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Review: HP Z27i 27-inch IPS Display

HP's new, lightweight, full-powered 27-inch monitor fits into several workflows with its adjustable, detachable base and varied connectivity options.

Form Factor

The Z27i is quite a bit thinner than our previous 24” monitor, the HP LP2475w, and almost ten pounds lighter. When the Z27i arrived, the box felt almost too light. Turns out the Z27i weighs only 16 pounds, versus the 26 pounds we were used to carrying around on the LP2475w.

The stand (Figure 1, below) is both easily removable and adjustable, allowing the monitor to rise several inches and also rotate 90 degrees for use in portrait mod. Or maybe we should call it broadsheet or tabloid mode when using this size monitor. The stand can also be removed with a single downward motion on the quick release built in to the back of the Z27i, revealing an inset group of VESA 100-compliant screw holes. Given the fact that the mounting points are inset about 3/4” you’ll need four offsets or spacers if using a universal VESA mounting system that spreads beyond the 100mm range.

Figure 1. The Z27i’s adjustable, detachable stand.

Another nice feature is the built-in handle in the upper middle of the monitor. That’s made it very easy to pick up the Z27i and move it about, which I’m sure is of great benefit to IT departments tasked with moving big monitors around.

Our only form factor quibbles are the flush-mount USB connectors—more on that below—and the lack of two features we’ve gotten used to in previous HP monitors: the stand lock and cable chaise. On the Z27i, the stand is lighter and lacks the two-stage hydraulics, which cuts down on weight but doesn’t allow locking into place at the lowest height to make the monitor the most compact for storing and moving about.

Connectivity

The Z27i has an impressive number of input connections (Figure 2, below), boasting a DisplayPort 1.2, a dual-link DVI-D, an HDMI 1.4a, as well as a legacy VGA port. Each digital connector has HDCP support, blocking any blacklisted digital content that one might attempt to deliver to the HDMI, DVI or DisplayPort inputs.

Figure 2. Input connections on the Z27i. Click the image to see it at full size.

The major difference between our LP2475w and the Z27i on the input front is the lack of several analog options, from DVI-I to S-Video and composite video inputs. We are living in the two-thousand-teens, though, and analog is often a distant memory at least in the U.S. production market.

The Z27i has an audio output for use with the optional HP Sound Bar, which we did not test, as well as the ability to input audio across the HDMI and DisplayPort connectors.

Our only major connectivity complaint centers on the limited number of USB connections. For field production use, the Z27i is a bit of a step back, as it has only four USB connections rather than the six we were used to on the LP2475w.

On the flip side, the Z27i USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed) connectors, so the four USBs are much faster than the six USB 2.0 connectors we had on the LP2475w. Still, we liked the idea of four USB connections on the rear connection panel, meaning that we didn’t have to use the two side-mounted USB connectors on the left bezel, about halfway up the monitor’s far left side. We typically have three USB connected devices, so it’s odd to see a cable sticking straight out of the monitor, ruining the aesthetics; at least on the LP2475w the left-bezel USB connections were recessed but on the Z27i the side-mounted USB connectors are flush with the bezel.

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