HP Omen 27i Review: 1440p 165Hz 1ms IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor

The HP Omen 27i is a 27" 1440p 165Hz gaming monitor based on a Nano IPS panel with fast 1ms GtG response time and wide 98% DCI-P3 color gamut.

Bottom Line

The HP Omen 27i is a great 27″ 1440p 165Hz IPS gaming monitor with vibrant colors and smooth performance ensured by its fast response time and certified G-SYNC compatibility.

Sadly, it doesn’t have an sRGB emulation mode for clamping its wide native color gamut. Due to its distinct design though, some users (especially AMD GPU users) might be able to turn a blind eye to this omission.

Design:
(4.6)
Display:
(4.8)
Performance:
(5.0)
Price/Value:
(4.2)
4.7

The HP Omen 27i is a 27″ 1440p 165Hz IPS gaming monitor with a fast 1ms GtG pixel response time speed and a wide 98% DCI-P3 color gamut for both responsive and immersive gaming experience.

Image Quality

Quad HD is probably the favorite resolution among PC gamers. It looks much better than 1080p on 27″ and 32″ monitors yet it’s not nearly as demanding as 4K UHD.

On the Omen 27i, you get a pixel density of ~108 PPI (pixels per inch), which translates to plenty of screen real estate with sharp details and text – and no scaling necessary.

Next, the Nano IPS panel offers vibrant colors with 98% DCI-P3 gamut – that’s equivalent to ~135% sRGB! You get vivid and lifelike colors, especially when it comes to reds and greens.

Another advantage of IPS technology is the 178° wide viewing angles, which ensure that the image is consistent regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen; there are no shifts in brightness, contrast, gamma, or color at skewed angles.

The Standard picture mode is factory-calibrated for the best color accuracy out of the box. However, it doesn’t clamp the gamut and there’s no sRGB emulation mode that would restrict the panel’s native ~135% sRGB gamut down to ~100% for a more accurate representation of the sRGB content (most games and web content).

This means that you will get over-saturated colors unless you calibrate and profile the monitor using a dedicated colorimeter. Some users actually prefer the extra saturation, while others would’ve preferred the more natural look of an sRGB emulation.

If you have an AMD graphics card, you can clamp the gamut via the Radeon software, but this feature isn’t available for NVIDIA GPUs.

amd drivers srgb gamut clamp

Moving on, the monitor has a peak brightness of 350-nits, which is more than sufficient under normal lighting conditions.

The contrast ratio ranges from 700:1 to 1,000:1, depending on the unit, so blacks won’t be as deep as that of VA monitors that boast a higher ~3,000:1 contrast ratio but have other drawbacks.

Besides the subpar contrast ratio, IPS monitors also suffer from IPS glow – a noticeable ‘glow’ around the corners of the screen that is most noticeable when dark content is displayed in a dark room and with a high brightness setting.

The amount of IPS glow varies across different units of monitors, but in most cases, it’s manageable.

Performance

The HP Omen 27i input lag amounts to just ~3ms, which makes for imperceptible delay between your actions and the result you see on the screen.

Further, the response time speed is exceptional as well. There are four pixel response time overdrive settings, ranging from Level 1 to Level 4.

At 165Hz, we recommend using Level 2 as it efficiently prevents trailing behind fast-moving objects without adding too much overshoot. However, at lower refresh rates, Level 1 works better as it has less overshoot than Level 2.

If you are using a variable refresh rate (VRR), be it AMD FreeSync or NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible, and your frame rate is fluctuating a lot, the Level 1 setting provides more consistent performance across the entire refresh rate range since it still looks very good at 165Hz/FPS.

The best option (Level 1 or Level 2) will most likely depend on your personal sensitivity to ghosting and/or inverse ghosting as well as on the frame rate you can maintain in certain games, so you should try both modes yourself and see what works best for you.

The HP Omen 27i monitor is certified as G-SYNC Compatible by NVIDIA, so you can expect flawless VRR performance up to 165FPS.

The supported VRR range is 48-165Hz over DisplayPort for AMD/NVIDIA cards and 48-144Hz over HDMI for AMD cards.

With the Xbox One and Series consoles, the range is 48-120Hz, and the monitor supports the 1440p 120Hz mode.

Below 48Hz/FPS, LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) continues to keep tearing at bay via frame rate multiplication (47Hz -> 94FPS, etc.).

Features

The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu of the HP Omen 27i can be accessed via the directional joystick placed at the rear of the monitor.

Besides the standard image adjustment tools, such as brightness, contrast, and color temperature, there are a few noteworthy gaming features, including various picture presets, an on-screen timer, crosshair overlays, and a refresh rate tracker.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free, which in addition to the low-blue light filter mode and the matte anti-glare screen coating, allows for a comfortable viewing experience even after prolonged use of the screen.

Design & Connectivity

HP Omen 27i Monitor Design

The HP Omen 27i boasts a sleek and sturdy design with a height-adjustable stand up to 130mm, tilt by -5°/20°, and VESA mount compatibility (100x10mm).

It also has customizable (different colors and patterns) RGB lighting at the back, which can be useful as the light falls on your desk and can, for instance, illuminate your keyboard in the dark.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, a headphone jack, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub (one upstream, two downstream ports).

Due to the DisplayPort 1.2 bandwidth limitations, you are limited to 8-bit color depth at 165Hz. For 10-bit color, you will need to reduce the refresh rate to 120Hz or resort to chroma subsampling.

Since there’s no noticeable difference between 8-bit and 10-bit color in most games, it’s not a particularly big issue.

Price & Similar Monitors

The HP Omen 27i goes for around $500.

At the same price, you can get the new LG 27GP850 with a 180Hz overclockable refresh rate and an sRGB emulation mode.

If you don’t care for the sRGB emulation mode or the virtually unnoticeable 15Hz difference, and you prefer the design of the Omen 27i, it’s worth considering – otherwise, the 27GP850 is an overall better monitor for the money.

Keep in mind that there are two more HP monitors with similar names, the HP Omen 27 (without the ‘i’ at the end), which uses a TN panel with inferior image quality and narrow viewing angles – and the HP Omen X 27 with a 240Hz TN panel.

Visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide for more displays and information.

Conclusion

Overall, the HP Omen 27i is an excellent gaming monitor.

It offers a crisp image quality with striking colors thanks to its 1440p IPS panel, while the rapid response time, low input lag, 165Hz refresh rate, and smooth VRR performance ensure a responsive gaming experience.

We only wish it had an sRGB emulation mode – if it did, we are sure it’d be a much stronger rival to the more popular LG 27GP850 thanks to its attractive design.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (QHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate165Hz
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-165Hz)
G-SYNC Compatible
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 2x USB 3.0
Brightness350 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
98% DCI-P3
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Wide color gamut
  • Quick response time speed
  • Plenty of features including FreeSync up to 165Hz
  • Sleek design with RGB, height-adjustable stand, and USB hub

The Cons:

  • No sRGB clamp
  • Design lacks swivel/pivot functions
  • No DisplayPort 1.4
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

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Rob Shafer
Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.