HP has delivered a 27-inch gaming monitor that is so infuriatingly good that we had a complete meltdown.
Today, as a gamer, you no longer have to compromise. Just a few short years ago, you couldn't really get a 4K gaming monitor with an IPS panel capable of delivering a responsive, lightning-fast image at the same pace as a VA monitor, especially if you didn't want to have to sell your car, and your house. But nowadays that's no problem at all and in the last four months alone we at Gamereactor have rated several really nice 4K IPS gaming monitors, and the finest of them all is the Omen 27u.
Here at the editorial office we're fond of HP Omen's gadgets in general and have rarely made any secret of it. Their sleek, stylishly minimalist design combined with the right priorities on performance usually suit us as gamers very well, and offer products that unlike a lot in this segment just work really well, without a hitch. That's our experience and that's our impression of the newly released 27u gaming monitor, which is overwhelmingly good.
The 27u 4K is, of course, a 27-inch monitor in 16:9 ratio based on an IPS panel with 4K resolution at a frame rate of 144Hz. It has a HDMI 2.0 port, a DP 1.4 input, a HDMI 2.1 input, 450 cd/m2 in brightness, 10-bit colour depth, Free-sync/G-sync, 1,000:1 in contrast ratio and it weighs 7.9 kilograms mounted on the included table stand. Everything the serious gamer could possibly need. The dynamic contrast of this panel also pushes HDR contrast up to 6400:1, making HDR look really nice. It also has an expanded colour gamut of 91% of DCI-P3, which tops pretty much everything else in this product category and the response time is 1ms while the amount of input lag is 4ms. In other words, it's a very good gaming monitor in theory.
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It's also even better in practice.
The design, of course, fits perfectly with the way HP Omen has cleaned up its products over the past two years and the 27u is a good-looking screen, all the way through. It's minimalist, sleek, has a fancy chassis, thin frame, and a sturdily built base that doesn't need a lot of screws or tools to mount. I like where and how the inputs themselves are placed, and I like that the centre of the back shares the same cubic "diamond" shape as the bottom of the base, which is basically what the outer edges of the Omen logo look like. There's a small light loop built into the back of the monitor, which allows for a simpler and more subtle form of static Ambilight, casting light onto the desktop as well as the monitor's base, and this is a nice and simple touch that I appreciate. The monitor stand itself is super sturdily made and it weighs nearly four kilos and can be raised and lowered by about 13 centimetres up or down.
The picture itself is brilliant. Stunning throughout. There's really no easier way to describe how this monitor performs. I'd go so far as to say that in my 22 years at Gamereactor, I've never seen a computer monitor with such perfect values out of the box. Gamma, colour neutrality, greyscale, blackness... The 27u is brilliantly calibrated out of the box, which is downright unusual and something that initially made me more than a little surprised. Now, I'm hardly ISF certified and my calibrations of screens we test are obviously not professional measures but having tested screens and TV monitors for 20 years and processed some 200,000 images for print, over the years my colour vision has grown to become pretty damn polished.
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The image on offer here is clear but lightning fast when needed and the colours have body without being too restrained. It's very good, and I think this monitor is just as brilliant for gaming as it is for office work in 4K, as I simply disable HDR and run it in the default mode for SDR. The pixel density and edge sharpness are magnificent, and so is the uniformity of the panel. If you're looking for a monitor that can best take your gaming to the next level and find that 32" or larger, gets too big, this is by far the best choice you can make today. The Omen 27u offers a clean, smooth, clear picture with superb values straight out of the box. Sure, it performs like it costs, but I would undoubtedly crown this the best 27-inch on the market right now.