HP Pavilion 27xi review: A simple design for simple needs

Movies: I tested the HP 27xi using the Blu-ray version of "Avatar." The Movie preset looks too grainy, especially when close to the screen, which, if you're using the 27xi as a monitor, you will likely be when watching movies. It does look better the farther away you are from the screen, and its colors are definitely more accurate and less saturated than the other presets. Curiously, although a bit softer, I found the Text preset best suited for movies at close range, especially since it allows you to alter the color.

Josh Miller/CNET

Games: When evaluating the look of games on a monitor, the two most important features to consider are vibrancy and color. If the monitor can display games with a bright and vibrant cleanness, this goes a long way. If colors also pop with fullness and depth, games will usually look great.

Dragon Age II and Crysis 2 on the HP 27xi in the Gaming preset had high vibrancy with colors that popped suitably. However, like the Movie preset, the dreaded sickly greenish tint reared its ugly head, but can be alleviated with the settings I recommend above.

Josh Miller/CNET

To test refresh rate, I used DisplayMate's motion graphics tests and stared at a number of colored blocks as they moved around the screen at various speeds.

Viewing angle
The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually from directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing colors as the manufacturer intended. Most monitors aren't designed to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on the monitor's panel type, picture quality at suboptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when not viewed from optimal angles.

The 27xi uses an IPS panel and sports viewing angles much wider than what TN panels usually display, especially when viewed from the bottom. It's unclear exactly what type of IPS panel it uses, but I'll be sure to update the review when I find out.

Josh Miller/CNET

The merits of antiglare (AG) screen coating are much debated these days. Some viewers prefer the coating not be applied at all, while others favor only a limited amount. And others are completely indifferent. AG coating doesn't adversely affect a monitor's quality, and its benefits or lack thereof are strictly a question of preference.

That said, there is a heavy AG coating on the HP 27xi's screen, reducing potential reflections while keeping very little of the contrast "pop" that glossy screens enjoy. A fully glossy display can increase the perceived contrast of a monitor screen -- which some people prefer -- but can also make it difficult to see what's on the screen in direct sunlight.

Power consumption
The HP Pavilion 27xi achieved good power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 29.2 watts. The Asus VG278H drew a much higher 46.8 watts in the same test.

In our Sleep/Standby test, the 27xi drew 0.39 watt and the VG278H pulled a higher 0.48 watt. Based on our formula, the 27xi would incur nearly half the cost of the VG278H, with a per-year pull of $8.98 per year, compared with the VG278H's $14.47 per year.

Performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP 27xi
217 
Asus PA248Q
396 
Contrast
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP 27xi
591:1 
Asus PA248Q
955:1 
Juice box
HP 27xi Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 29.2
On (max luminance) 30.7
On (min luminance) 10.2
Sleep 0.39
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 25.8
Annual power consumption cost $8.98
Score Good

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Conclusion
At $340, the Pavilion 27xi is a great deal as long as your needs are simple. For tasks that require pinpoint color precision however, there are more appropriately advanced options available.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Display Type LED-backlit LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
  • Interface DVI
    HDMI
    VGA (HD-15)
  • Diagonal Size 27 in
  • Pixel Pitch 0.311 mm
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