HP EliteDisplay E271i Review: Solid Performance From A 27" Screen

Can a business-class monitor work well for the entertainment-oriented? We discover the answer is yes if you’re using HP’s new EliteDisplay E271i 27-inch AH-IPS screen. Not only does it perform well, but it also offers some unique features and great value.

Performance-oriented PC enthusiasts have a lot of choices when it comes to monitors. With more and more screens touting features like wide color gamuts, high refresh rates, and factory calibration, you don't have to look very far to find a model that matches your specific set of needs. Naturally, we don't like to leave any stone unturned, so we often look at business-class products in the hope of finding something that satisfies our desire for performance and our quest for value.

The reality of economics is that manufacturers put their resources into the products that make them the most money. While it's nice to get have resolutions like 2560x1440 in a model line, most bread-and-butter displays are still FHD, or 1920x1080. With that said, it’s increasingly common to see 27" screens sitting on desks, and sometimes even two (Ed.: I run three!). Could they be slowing taking the place of 24" panels?

HP tends to deliver products, in all categories, that are very functional and well-made tools of the trade. Its monitors aren't always mentioned first in conversations about specialized applications, but the company's displays are well-suited for enthusiasts, as well as productivity-oriented business users. The screens we've tested from HP show up in the top tier of pretty much every benchmark category. They are responsive enough for gamers, accurate enough for both graphics pros and movie fans, and they deliver solid image quality, regardless of the content.

The business-grade E271i is HP's latest addition. This monitor employs a Full HD panel, translating to a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. While most enthusiasts are looking for QHD’s 2560x1440 (or even higher, given the 4K monitors hitting the streets), business users who need a solid basic display that costs less than £250 are still buying FHD in both 24- and 27-inch sizes. Beyond that, a 27" screen at 1920x1080 strikes a pretty good balance between pixel density, screen size, and value.

The E271i utilizes an AH-IPS panel from LG, along with a white LED backlight rated for 250 nits of maximum brightness. Other goods in the package include HP’s Display Assistant software, which lets you manage document windows in multiple screen regions, adjust and calibrate the monitor, manage power-saving settings, and more. We'll give you a more complete rundown of HP's utility shortly.

Brand
HP
Model
E271i
Street Price
£250
Panel Type
AH-IPS
Backlight
W-LED
Screen Size
27"
Max Resolution
1920x1080
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Response Time (GTG)
7 ms
Brightness (cd/m2)
250
Speakers
No
VGA
1
DVI
1
DisplayPort
1
HDMI
-
Headphone
-
USB
v2.0: 1 up, 2 down
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Dimensions w/base
WxHxD
25.3 x 21 x 11 in

642 x 532 x 279 mm
Panel Thickness
2.06 in, 52 mm
Warranty
Three years

At roughly £250, the E271i falls roughly where we'd expect, given the competition at this screen size and resolution. Most QHD screens are still selling for more than more than £500 (except for Korean gray-market products, like the Auria EQ276W we reviewed back in April).

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26 comments
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  • Someone Somewhere
    I'd like to see what the difference in the actual manufacturing costs/panel prices are for QHD vs FHD for large screens - pixel density is certainly not a problem.

    I'd guess it's merely a chicken/egg issue - people won't buy high-res screens until they are cheap and they won't be cheap until lots of people buy them.
  • realibrad
    930500 said:
    I'd like to see what the difference in the actual manufacturing costs/panel prices are for QHD vs FHD for large screens - pixel density is certainly not a problem. I'd guess it's merely a chicken/egg issue - people won't buy high-res screens until they are cheap and they won't be cheap until lots of people buy them.


    That is the beauty of Capitalism. The rich have more than enough money, and will be more likely to spend money on something new. Companies wanting to maximize profits, try and make production cheaper. When company X makes production cheaper than company Y, then Y undercuts X and yay cheaper products.
  • rolli59
    I wonder if they will come out with a similar IPS 23-24" monitor, I find that is the perfect size for me.
  • rezzahd
    Honestly from what I can tell this display is worth the money you pay. I might just have to pick up two of these and see what I can't do with them.
  • clownbaby
    meh, meh, meh, meh, meh. Toms, please leave these bland, generic products on the shelves of staples and office max where they belong. There is NOTHING impressive, interesting, or even noteworthy about a 27" 1920x1080 monitor today. I don't care if it makes gremlins when wet. At that resolution and size, it's just not going to be a good looking screen. Reading text on 27" 1920x1080 monitors SUCKS.

