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The 5 Best HP 4K Monitors
March 23, 2019
As 4K technology becomes more widespread and affordable, we can expect it to eventually become the standard for laptop displays and PC monitors. In light of how much those standards have evolved over the years, it’s inevitable that you may be left wondering which is the best 4K computer monitor available today.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a cross-section of HP®'s 4K monitor selection with an emphasis on models that balance price and features. While everything we cover here is based on the 4K resolution standard, there are other characteristics such as size, adjustability, and price to consider.
Thanks to other advances in display technology, you’ll also see a few large 4K monitor size options with more unique features including a curved screen and ultra-wide configurations.
To get you started, let’s talk about the specifics of 4K resolution and how it stacks up against the rest of the market. Then we’ll review the following five standout HP displays:
- HP ENVY 27-inch 4K UHD monitor
- HP Z32 31.5-inch 4K UHD monitor
- HP Z43 42.5-inch 4K UHD monitor
- HP Z31x DreamColor Studio 4K UHD monitor
- HP EliteDisplay S270n 27-inch 4K UHD monitor
What is a 4K monitor?
The term 4K, and others such as high definition (HD) and 1080p, are meant to denote the standard benchmarks for display resolution in terms of pixels. In some cases, as with 1080p, the term is referring to vertical resolution - the number of pixels from top to bottom.
For others, like 4K, the term refers to its horizontal resolution. Generally, this resolution is within a 200-pixel range of 4000 from one side to the other.
For a typical 4K PC monitor or TV, the standard translates to a native resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. There are some exceptions offering additional horizontal resolution, including the powerful HP Z31x DreamColor Studio monitor that we’ll discuss later in this article.
However, there are other benchmarks for the resolution. The most notable occurs on movie theater screens, where 4K projection features a boosted horizontal measurement for a combined resolution of 4096 x 2160.
How does 4K compare to other resolutions?
When you consider that the baseline 4K resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels, it’s easy to see why these displays can offer a substantial advantage compared to other display technology. For perspective, 1080p or HD displays can only manage 1920 x 1080 pixels, while 720p and most others will provide less.
Simply looking at numbers may not provide you with the perspective you need, so know this: 4K delivers exactly four times the total screen surface and number of pixels compared to 1080p.
Although there are other standards at play in the market, 4K is expected to become the new consumer standard. Many of the more powerful monitors require either a substantial investment to enjoy or an extremely large screen to render properly, making them cost prohibitive for mass adoption.
Advantages for gamers and streaming video
Anyone can enjoy an improvement in color, clarity, or aspect ratio, but for some users, it can mean much more. This includes seeing work the way it was intended to be seen and even gaining a competitive advantage when PC gaming.
Based purely on the higher native resolutions offered by a 4K monitor, the advantage for gamers and anyone who uses their PC heavily for streaming video is potentially substantial.
The individual experiences of gamers also depend on the rest of their hardware, but they’ll still see fundamental improvements.
That’s particularly true for the latest games, many of which are optimized with the format in mind. Some gamers or fans of cinema and streaming may have their own stylistic or design preferences, but all the models we’ll cover below are up to the task.
The 5 best HP 4K monitors available right now
1. HP ENVY 27 4K UHD monitor
If you want the benefits of a great HP 4K monitor without sacrificing too much of your budget, the HP ENVY 27-inch 4K monitor is a great place to start your search. It boasts a high sRGB color accuracy of 99% or higher and the protection of responsive AMD FreeSync™, so you can count on high-clarity color and text with a smooth and consistent picture.
Based on an IPS display with LED backlighting, it features a native resolution of 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz and a 1300:1 contrast ratio. You’ll also cut out some of the usual cord clutter associated with older displays thanks to the USB Type-C™ port used to hook up to your PC.
And if you want to increase your screen real estate as part of your office suite, order two and enjoy big, comfortable views of all your work thanks to the display’s slim edge that reduces visual distraction.
With powerful, high-clarity 4K resolution and an easy price point, the HP ENVY 27 already offers plenty of bang for your buck regardless of how you’ll use it.
Its lower price makes the HP ENVY 27 a good candidate for the best 4K monitor all-around, especially if you want a setup with multiple 4K computer monitors.
If you’re looking for an affordable 4K display to upgrade your routine, this could be the right choice for you.
2. HP EliteDisplay S270n 4K UHD monitor
For those devoted to high-quality visual performance, you’re probably already focused on finding the best option from a few specific characteristics. And if you’re a gamer, your top concern may be finding the best possible gray to gray response time. For serious gamers, the HP EliteDisplay S270n micro-edge 4K monitor is a great choice.
In addition to 4K output at a native resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz, you’ll experience a 5.4 ms gray-to-gray response time with overdrive. With a response time like that, you won’t have to worry about the usual issues gamers often experience, like motion blurring.
For a dedicated gaming system, the best 4K gaming monitor should provide a way of playing games in crystal clarity with vibrant color and the reassurance of consistent quality.
