HP Pavilion 27xw Review - Armchair Empire

HP Pavilion 27xw Review

HP 27XW Gaming Monitor

HP Pavilion 27xw Review
8.1 Our Rating
Picture9.5
Performance7
Versatility8
Price8

One of the most stylish monitors out there, the HP Pavilion 27xw looks great and produces an equally stunning picture. It might not be the best choice for competitive gamers seeking fast motion processing, but if you’re into open-world games and detailed environments, the HP Pavilion 27xw is a no brainer.

HP Pavilion 27xw Quick Specs
Screen Size 27 inches
Resolution 1920×1080 Full HD
Panel Type IPS
Refresh Rate 60Hz
Response Time 8ms
Input Types VGA, 2x HDMI

Design & Specifications

I’ll come right out and say it – it looks like Apple designed this HP monitor. HP very clearly wanted to mimic the clean, bright, minimalist look of most Apple displays, and I have to admit that they did a great job with it. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been so taken by the mere physical appearance of a monitor before.

The 27xw is advertised as “bezel-less,” and does come very close to the mark – the top and side bezels are razor thin and glossy black, fitting right in with the rest of the display. The bottom bezel is a tad thicker and is a pleasing silver color. The stand is likewise silver and makes use of an open air wedge design – two elegant legs extend down from the display, connect with an oblong base at the bottom. As is often the case with designs like this, the monitor is rather limited in its adjustability – you can only tilt it slightly forwards and back, and it does not swivel, rotate, or adjust vertically.

There is just a few buttons located on the frame, all very subtle and slim in nature. The entire monitor oozes “premium,” and will bring some class to any setup, gaming or otherwise. It’s the type of display you’d expect to see sitting in the design lab of a fancy liberal arts school, and it looks damn good.

The 27xw features a glossy 27 inch IPS panel, with your standard 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. It can operate at a maximum measures brightness of 250 nits, which is more than bright enough for any and all users. As for inputs, you have a VGA input along with two HDMI ports. The double HDMI inputs are a welcomed addition and one that many manufacturers seem to be missing the memo on. Kudos to HP for that!

Including the stand, the HP 27xw measures 6.5 x 24.5 x 17.9 inches and weighs 12.3 pounds. The entire monitor is exceedingly slim and fits on any desk out there. It would look especially at home if you have a minimalist setup, to begin with!

Sale
HP Pavilion 27xw 27-in IPS LED Backlit Monitor
  • Amazing angles: Share consistent high-color fidelity with In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology across a 27-inch diagonal screen. A stunning vantage point for everyone, from almost anywhere
  • Distinctively modern and accessible: The contemporary thin profile is enhanced by the modern white and silver colors.The open wedge stand design provides convenient access to VGA and dual HDMI ports - includes HDMI cable in box (no VGA cable included)
  • Captivating imagery: Color and clarity radiate from the screen with Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, incredible 10,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 16:9 aspect ratio, and quick 8ms response time

Features

The 27xw does make use of an IPS panel, operating at a 10,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. It really is a gorgeous panel, as you’d expect from any monitor utilizing IPS technology.

From a pure gaming standpoint, the technical specs are nothing to be too impressed by – the 27xw has a standard 60Hz refresh rate and an 8ms response time. 60Hz has long been the “standard” for refresh rates – you can now buy displays going up to 240Hz – and you will run into some screen tearing from time to time with a 60Hz refresh rate. As for the response time, 7ms is typically considered the gaming cutoff – 8ms is definitely on the slower side, which can result in unwanted image ghosting and motion blur.

Armchair Empire panel type note: There’s a lot of misinformation out there in the gaming monitor world, so we’re here to help. An IPS panel is one of three common panel types you’ll hear about: IPS, TN, and VA. Of the three, IPS panels are known for having the best color reproduction and best viewing angles, although they tend to cost more and typically have worse refresh rates and slower response times than their TN counterparts. IPS panels are a must for anyone into graphic design, cinematography, or slower-paced video games known for their high-quality design work.

Performance

]From an aesthetic point of view, the 27xw provides you with an unbelievable gorgeous picture quality. The blacks are deep and dark, the whites are bright and crisp, and every color in between is vibrant and rich. The picture is positively delicious, and you won’t want to stop looking at it. The viewing angles are fantastic as well, which is what IPS panels are known for.

I’ll be upfront with you: If you’re a serious gamer, or play most fast-twitch games like FPSes or other competitive games, this is probably not the monitor for you. The 60Hz refresh rate and 8ms response time mean you’ll run into both screen-tearing and ghosting or blurring in motions sequences, both of which negatively impact reaction-based gameplay.

On the other hand, if you’re big into beautiful open-world games like fallout, World of Warcraft, GTA, and so on, this might be the monitor for you yet! You’ll probably still notice screen tearing or blurring from time to time, but it won’t really affect your gameplay in any appreciable way. And certain games really benefit from the gorgeous picture quality you get with high-quality glossy IPS panels like this one.

Historically, IPS panels do tend to suffer from light bleed as well. Light bleed is the backlight “bleeding” through your display, and is most noticeable around the corners and when the picture is black or dark. There is definitely some small amount of light bleed with this 27xw, but I was surprised by how little there ended up being.

Extras

The 27xw does ship with HP Enhance+, which is HP technology that works to improve image quality with “advanced noise reduction for crisper, cleaner images.” It’s not something that you’ll consciously notice, but it does make a different if you were to compare this HP monitor with a non-HP IPS panel side by side.

I’ve said that the screen is “glossy” up to this point, but I must admit that’s not entirely correct – HP actually treated the 27xw’s panel with something they call “Low Haze.” It’s basically a mix between glossy and matte/anti-glare, which I’ve come to adore. I really enjoy glossy display panels, but the reflection issues you run into with glossy panels can really suck. This Low Haze treatment allows the screen to retain most of it’s vivid “glossiness,” while also being anti-glare to a certain extent.

The monitor is ENERGY START certified as well, which is good for both your wallet and the environment!

Pros

  • Gorgeous physical design – you’ll find yourself simply looking at the monitor after setting it up
  • Stunningly gorgeous picture quality – even among IPS panels, this one has something special about it
  • HP’s Low Haze screen treatment strikes the perfect balance between glossy and matte
  • The price is reasonable for a high-quality IPS panel like this one
  • Great viewing angles

Cons

  • 60Hz refresh rate and 8ms response time make this monitor a bad choice for FPS games and other motion-processing-intensive video games
  • The stand cannot swivel or adjust vertically

Recommended For

If you’re big into design, cinematography, or slower-paced, gorgeous video games, then look no further than the HP Pavilion 27xw. You’ll be repeatedly blown away by the sheer beauty of this gaming monitor, inside and out, each time you load up a game or movie.

If you’re into competitive, fast-paced games like Overwatch or other FPSes, you should probably skip this on in favor of a monitor with better refresh rates and response times to cut down on screen tearing and motion blur/ghosting.

Conclusion

As long as you know what you’re getting with an IPS panel that has a slower response time and run-of-the-mill refresh rates, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this gorgeous display. For designers, casual gamers, and movie enthusiasts, the 27xw is the perfect monitor for you.