Short review of the HP Omen 27u 4K
HP’s Omen gaming monitors have had a good track record with us – in fact, 2020’s Omen X 27 was one of the first to bring a super-fast 240Hz refresh rate to a 1440p resolution display. . The new HP Omen 27u 4K ($699.99) falls short of that refresh rate but ups the native resolution, delivering 4K clarity (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) at up to 120Hz for console gaming, thanks to its HDMI 2.1 port. It’s a handsome device for next-gen console gamers, equipped with plenty of ports and enticing features, though its input lag measurement will deter fast-twitch esports gamers. (Then again, the most serious of this crowd are probably playing at 1080p, anyway.)
A 4K panel designed for all gamers
The Omen 27u 4K is a superb monitor both aesthetically and in terms of image quality. The 27-inch display uses LG’s latest IPS panel, dubbed IPS Oxide. Compliant with the VESA DisplayHDR 400 specification, the monitor advertises 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut for realistic gaming and a crisp 1,000:1 contrast ratio (both numbers we’ll look at shortly).
It’s a bit heavy at 17.2 pounds, which is about two pounds heavier than one of our top picks for the best PlayStation 5 monitor, the Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A. The HP has a height-adjustable stand and comfortably tilts back and forth without needing too much force to move.
(Photo: Molly Flores)
The panel is also equipped with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro. As well as FreeSync’s usual adaptive sync feature (more on that in a moment), Premium Pro helps keep latency low when gaming with HDR on or in SDR mode. The panel is capable of 120Hz refresh rate at 4K resolution via HDMI 2.1. Alternatively, you can hit 144Hz at 4K using DisplayPort 1.4.
Adaptive Sync is the dynamic adjustment of a monitor’s refresh rate to the frame rate of the graphics card (GPU), eliminating screen tearing and stuttering when playing PC games. The FreeSync Premium Pro brand also means that select titles such as Borderlands 3 and Far Cry 6 have been optimized to include highly accurate luminance testing and wide color gamut to enable a great HDR gaming experience, despite being widely supported by other games. It’s also compatible with Nvidia G-Sync, so adaptive sync will work even if you’re using an Nvidia GPU.
(Photo: Molly Flores)
Featuring an RGB-lit port hub on the back, the Omen 27u provides one HDMI 2.0 port, one HDMI 2.1 port, one DisplayPort, two USB Type-A ports, and one USB Type-C port. The HDMI 2.1 port is the main attraction of the latest game consoles (i.e. Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X) as it allows them to display 120 frames per second while maintaining a 4K picture. High frame rates were already possible with an HDMI 2.0 port, but limited to 1080p or 1440p resolution.
Now, if you find yourself lucky enough to own one of these sought-after consoles, you’ll need to keep in mind that not all games are capable of 120fps at 4K out of the box. A limited number of games take advantage of the faster frame rates, primarily on the Xbox Series X thanks to Microsoft’s broader backwards compatibility catalog and FPS Boost technology. On the PS5, you only watch a handful of games that can really benefit from a 120Hz refresh.
Monitor RGB lighting can be managed in Omen Light Studio, which can sync with all your HP devices and some third-party devices. You need to install the HP Omen Gaming Hub software to use Light Studio, but once you get there the app is pretty intuitive. I’m neither here nor there about RGB lighting, but if it looks good, I’ll use it – and the Omen 27u looks good.
HP Omen 27u 4K review: XXXXX
To put the new HP display through its paces, we ran it through our standard gaming monitor measurements using a SpyderX Elite Spectrometer(Opens in a new window) and its companion software Datacolor.
First, we test the display in its default picture mode with an SDR signal. Here the Omen achieved a brightness of 346 nits and a black level of 0.31, resulting in a contrast ratio of 1,120:1. We expect at least 1,000:1 contrast from a gaming monitor, so all aces here.
Contrast ratio indicates the luminance of the brightest white and darkest black a monitor can produce. The higher the contrast ratio, the deeper the blacks and the brighter the whites. This makes a huge difference in image quality, especially during dark gameplay scenes.
Then we switch to HDR and check the brightness again. This time the HP delivered 430 nits, topping its HDR400 rating. A good omen, perhaps? Will the magic continue during color gamut and accuracy testing?
In fact, he did. The Omen 27u 4K recorded 100% sRGB color gamut coverage, 86% Adobe RGB, and 94% DCI-P3. These results outperform other 4K monitors in its price range, such as the Asus VG28UQL1A.
HP’s color accuracy results are also impressive, with an average Delta E of 1.30: good results that line up well with its gamut coverage.
While those numbers are great, nothing beats using the monitor for the jobs you bought it for: playing games and watching movies. In HDR, our 4K Costa Rica test footage(Opens in a new window) looked great, just like AAA games like Halo Infinite with optimized image quality. Games like Forza Horizon 5, which support native HDR, also looked impressive on the monitor.
This is using the DisplayPort. When testing games using the HDMI 2.1 port, we noticed some screen flickering when we set the monitor response time setting to its highest setting, but this issue was not present at all times. levels or in all games. Flickering was present during the Final Fantasy XIV benchmark, for example, but not present in our F1 2020 testing. beyond its limits. And while that may sound disastrous, the HDMI 2.1 port will likely be used for your consoles, so it’s a problem that can be avoided.
Another modest concern during testing was with input lag (the time between when a monitor receives a signal and screen updates). Using our HDFury 4K Diva HDMI matrix, we experienced lag of up to 7.9 milliseconds.
(Photo: Molly Flores)
Is it bad? For games in general, no. In fact, most gamers in most games will consider up to 15ms acceptable. But the lower the number the better, and while input lag doesn’t matter for normal gaming, high lag is a hindrance for competitive esports players.
It’s also important to note that while HP advertises a 1 millisecond response time for the monitor, response time and input lag are not the same thing. Input lag refers to the delay between your commands and the image changing, while response time is the time pixels take to change from black to white or from one shade of gray to another. One being weak does not guarantee that the other will follow.
(Photo: Molly Flores)
While I’m used to gaming at lower input lag on my Acer Nitro XV27U, there’s something to be said for gaming at a higher refresh rate at full 4K resolution. If you prefer single-player games or slower-paced MMOs like me, chances are you won’t mind a measurement of input lag like this at all. But for fast-twitch shooters, monitors with lower input lag perform better, like the MSI Oculux NXG253R.
A pretty good omen, after all.
The HP Omen 27u is a solid 4K monitor, uniquely equipped to serve both PC and console gamers at a price that won’t break the bank. But while it performed admirably in our color tests, its higher input lag will deter competitive gamers.
If you’re looking to build a console and PC gaming station combo, the Omen 27u 4K should do the trick, but hardcore enthusiasts might want to settle for a lower resolution with the likes of the Alienware gaming monitor. 27 or the Asus ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN, which sacrifices sharpness for higher frame rates and lower input lag. It all depends on the platforms and types of games you tend to play.
HP’s Omen 27u is a beautiful 4K display designed for next-gen console gaming and high-powered PC gaming. Its bright color gamut impresses, though its input lag will dampen appeal to the esports crowd.
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