In other ways, the HP EliteDisplay S270n 27-inch is comparable to the HP ENVY 27. It has similar key features like 4K UHD native resolution, a good 1300:1 contrast ratio, and anti-glare measures built into the display.
You’ll still have the option to change the tilt of your display or set up multiple displays, thanks to a range of ports and the benefits of the thin micro edge design. And if you want some extra height from your display, it offers up to 100 mm of range for height adjustment.
For not much more than its closest cousins, the HP EliteDisplay S270n 27-inch is an extremely strong contender for the best 4K gaming monitor in HP’s larger display selection. With an improved gray-to-gray response time and a competitive price, it could be a contender for any home or office.
3. HP Z32 4K UHD monitor
The HP Z32 31.5-inch 4K UHD monitor delivers an extra 4.5 inches in diagonal screen space compared to the previous options on this list. Drawn from their premium design and creativity-focused HP Z series, the HP Z32 is big enough to easily render complex projects while reducing the hassle of scrolling or toggling.
Designed for stability and a comfortable viewing experience, this model is mounted on a robust two-pillar column. As far as performance, it provides the standard 3840 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz native resolution with a 1300:1 contrast ratio and 14 ms gray to gray.
It also has an expanded range of adjustability options that allow for more customization than smaller models. For tilt, you’ll find 25 degrees of adjustability, with a 120 mm height range on the two-pillar mount. You can even swivel it up to 90 degrees.
The HP Z32 may be a larger financial investment, but at that price you get a big screen upgrade and the extra reassurance of a three-year limited warranty for parts and labor.
It also features a full suite of ports, including support for a single-stream USB Type-C™ connection, plus the protection of the HP Zero Bright Dot guarantee for performance displays.
If you’re concerned about quality and clarity over the life of your device, don’t be, because HP® will replace your display if you ever encounter a full pixel defect.
4. HP Z43 4K UHD monitor
The largest monitor on our list, the HP Z43 42.5-inch 4K monitor has a remarkably crisp picture quality combined with color control and anti-glare technology to lend an extra measure of enjoyment to your computer-related tasks.
Whether you're working long hours on spreadsheets, fighting off hordes of zombies in the latest FPS games, or streaming a Netflix show at the end of the day, you'll never have to give in to fatigue with this LED-backlit beauty.
With a contrast ratio of 1000:1 static, 8 ms gray-to-gray response time, and standard 4K UHD specs of 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz native resolution, you are getting a PC monitor built for today's needs, but ready to take on whatever your work or play may bring going forward.
A full suite of ports includes a USB-C, 5 USB 3.0, HDMI, and DisplayPorts. And with a 20-degree swivel and tilt of -5 to +10 degrees, you're assured of maximum comfort wherever you set up your computer workstation.
5. HP Z31x DreamColor Studio 4K UHD monitor
Sticking with HP Z’s performance 4K display options, we have the award-winning HP Z31x DreamColor Studio 4K monitor.
It’s the recipient of a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and you won’t be surprised by this accolade when you hear about its top features: a boosted horizontal display resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels that meets the cinema 4K standard.
To guarantee a fit tailored to creatives, the HP Z31x was designed in collaboration with a variety of artists and studios.
You’ll maintain accuracy by manually performing color calibration whenever you start a new project or you can schedule calibration to take place regularly. Plus, you’ll streamline your workflow with the variety of built-in tools.
You’ll find other core changes to the standard 4K configuration, like a static 1,500:1 contrast ratio and truly extensive connectivity options that include legacy ports and USB Type-C™.
And for comfort, there’s a new range of adjustability features, too. Shift the tilt across a 35-degree range plus or minus 45-degrees for swiveling, and enjoy 117 mm of range for changing the display height.
HP Z38c UWQHD ultrawide curved monitor
While it's not technically a 4K monitor due to fewer pixels in the height of the screen, the HP Z38c ultrawide QHD is still worth mentioning in our list of great 4K monitors.
Designed to provide an immersive experience for streaming, gaming, and browsing, the HP Z38c 37.5-inch ultrawide curved monitor offers a unique curved PC monitor and an ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio.
Built with a 2,300 mm radius that supports your natural field of vision, this monitor is the perfect way to upgrade your multimedia experience and how you multi-task.
With so much continuous screen space, an ultrawide monitor is a great substitute for multi-screen or dual monitor setups that tend to use more power and take up extra space with cords and separate mounts. Instead of jumping from one screen to another, you’ll experience a continuous field of view with the HP Z38c.
No matter what you’re doing, you’ll love doing it free of distracting bezels or mounts when you can’t easily fit two separate stands. That means easier management of multiple applications, and an ideal platform for completing various tasks simultaneously.
For technical specs, you’ll find the standard 4K resolution of 3840 in the width but slightly less than standard at 1600 pixels high. It also has a 14 ms gray-to-gray response time and the same deep adjustability options as the HP Z32 4K monitor.
Shop the full line of HP 4K monitors
If you’re still not sure which model is right for you, HP® has several other 4K monitor options available so you can find the perfect display or gaming monitor for your needs. You’ll even find models optimized for other tasks like high-quality event installations or video conferencing at the office.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.