HP Omen 27c review: The Golidocks for gaming monitors

“The HP Omen 27c is a great gaming monitor, despite some trade-offs with HDR and visual artifacts.”

Positives

  • Ultra-fast 240Hz refresh rate

  • FreeSync and unofficial G-Sync support

  • The stand frees up a lot of desk space

  • 1000R immersive curvature

  • Consistent color accuracy out of the box

Negatives

  • Minimal HDR

  • No rotary adjustment

  • Visual Preoccupations Due to VA Panel

The release of Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 has led to an influx of game screens that claim to do it all. Ultra high refresh rate? check. Adaptive refresh rate? We got it. Real HDR games? Yeah.

The HP Omen 27c is one such monitor that claims to do it all, thanks in part to its 240Hz refresh rate and 1440p resolution. It brings out the strength of the Omen brand with some unique design options that I’m a huge fan of and it’s even geared up for the latest gaming consoles, if you don’t mind skipping 4K.

But against the best gaming monitors, the claims only go so far. And it’s at the image quality margins where the Omen 27c struggles against the competition, despite being a solid gaming monitor for the price.

Design

Omen logo on HP Omen 27c.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

After taking the HP Omen 27c out of its box, I was immediately struck by how heavy it was. It’s not heavier than any similar screen you could find – the Samsung Odyssey G7 weighs about half a pound more, in fact – but the Omen 27c still looks chubby. This is due in large part to the platform.

It’s heavy and dense, and even with a single point of contact, it refuses to budge. Instead of using two feet, HP uses a small diamond base that sits directly under the screen. It goes a long way toward reducing the footprint of the Omen 27c on your desk, and makes the stands you’d find on monitors like the LG 27GN950 seem pretty bulky by comparison.

The mount goes a long way toward reducing the footprint of the Omen 27c.

There’s also a headphone stand on the back of the stand, which is a neat addition. But this is where the praise for the situation ends.

The stand offers 130mm height adjustment and a few degrees of tilt, but no swivel adjustment. You can still beat the lackluster ergonomics with the 100mm x 100mm VESA mount, but the mount rotates 45 degrees.

Headphones on the HP Omen 27c.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Instead of the flat base of the ports at the bottom of the display, HP has extended them via diamonds on the back of the display. They’re split on two diamond edges, and they’re frustrated to get to it. You have to tilt the entire screen – including the stand – to see the ports. A few gyro tweaks would have helped here. I also had to pull my DisplayPort cable to wrap it around the diamond.

1000R curvature is immediately noticeable. All you have to do is look at the screen to see its usefulness. The strong curve makes the screen look smaller in all the right ways, cutting back on detail on peripherals for a smaller footprint and a more immersive experience.

There are some good and bad things here, but there is a lot to like about the design of the Omen 27c. It’s one of the precious few monitors with a 1000R curvature, and the stand, although heavy at times, frees up a lot of desk space.

Ports and controls

Ports on HP Omen 27c.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The HP Omen 27c has a powerful selection of ports – one DisplayPort 1.4 connection, one HDMI 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5mm headphone port, and a single USB-C port. USB-C connectivity is a welcome addition, but it’s only for data. You can plug in a USB-C hub, but you can’t use the port for power or as an input.

There’s no HDMI 2.1 port here, but that doesn’t matter with the 1440p resolution. I would have liked another HDMI port, but it’s not a big deal. The main problem is the cabling, a split layout pushes them in unfamiliar directions.

As for the controls, HP is cheap. There’s a four-way button on the back that opens the menu, and it features the standard assortment of options you’d find on most monitors – multiple color modes, adaptive refresh, brightness, etc. Everything comes to a high standard, though. There are no color temperature controls, and no way to lock the screen to sRGB.

Menu on HP Omen 27c.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Nothing bad, but it could be better. The best way the Samsung Odyssey G7 handles the on-screen display. Not only does it center the button for easy access, but it also lets you navigate through the image adjustment settings apart from the chunky on-screen menu. With the Omen 27c, it’s a guess-and-check situation.

picture quality

There is nothing surprising about the Omen 27c. Out of the box with an SDR array, it gets bright enough to please, and because of its use of a VA panel, it offers slightly better contrast than the typical IPS panels you find on gaming monitors. HP has a list of specs, but I got rid of it and immediately plugged in my DataColor SpyderX calibration tool to check the monitor’s performance.

HP Omen 27c with color accuracy checker on the front.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

HP says the screen covers 92% of the DCI-P3 color space, even though I only measured 71% coverage. But sRGB coverage was much better at 97%, which is great for gaming and even for a lot of content creation workloads. This isn’t a wide range monitor, although the mentioned DCI-P3 coverage suggests it is.

Other tests check, and I won’t get into the details. Peak brightness fell at 450 nits, higher even than HP’s own rating. I wouldn’t argue with more brightness, but it gets flat when HDR implementation isn’t quite right. There are also some uniformity differences around the edges, which is typical of edge-lit displays.

The only odd result I saw was the contrast. Using the standard image profile, I measured a contrast ratio of 2,670:1, which is slightly lower than the 3,000:1 ratio that HP advertises. You can achieve this contrast ratio, but it is not common.

You can edit photos or videos on the Omen 27c.