    Aside from the fact that compared to the QHD monitors you can pick up for under $300 this is garbage, it's just a silly format. Dated resolution on a cheap panel that's too big.
  • Bondfc11
    I have 3 2560x1440 Overlord Tempests. Would NEVER use a 1080 panel again - especially an IPS. And TN panels? Forget it - IPS is so pretty at 1440.
  • rezzahd
    175854 said:
    meh, meh, meh, meh, meh. Toms, please leave these bland, generic products on the shelves of staples and office max where they belong. There is NOTHING impressive, interesting, or even noteworthy about a 27" 1920x1080 monitor today. I don't care if it makes gremlins when wet. At that resolution and size, it's just not going to be a good looking screen. Reading text on 27" 1920x1080 monitors SUCKS. Aside from the fact that compared to the QHD monitors you can pick up for under $300 this is garbage, it's just a silly format. Dated resolution on a cheap panel that's too big.


    I understand where you are come from bot not every is looking for an extreme like that. If I had one of those I wouldn't complain. The monitor I currently have is better than this one, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't use this monitor. Tom's I believe is just trying to cater to everyone they can. So i say this kind of review is good for everyone.
  • jn77
    This is a massive 27 inch monster sitting with in 12-18 inches of your face while sitting at a desk.

    Why on earth would anyone want 1920x1080 on a screen 27 inches diagonal? Are you looking for pot holes between the pixels?

    The reason I say this is, I work with media all day, We currently create, edit and produce 4k video and store it for transfer to quad layer blu-ray disc's (200GB).

    Also, if you use any digital camera over 8MP, you will get close to a 1:1 pixel ratio at 4K resolutions.

    We want to see a continuous image and seeing the gaps between the pixels is distracting.

    24 inch monitors should have a minimum 4k pixel resolution, 708 might be able to get away with 4k on a 27 inch, but 8k would be better.

    Now, lets look at the other side, How much would a 24 inch 1920x1080 flat trinitron cost you back in the day? $6,000 ? $12,000?
  • griptwister
    They should review QHD monitors. Not this crap.
  • Hakumisoso Terror
    The first good product i have seen from hp
  • Hakumisoso Terror
    jk it is not that good
  • Obi-Wan
    Good to know that HP are releasing good quality monitors.
    For this size and price though .... I would ne looking at the Asus VG27AH.
    Seems to provide more value.
    Specs may not match the HP ... but can you "see" the difference?
    On the other hand, the reviews of the VG27AH indicate that the 2D/3D experience is excellent.
    Has anyone tried this with games? I don't see a mention of that.
  • flong777
    "Wow what a great 27" monitor for $350; I am impressed. I doubt you would see much difference between this and the $1000 27" Dell."

    Oops sorry, did not see the 1920 x 1080 resolution - this just doesn't work well with a 27" screen.
  • flong777
    1297078 said:
    The first good product i have seen from hp


    HP makes several good monitors. Some have been very highly rated. Their "Dream Color" monitor is still probably the best color monitor on the market, though NEC may compete with it.
  • Evolution2001
    I agree with the commenters regarding a relatively low resolution on a large screen. Larger dimension screens are good for people with poor eyesight, but there comes a point where sharpness starts to suffer. I've seen 24" & 27" monitors are 1080p. For general(?) computing, it's too soft.
    For me, the point of having a larger screen is to have more 'usable' real estate. I want to be able to put more on screen while maintaining sharpness. Larger dimensions at the same resolution doesn't offer this.
    Who here would rather have a 24" screen at 16:9 versus 16:10? I believe the numbers would highly favor the 16:10 crowd.
    Summarizing: The majority of us buy larger monitor for increased resolution, not just to make our existing images bigger.
  • 10tacle
    I went from a 25.5" Samsung 1920x1200 monitor to a 27" LG 1440p monitor. While not a large leap in size, it's a huge leap in screen real estate because the windows can be smaller yet still perfectly readable. I'll never go back to 1080/1200p and find it vastly superior to a three-monitor setup.

