Laptop Mag Verdict
HP's E27d G4 is an excellent option for business users thanks to its gorgeous matte screen, convenient features and flexible design.
Bright, vivid matte screen
100W power delivery via USB-C
Plenty of ports
Built-in IR camera
Poor webcam quality
No internal speakers
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Size: 27 inches
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Ports: Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, 4 USB
Charging: 100W (USB-C)
Weight: 18.1 pounds
If there was ever a good time to upgrade your home office, it's now. While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will hopefully fizzle out in the months ahead, there is no timeline for when we'll return to work full-time. Moreover, the rush to buy office supplies appears to have leveled off, with supply finally meeting demand. For the best office setup, you need a good monitor connected to your laptop or desktop. That's where the HP E27d G4 comes in.
I've been using this 27-inch monitor for the past month and have very few criticisms about how it has handled multiple workflows, gaming and even streaming. The picture is colorful and bright with excellent white balance, it has a sleek design with thin bezels, there are tons of ports, and a clever pop-up webcam means you can stop using the awful one built into your laptop.
It isn't a perfect monitor by any means. Some of the buttons and ports are difficult to reach and at $599, the 1440p E27d G4 is expensive for a non-4K panel. But if you can ignore those downsides, the E27d G4 gets you a practical monitor for your setup with all the features and connections you'll need to create the ideal at-home work station.
HP E27d G4 design
Simple, sleek and slim, the HP E27d is a handsome monitor, but not one that will attract too much attention. This isn't a gaming monitor so don't expect RGB lighting or aggressively angled stands. No, the E27d keeps things business-like.
The stand is a silver plastic square with a slim tower-shaped arm rising from the rear. Firmly attached to that arm is the 27-inch monitor with a black back panel at the top of which you'll spot a stylish chrome HP logo. The rear of the monitor has angled rhombus-shaped sides, giving an edginess to an otherwise muted design.
There are a few highlights to the E27d G4's design. First, the front bezels are relatively thin, especially those bordering the top and sides. The bottom bezel is a bit chunkier to accommodate an HP logo, rear buttons and an LED power indicator. Above the top bezel, is the other noteworthy feature: a pop-up webcam.
A built-in webcam is always appreciated though this one isn't great. There's no clever mechanism for lifting and lowering it - just press your fingers against the back and pull upward. To hide the webcam, push it downward. As for the quality, expect a notch above what you'll find on a laptop, but nowhere near what a proper external webcam delivers. What the webcam does bring, however, is an IR camera so you can log in to Windows 10 via Windows Hello facial recognition without lifting the lid of your laptop.
There are no speakers on the E27D G4. For audio output, you'll need to spend extra on the available soundbar.
The E27d G4 is a very flexible monitor, capable of swiveling, height adjustment, tilting and rotating. You can rotate the screen 90 degrees into portrait mode when you're working with spreadsheets or documents, or adjust the height from as low as 1 inch to up to 7 inches to get the perfect viewing angle. Speaking of which, the screen can be tilted from -5 to 20 degrees and swiveled 30 degrees in each direction.
HP E27d G4 installation and setup
Keep your toolset in the garage, the E27d only needs the lightest coat of elbow grease to be assembled. Heck, the hardest part is figuring out how to remove all the pieces from the box.
Once you've solved that puzzle, it's just a matter of placing the arm on the square base and hand-screwing them together. From there, the monitor can easily be mounted to the arm with a satisfying click. If you prefer, the E27d G4 supports a 100mm VESA mount for using a desk or wall mount.
HP E27d G4 ports, cabling and interface
There is a generous selection of ports on the rear of the E27d G4, and HP was clever to separate those used most often, making them easier to access. To that end, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports are conveniently located on the left side of the rear panel next to a headphone jack.
Everything else is in a port hub centered on the back panel. There, you'll find every connection option in the book, including two additional USB Type-A ports, two USB Type-C inputs — one downstream and another upstream with 100W charging — an HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 (in and out), and an Ethernet port.