What stood out was the color performance. Based on other tests I’ve seen, my Omen 27c appears to come with a better board than most. SpyderX fetched an average value of Delta-E 1.33 before calibration. This is great considering that a Delta-E value of less than 2 is what most people aim for when editing photos or videos. After calibration, Omen 27c was further sealed with Delta-E or 1.07.

You can edit photos or videos on the Omen 27c thanks to its color accuracy, but it’s a gaming monitor first. Something like the Samsung Odyssey G7 fits the bill for lighter photo editing better thanks to its higher coverage of the Adobe RGB color space.

Premiere Pro on HP Omen 27c.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The main issue is HDR. The Omen 27c is DisplayHDR 400 certified, meaning it doesn’t have HDR. Technically it is, with a peak brightness of 450 nits to meet VESA requirements, but that level of HDR isn’t usually impressive. And with the Omen 27c, it actually looks worse.

It comes with local dimming with eight edge-lit areas, and it turns on automatically when HDR is turned on. Worse, you can’t turn it off. Unsurprisingly, the dimming areas are slow to respond to changes, and with only eight of them, you’ll notice significant differences in brightness while playing games. Bloom has been an ongoing problem, a distraction at best.

Although the Omen 27c isn’t great for video or photo editing, it still has an excellent level of contrast, brightness, and color accuracy. HDR is bad with local screen dimming, but all DisplayHDR 400 certified displays fall into the same traps as the Omen 27c.

gaming performance

The Omen 27c is a great gaming monitor. The curve goes a long way to aid in immersion, and the display includes a few useful features like a frame rate meter and adaptive refresh rate. The standout feature, of course, is the 240Hz refresh rate, but it’s not as impressive as you might imagine.

Dying Light 2 on HP Omen 27c.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I played counter strike: global attack, Rainbow Six Siege, Just enough league of legends To keep my sanity. While 240 Hz helps in these competitive games, the differences are very subtle. Going from 60 Hz to 144 Hz is like day and night. Going from 144Hz to 240Hz is like morning and noon.

This does not mean that extra softness hurts you. In games I already play, like Fate 2 And Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, A higher refresh rate will sometimes appear for more smoothness. All you need for most games is 144Hz, but I wouldn’t argue with 240Hz.

The only problem I had while playing it was black staining.

To keep everything in sync, the Omen 27c comes with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro technology over DisplayPort and HDMI (although the HDMI 2.0 port is set at 144Hz). This level usually indicates higher HDR performance, but the Omen 27c hardly earns the certification. However, adaptive update does work, and it is enabled by default.

I also tried forcing Nvidia G-Sync to brute force, which also worked. You’ll get the same thing either way, but if you have an Nvidia graphics card and He should Using G-Sync, this is an option.

The only problem I had while playing was the black staining, which is typical on VA panels. HP says the Omen 27c has a 1ms Image Moving Response Time (MPRT), which is more impressive than the 1ms gray-to-gray response time you typically see. The problem is that an MPRT of 1ms is only possible with the highest level of overclocking.

Motion Blur test on HP Omen 27c.
It’s hard to capture with the camera, but the artifacts are so noticeable at the highest level of doubling they can’t be ignored. Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Overclocking a VA screen will always cause a black smudge at some point, which is true for the Omen 27c. Fast-moving objects, especially against dark backgrounds, smudge as pixels struggle to refresh in time. I would recommend lowering the overclocking, even if it makes the response time a bit higher.

Any problems with the Omen 27c are a result of the type of board you’re using, and HP provides plenty of tools to combat these issues. The 240Hz refresh rate may not be viable in every game, but it doesn’t hurt. And the Omen 27c offers plenty of gaming features beyond refresh rate, with FreeSync support and unofficial G-Sync support.

we took

Omen 27c is a powerful gaming monitor at an affordable price. There are small trade-offs across the board, from occasional black staining to less-than-ideal color coverage. But for gamers who want good resolution and a high refresh rate without overspending, the Omen 27c is a winning ticket.

Are there alternatives?

As 1440p gaming monitors with a 240Hz refresh rate are becoming increasingly popular, there are a few great alternatives to the Omen 27c:

  • Samsung Odyssey G7: A direct competitor to the Omen 27c, the Odyssey G7 offers the same 1440p resolution and 240Hz refresh rate. It uses a VA board, and it also comes with a 1000R bend. the difference? The Odyssey G7 has better HDR, but is about $50 more expensive.
  • Razer Raptor 27: About $200 more expensive than the Omen 27c and installed with a refresh rate of 144Hz. However, the Raptor 27 comes with a fun RGB mount and excellent build quality.
  • Lenovo Legion Y27q-20: This is older, but up to $200 cheaper than the Omen 27c. The Lenovo display comes with a resolution of 1440p and a refresh rate of 165Hz, although ergonomics and build quality take a back seat.

How long will it last?

Most LCD screens last a decade or more before the backlight goes out, and the Omen 27c should be no different. While we may see 1440p screens at 360Hz refresh rate soon, 240Hz will still be fine for many years.

Should you buy it?

If you’re on a strict budget and don’t need HDR, you should buy the Omen 27c. The slightly more expensive Samsung Odyssey G7 is better for most people, and can handle HDR.

Editors’ Recommendations






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