 Dollars you can buy in 2020.
Or if you’re after even more gaming monitor reviews, then head on over to our comprehensive our ASUS VG248QE Gaming Monitor review, Aorus AD27QD review, our AOC G2590fx review, our Samsung C32HG70 review, and our ASUS VG279Q review.
HP 27es Review Conclusion
The HP 27es is a great performing, superb looking monitor. The design is flawless, and the ultra-slim design shows off power and prestige. If you are looking to make your desk look sleek and modern, then you should definitely consider the 27es.
But, to be honest, it is very expensive for what it is. Even though it has a glossy surface and was definitely an eye-catching display that stood out from the crowd in its glory days, there are better options available today.
It is hard to recommend to anyone, apart from the average PC user. Gamers can find a lot better monitors, and photo-editors won’t be satisfied with the RGB spectrum. But the lack of both USB and DisplayPorts is a big letdown, especially if you want to connect multiple displays to your computer.