HP X27q Review: 1440p 165Hz 1ms FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

The HP X27q is an affordable 27" 1440p 165Hz gaming monitor based on an IPS panel with a rapid 1ms GtG response time speed and FreeSync support.

Bottom Line

The HP X27q is a cheap 27″ 1440p gaming monitor with a high 165Hz refresh rate, fast 1ms GtG response time and an IPS panel with vibrant colors. Further, it supports AMD FreeSync, MBR and has an ergonomic stand.

Its peculiar eye-ease screen coating further reduces low-blue light emission, but it also sacrifices image clarity in the process, which might be a deal-breaker to some or a big bonus to others.

Design:
(4.5)
Display:
(4.6)
Performance:
(4.8)
Price/Value:
(4.0)
4.5

The HP X27q is one of the most affordable 27″ 1440p IPS high refresh rate gaming monitors with a rapid 1ms GtG pixel response time speed, making it an appealing option for competitive players. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Image Quality

The HP X27q monitor is based on the same Nano IPS panel that’s used in the popular Dell S2721DGF, but with a different backlight, resulting in lower DCI-P3 gamut coverage.

While HP claims 99% sRGB gamut for the X27q model, it actually extends a bit over that with a ~110% sRGB gamut size. So, you will get a bit more saturated colors than normal, but not as much as that of the Dell S2721DGF with ~135% sRGB gamut size.

Sadly, there’s no sRGB emulation mode on the HP X27q, but since the over-saturation is mild, most users won’t see it as an issue as you just get a bit extra color vibrancy.

The IPS panel also provides 178° wide viewing angles, ensuring consistent image quality regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

Further, the HP X27q has a strong 400-nit peak brightness, so it’s able to get more than bright enough even in well-lit rooms.

As expected from an IPS display, the static contrast ratio sits at around 1,000:1, meaning that blacks won’t be as deep as that of VA panels with around 3,000:1 contrast ratio, but VA technology has disadvantages of its own.

Another weakness of IPS monitors is IPS glow; it’s characterized as visible glowing around the corners of the screen at certain angles, but it’s mostly noticeable with dark content in a dark room and a high brightness setting.

IPS glow intensity varies across different units of monitors, but in most cases, it’s negligible or tolerable.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is supported as well, however, since the monitor doesn’t have the proper hardware for a noteworthy HDR viewing experience, you can ignore it.

Next, the UWQHD (2560×1440) screen resolution provides plenty of screen space as well as sharp details and text on the 27″ viewable screen of the monitor thanks to the high pixel density of 108 PPI (pixels per inch).

This also means that you won’t have to use any scaling in order to make small text readable, and 1440p is a lot less demanding to drive than 4K UHD, allowing you to maintain higher frame rates.

Performance

amd freesync logo

Moving on, the HP X27q monitor has low input lag of around 4ms, so you won’t be able to feel or notice any delays between your actions and the result on the screen.

The response time speed performance is excellent as there’s no visible ghosting behind fast-moving objects. There are four overdrive settings, from Level 1 to Level 4. Be sure to set it to ‘Level 2’ in order to prevent overshoot (inverse ghosting caused by too aggressive overdrive).

Further, the monitor supports Adaptive-Sync with FreeSync Premium certification. This technology allows the display to change its refresh rate dynamically and according to GPU’s frame rates. As a result, screen tearing is eliminated without a noticeable impact on input latency up to 165Hz/FPS (Frames Per Second).

The supported variable refresh rate (VRR) range is 60-165Hz. Below 60FPS, LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) kicks in and multiples the frame rate in order to keep tearing at bay (59FPS -> 118Hz). While the HP X27q display is not officially certified by NVIDIA as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’, VRR works without issues with compatible GeForce cards.

Features

Additionally, the monitor supports Motion Blur Reduction via the MPRT feature. This technology uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at a cost of picture brightness. However, MPRT cannot be active at the same time as VRR on this monitor.

There are five MPRT settings, allowing you to choose between the image brightness and motion clarity trade-off; the smoother the motion, the darker the screen will be, and vice versa.

Note that for the best MBR performance, your frame rate should match the refresh rate, and that backlight strobing introduces screen flickering that’s invisible to the human eye, but those sensitive to it might get headaches after prolonged use.

When MPRT is disabled, the backlight is completely flicker-free. In addition, there’s an integrated low-blue light filter.

There are four hotkeys used for navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu of the monitor. We prefer directional joysticks, but this gets the job done as well, though it’s a bit clunkier to use.

Design & Connectivity

HP X27q Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is robust and versatile with up to 100mm height adjustment, -5°/20° tilt, 90° clockwise pivot and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include one HDMI 2.0 port (even though some spec sheets online list two ports), one DisplayPort 1.4 input, and a headphone jack.

Note that the HDMI 2.0 port is limited to 144Hz at 1440p (55-144Hz FreeSync range), while the DP 1.4 input allows for 165Hz at 1440p with full 10-bit color depth and 4:4:4 uncompressed signal.

Now, the HP X27q has a peculiar ‘eye-ease’ coating that further reduces harmful low blue-light emission. Alas, this anti-glare coating has a negative impact on image clarity as it makes the picture appear somewhat grainy.

So, unless you have trouble falling asleep after looking at a computer screen, the sacrifice in image quality caused by the eye-ease coating is not worthwhile.

Price & Similar Monitors

The HP X27q price ranges from $255 to $300. At ~$250, it’s the cheapest 1440p IPS monitor with 1ms GtG you can get, which makes it the best budget monitor for gamers looking for a good balance between immersion and responsiveness.

However, if you don’t need to low-blue light coating filter, we recommend the MSI G273QF instead. It can be found for as low as $280 and offers similar image quality and performance with a lighter anti-glare coating that doesn’t affect picture quality as much.

Be sure not to confuse the X27q monitor with the HP 27xq or X27qc models which are based on entirely different panels.

To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

All in all, the HP X27q is an excellent gaming monitor for the price if you want a 27″ 1440p high refresh rate display with crisp details, vibrant colors and rapid response time speed.

Its peculiar coating might repulse some users, while others won’t be bothered by it at all; It depends on your sensitivity to graininess added by aggressive screen coatings.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (QHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate165Hz
Response Time (GtG)1ms (GtG)
Response Time (MPRT)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (60-165Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
HDRHDR10
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Vibrant colors, wide viewing angles
  • High pixel density
  • Plenty of features, including FreeSync and MBR up to 165Hz
  • Quick response time speed
  • Ergonomic stand

The Cons:

  • Design lacks swivel option
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • The eye-ease coating that reduces low-blue lights makes the image more grainy

Related Reads

Acer VG240YP Review
Acer VG240YP Review: 1080p 144Hz IPS Gaming Monitor
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.