The e27d comes with plenty of cords for connecting to your laptop or desktop, no matter how old or new it is. In the box are cords for HDMI 2.0, a DisplayPort 1.2, USB-C and a power cord.
Adjusting the settings or picture controls can be a hassle because the buttons are all located on the bottom edge of the monitor and don't protrude enough to see. Instead, you need to find them by feel. Directly below the LED indicator, is the power button and next to that is the main menu button. From there, you can adjust the color temperature (warm, neutral, cool, low blue light, and others), brightness, contrast, sharpness and response time.
You can also change from performance mode, which enables all the monitor functions, to Power Saver, which disables the USB hub and ports and the power delivery.
HP E27d G4 performance
The E27d G4 has a 27-inch, 2560 x 1440-pixel IPS display with a 60Hz refresh rate and 3-millisecond response time.
The panel was detailed enough for me to read small fonts in Google Docs or across a range of websites. I also love the screen's anti-glare coating, which effectively dispersed the overhead lights in my room, resulting in an image free of reflections or glare. As for the colors, they are fine — neither dull nor punchy, but good enough for most business users.
To test the panel, I watched a trailer for Wonder Woman 1984. I largely liked what I saw. Colors were accurate and colors were vivid enough, with the superhero's red and gold armor standing out against the pale palate of a government building. Details were crisp; I could see wrinkles on Chris Pine's forehead and individual scales on the epic suit Gadot wears at the end of the clip.
I didn't need to make any major changes to the picture after setting up the E27d. The white balance was properly calibrated out of the box and colors looked accurate and natural as I switched between my favorite tech sites. I even watched a few Champions League soccer games on the HP and thoroughly enjoyed the viewing experience thanks to the large size of the panel. I wish this monitor supported HDR, however, for those lively colors.
I used the monitor at around 50% brightness throughout my testing, any more resulted in eye fatigue in my dimly-lit room. I enabled the blue light filter a few times and it seemed to have given my eyes the rest they need and deserve from staring at screens all day.
HP E27d G4 benchmarks
The E27d G4 gets a solid B grade in our benchmarking tests, beating most of its direct competitors and reaching or exceeding what HP advertises.
The HP E27d G4 reached an average of 299 nits of brightness, practically matching its promised 300 nits of peak luminance. It outshone the Dell S2721HGF, which hit a peak average of 234 nits of brightness, and the much pricier ViewSonic Elite XG270, which landed at an average of 277 nits.
Covering 123% of the sRGB color gamut, the E27d proved to be more vivid than the Dell S2721HGF (110.3%) but not quite as colorful as the ViewSonic Elite XG270 (130%).
Those results echo what we saw in the more demanding DCI-P3 color test in which the HP covered 88% of the gamut whereas the Dell S2721HGF (78.1%) while the ViewSonic Elite XG270 (94%) led the pack.
Color accuracy is a strong point for the E27d G4, which scored a Delta-E rating (lower is better) of 0.25, proving itself to be more accurate than the ViewSonic Elite XG270 (0.3) but less so than the Dell S2721HGF (0.22).
The HP E27d G4 is a great monitor for mobile professionals looking to upgrade their home offices. What it lacks in top-tier specs is offset with enterprise features, like an anti-glare panel, IR camera for facial recognition and 100W power delivery.
Those additions make the E27d a practical option. Just plug in your laptop with the included USB-C cable then use the IR webcam to instantly login. From there, enjoy the bright and vivid reflection-free 27-inch screen all while your laptop is being charged. On top of that ease-of-use, the E27d has a built-in Ethernet port and the arm is extremely adjustable, allowing you to orient the display in portrait mode.
My month or so using the E27d was largely enjoyable, but there were a few bumps along the way. The webcam, while convenient for logging in, provides subpar image quality, so an external webcam remains the best solution for conference calls. Also, some of the buttons could be better positioned and there are no onboard speakers.
The price, at $499, is pretty high, but the HP E27d G4 is worth the money thanks to its flexible design, good picture quality and multiple productivity features that make this monitor super convenient to use.
Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.