    The only downside is that you need to up your GPU bigtime if you game. I took a huge hit in games like Far Cry 3 with a single GTX 680, going from ~45fps at ultra high quality settings on the 1200p monitor to barely above 30fps on the 1440p. Was able to find a second 680 on eBay at a decent price and now enjoy 55-60fps at the same ultra high settings. Between the monitor and two GPUs, I spent about $1,600 just on them. But wow is it gorgeous.
  • anthony11
    Conventional wisdom is that 1080p panels are cheaper because they're turned out in large numbers for TV's. Panels with more pixels (please let's not mis-use the term "resolution") sell for more perhaps for several reasons:

    1) They may be made in smaller numbers
    2) Their consumer base may be more willing to pay a higher margin
    3) Their yield/QC may be tighter than TV panels
  • Someone Somewhere
    Except that 14-17" TVs aren't that common.
  • laststop311
    While the actual display qualities of this panel are pretty impressive I feel resolution trumps all of that. I got a huge 30 inch 2560x1600 korean monitor for 520 dollars on ebay. Zero dead/stuck pixels. While I doubt the color accuracy or contrast ratio is as amazing as this HP I only paid 170 more dollars and got a ton of resolution to play with and 3 inches larger screen.

    Once you use QHD screens you cannot go back to FHD. I had a 24" 1920x1080 and loved it. QHD screens were super expensive at this time and I thought why would you even need anything over 1920x1080. It looks awesome. Then when I finally used one it blew my mind. Your working space feels endless and so expansive. When I'm stuck on a 1080 monitor it feels so crammed and claustrophobic.

    I will trade color accuracy and contrast ratio for cheap QHD any day of the week. Luckily I don't have to anymore. I highly reccomend scanning craigslist for high end monitors. I got a beautiful Dell u3014 2560x1600. The guy wanted 750 and I talked him down to 515. Huge discount and only thing wrong with it was a scratch on the bezel.
  • Bondfc11
    There are plenty of cheaper WQHD screens out there with the Overlord being the best for gaming since it is the only 120hz capable 1440 IPS display on the planet.
  • SilverWolf9000
    Or one could pay $300 for an overclockable (most of the time) korean 1440p monitor... i recommend the X-Star brand, a favorite of Tek Syndicate, the cheapest one and with great colors and quality control.
  • Bondfc11
    1359418 said:
    Or one could pay $300 for an overclockable (most of the time) korean 1440p monitor... i recommend the X-Star brand, a favorite of Tek Syndicate, the cheapest one and with great colors and quality control.


    Those are PLS panels - Samsungs - not true IPS LG panels. Plus all PLS panels darken very noticeably when overclocked meaning you are doing something to the TCON and panel.
  • SilverWolf9000
    1407143 said:
    1359418 said:
    Or one could pay $300 for an overclockable (most of the time) korean 1440p monitor... i recommend the X-Star brand, a favorite of Tek Syndicate, the cheapest one and with great colors and quality control.
    Those are PLS panels - Samsungs - not true IPS LG panels. Plus all PLS panels darken very noticeably when overclocked meaning you are doing something to the TCON and panel.


    And the fact that it is PLS is bad? :\ Better than TN.
  • Bondfc11
    1359418 said:
    1407143 said:
    1359418 said:
    Or one could pay $300 for an overclockable (most of the time) korean 1440p monitor... i recommend the X-Star brand, a favorite of Tek Syndicate, the cheapest one and with great colors and quality control.
    Those are PLS panels - Samsungs - not true IPS LG panels. Plus all PLS panels darken very noticeably when overclocked meaning you are doing something to the TCON and panel.
    And the fact that it is PLS is bad? :\ Better than TN.


    Not in and of itself. PLS panels just don't overclock well colorwise making them second fiddle to IPS panels. That is why they are bad for OCing. Other than that I am sure they are fine and agree definitely a leg up over TN panels.