Almost a year ago, we reviewed the HP Z27x monitor, which was a 27-inch display capable of covering a very wide gamut. It had a reasonable 2560x1440 resolution, which was pretty common for this size of display. But at CES 2015, HP announced the HP Z27q monitor, which takes a step back on gamut and manageability, but takes two steps forward with resolution. The HP Z27q is a '5K’ display, which means it has an impressive 5120x2880 resolution. This easily passes the UHD or '4K' levels which are becoming more popular. The HP Z27q is one of a handful of 5K displays on the market now, and HP came in with a pretty low launch price of $1300. When I say pretty low, it’s of course relative to the other 5K displays in the market, but it undercuts the Dell UP2715K by several hundred dollars, even today.

The Z27q lacks some of the management capabilities of it’s Z27x brethren, but it still packs in some powerful features. This is a full 10-bit panel, so it can display 1.07 billion colors. It features a 14-bit 3D Look-Up Table (LUT), and it has settings for both the standard sRGB color space and the wider AdobeRGB color space. It does drop the wide-gamut of the Z27x, which had support for Rec. 2020 (although it can’t reach the full gamut), and there is no option for DCI either. There is an option for BT.709 though, if you need it.

Due to the high resolution, there is no option for HDMI or DVI input. The only inputs are the two DisplayPort connectors required to drive this monitor. As a refresher, DisplayPort 1.2, which is the current standard, has enough bandwidth to run UHD, or 3840x2160 content at 60Hz. In order to drive 5K, or 5120x2800, which is 14.7 million pixels, two DisplayPort 1.2 outputs are tied together to form a single display. 4K and 5K sound awfully similar, but 5K has 78% more pixels than 4K. It takes a lot of bandwidth to drive this. HP does offer a USB hub built in, and it is USB 3.0. The hub has two USB ports on the back of the display, and another two on the left side.

HP 27-Inch 5K Display
Manufacturer Specifications Model Z27q
Video Inputs 2 x DisplayPort 1.2
Panel Type IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.116 mm
Colors 1.07 billion (10 bit panel)
Gamut sRGB
Brightness 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Time 14ms (on/off)
Viewable Size 27-inch
Resolution 5120x2880@60Hz
Viewing Angle 178°/178°
Backlight LED
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height Adjustable 130 mm
Tilt -5° to +22°
Swivel +- 45°
VESA Wall Mounting Yes
Dimensions w/Stand
at maximum height
63.43 x 21.71 x 54.88 cm
24.97 x 8.55 x 21.61 inches
Weight 7.42 kg
16.36 lb
Additional Features 4 x USB 3.0 output
Accessories 2 x DisplayPort Cables
USB 3.0 Cable
All cables 1.8 m

HP uses a pretty decent on-screen display which can be set to either icons or text. I prefer the text mode, but regardless of how you use it, it offers an easy way to set up the color space, adjust the brightness, and set the individual color channels as needed. Since there are no extra inputs, the menu itself is pretty simple.

Pressing any of the buttons opens up the On-Screen Display, and once opened, the bottom of the OSD shows what each button will do. You can set the device to automatically power off and on at certain times of the day, as well as set the target color range. Brightness is of course one of the quick adjustments. You can also check out the input to ensure that you are running at the correct resolution. There are a lot less options here than some monitors, only because there is really only the one input, where as most lower resolution panels may offer selection of any of the inputs and adjustments for each.

All in all, the OSD design is good enough to get the job done. Once configured, you likely won't be in there much.


The design of the HP Z27q is fairly pedestrian, with the monitor built out of flat black plastic. The HP logo is unobtrusive in the centre, and the on-screen menu options are on the right side. If you were wondering how HP was able to undercut the competition, this is one of the areas where they have saved some money. 

The stand easily blends into the background - it is made out of the same plastic material, but it is a fully featured stand. There is tilt, swivel, and height adjustments available. Cable management is a bit sparse, with just a single rectangular slot at the bottom of the stand to route the cables through. If you use the display at maximum height, all of the cables are going to be exposed here, so some more cable management options would be nice, but in the end it’s functional.

The bottom of the display houses the two DisplayPort inputs, as well as a USB 3.0 input, which then branches off to two USB 3.0 ports on the bottom, and two on the left side.

Although the Z27q is just a plain black monitor, the design is very functional, with plenty of adjustments available to suit pretty much any workspace. If the stand is not of your liking, you can of course mount it using a standard VESA mount as well.

Contrast, Brightness and Gamut
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  • petteyg359 - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    Why use software to do what hardware should be doing by giving me multiple screens?
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    Has there been any news about LGs 31.5" 5k panel (same height as 30" 1600p models) since the initial announcement in January. At that time, they were expecting panel production in Q3 of this year and initial retail availability around now, but I haven't seen anything since then.
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    It's pretty, but also pretty impractical. I just got an 18.5 inch replacement for my 15 inch monitor and it was hard to find one in that size at 1366x768 which is annoying since high resolutions just require scaling and end up only able to display the same amount of information at a cost of additional computation making the entire higher resolution thing a bit of an exercise in pointlessness. But aside from that, 27 inch screens are far too large for personal computing at a desk, forcing the user to push the screen away from their eyes in order to make effective use of it, once again defeating the purpose of scaling up the display. I'm already experiencing this moving up to an 18.5 inch screen. It's uncomfortable to use at the same distance so it had to move further away until it appears effectively the same size as my previous screen. The larger panel is therefore something of a waste as it's also too small to effectively serve as a conference room display. Overall, I'd say it's a very niche market and highly impractical screen. I'd be surprised if it makes many sales.
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    You're not on the side of the average consumer with your comments there, but this is definitely intended to be a niche product.

    Scaling is still useful, too. Text at the same size but rendered with more pixels is a lot more legible and pictures treated in the same manner look much more natural.
  • zodiacfml - Thursday, December 24, 2015 - link

    5K is essentially for photo or high resolution video work. I have 15inch notebook with 1366x768 resolution and the pixels are pretty big and obvious. I can see it right now in this blue border of this Post your comment box. I have seen a 5K Mac display at close distance and the it reminds me of looking at a smartphone display in terms of PPI/sharpness.
  • chaos215bar2 - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    Is there a technical reason we aren't seeing the 5k equivalent of 30" monitors (5120x3200)? 27" 5k is nice, but this is a computer monitor, not a TV. Until monitors start seriously going beyond 27" (while maintaining pixel density), 16:9 really isn't an ideal aspect ratio for most work.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    16:10 is dead, just as 4:3 died years prior. Being the same resolution as TVs certainly helped; that a 16:9 screen took less material and was therefor cheaper than a 16:10 one with the same diagonal size was probably the final nail in the coffin.
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    Agreed, 19:10 is for people who still full-screen all their apps, I think. 16:9 is more practical for side by side windows.
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

  • okashira - Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - link

    16 watts in standby? What a POS.

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