Nov 3 2012 - 27-inch monitors are growing in popularity thanks to decreasing costs and the extra resolution that they can provide over smaller displays. With more people also using their computers as the center for their entertainment, the larger screens make it easier to be used with multiple people watching. Whether you are looking for a low cost, gaming, video or graphics oriented display, check out which I feel are currently the best in this size.
Hannspree has made an extremely affordable but large display with the Hanns-G HL272HPB. It features a 27-inch LCD panel that uses a 1920x1080 resolution with fast 2ms response time. Color and brightness are decent for its price range but viewing angles are a bit more limited by the TN technology used in the display panel. This is a pretty no frills display but it does a decent job for its relatively low price tag. Connectors include an HDMI, DVI and VGA. There are two 2W speakers built into the panel. The stand only features tilt adjustments. Prices start at $270.
HP does an excellent job of balancing out features and price with their new ZR2740w. The 27-inch panel uses IPS technology that gives it wide viewing angles and excellent color even if it isn't as wide as some other displays. It features a high 2560x1440 resolution that nearly matches that of 30-inch displays for a crisp image and large workspace. Rather than traditional CCFL backlighting, it uses LEDs that help reduce the overall size of the display and give it excellent energy efficiency. Response times may not be as quick as some but it does well enough for fast moving video and gaming if required. Connectors include just DisplayPort and DVI-D which could be problematic for those using laptops with just HDMI ports. A four port USB 2.0 hub is also built into the display. The stand provides a full range of adjustments including height, swivel, tilt and pivot. Priced around $715.
For those serious about PC gaming, the ability to actually view the image in 3D is the next big step. Most of the 3D display technology has been limited to smaller displays because of their cost. Acer is one of the companies that offers larger 27-inch displays capable of 3D imaging. The HN274H is a relatively affordable 3D display with a 1920x1080 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate support and built-in IR transmitter for the included NVIDIA Vision 3D shutter glasses. Response times are quick at 2ms which is important for fast moving images in games. There are a pair a 2W stereo speakers but most gamers will likely want a headset or better speakers instead. Connectors include three HDMI, DVI-D and VGA. Stand adjustments are limited to just tilt. Priced around $400.
For graphics work, you must have a monitor with a very wide color gamut and highly accurate color. The Dell UltraSharp U2713HM is latest 27-inch display from Dell with uncompromising color. The best part is that each unit is factory calibrated for sRGB and AdobeRGB eliminating the need for calibrating the monitor when you first set it up. Resolution is very high at 2560x1440 and viewing angles are great thanks to the IPS panel. The stand covers height, tilt, swivel and pivot. Connectors include DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D and VGA. The display even features a four ports USB 3.0 hub but lacks the multicard reader of its predecessor. Priced around $800.