When looking for the best 4K gaming monitor, velocity races to the highest of the must-have listing. But when your 4K priorities hinge extra round artistic work and perhaps some leisure, the wants change. Coloration turns into a extra cautious consideration, particularly in case you’re trying to do one thing like picture or video enhancing.
The HP U28 4K HDR monitor ($450 as of writing) steps in as a dependable workhorse for content material creators or those that identical to to spend a while in Photoshop for enjoyable. It will get the job finished with confirmed shade accuracy throughout each the sRGB and DCI-P3 shade areas and even requires simplicity with USB-C connectivity. However is it price paying a small worth premium?
HP U28 Specs
|Panel Kind / Backlight||IPS / W-LED|
|Display Measurement / Side Ratio||28 inches / 16:9|
|Max Decision & Refresh Fee||3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz|
|Native Coloration Depth & Gamut||8-bit + FRC / sRGB, DCI-P3, VESA DisplayHDR 400|
|Response Time (GTG)||4ms with overdrive|
|Max Brightness||400 nits|
|Connectivity||1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB Kind-C, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Kind-A, 1x 3.5mm|
|Energy Consumption||155W most|
|Dimensions (WxHxD w/base)||25.08 7.47 x 20.92 inches|
Meeting and Equipment
Displays have by no means been simpler to assemble, and with the bounty of connectivity choices the U28 affords, the setup course of is even smoother. The bottom and the arm are already unified when pulled out of the field, so that you simply should snap the stand into the again of the panel. No instruments required.
The U28 can connect with a PC over HDMI, DisplayPort or USB-C, and HP does the fitting factor by offering one cable for every. The field additionally consists of the exterior 180W energy adapter — it’s not constructed into the panel like some screens — and 6.2-foot A/C energy cable. There’s additionally a fast begin information, product discover and guarantee papers.
Drivers for the U28 are available online. After you put in it, you’ll get a “HP U28 4k HDR Monitor” Coloration Profile out there in Home windows and gained’t be capable to change it, until you enter Home windows’ HDR mode, at which level the Coloration Profile will disappear.
Prepared in your 2021 work atmosphere, whether or not that is a house workplace or an workplace workplace, the bottom of the U28’s panel, in addition to the stand and arm are a glossy silver with a frosted, subtly textured end that provides a really feel of premium. The silver hue will mix in properly anyplace, however I want the thick black backside bezel matched. As an alternative, the black contrasts with the silver whereas serving to its subtly reflective HP emblem pop. Bezels aren’t offensive however are noticeable at about 0.3 inch on the highest and sides and a chunky 0.8 inches for the underside bezel. The underside additionally holds a tiny however brilliant LED indicator mild, informing you of the U28’s energy standing. That prime bezel is simply in need of being thick sufficient to forestall my webcam, a Logitech C920, from getting into the picture. In an fascinating inexperienced transfer, the U28 is manufactured from 85% post-consumer recycled plastic, together with the equal of greater than three 16-ounce plastic water bottles.
Nice for workhorses and enhancing your subsequent headshot, the stand affords a variety of motion. You’ll be able to increase the display roughly 4.7 inches, flip it 90 levels into portrait mode and tilt it 23 levels ahead, 5 levels backward or 35 levels to the left and proper. Rotating the panel ends in reassuring notches, however you’ll have to tilt it ahead so as to get it into portrait mode. It’s a bit of labor that gained’t be rewarded with the monitor’s picture mechanically adjusting. Top and aspect actions are easy, though top changes take a bit of extra muscle. The monitor feels safe irrespective of its positioning, however there’s additionally a 100 x 100mm VESA mount.
Round again is a bevy of ports, an amazing inclusion in a 4K monitor. The U28 affords one every of HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2 and USB Kind-C, plus three USB Kind-A ports. The USB-C port affords Energy Supply at as much as 65W, which means the monitor may energy a laptop computer or different machine, lessening doable cable muddle. Some screens supply as a lot as 100W, so relying on how power-hungry your laptop computer is, you could or not choose to attach by way of USB-C. It’s clear, although, that HP is making this for creatives and much more basic shoppers who might need one thing like one of many best ultrabooks that assist USB-C charging.
HP features a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Kind-C cable within the field, and in case you use it, you’ll additionally get entry to a few USB-A ports. This actually helped my productiveness, making it simple to depart issues like a webcam or a wi-fi headset plugged it always for fast entry. One USB-C port for 3 USB-A ports is a good commerce to me.
Rounding out the enter choice on the again is a 3.5mm headphone jack. Few will need for extra, however audio system can be good, particularly with the purported use of having fun with HDR content material, like films. HP advertises the monitor as transport with small cable administration on the arm, however our check unit didn’t embody that.
The five-way joystick on the again proper of the U28 enables you to management the on-screen show (OSD). Right here you’ll discover a Brightness+ menu, which affords 1-100% sliders for brightness and distinction and a toggle for Dynamic Distinction, which is off by default and principally simply appears to spice up the monitor’s brightness.
The Coloration menu affords seven presets. The default is “Pictures (P3 D65),and, because the identify implies, is supposed to be used with the DCI-P3 shade house. The net and a variety of films and streaming you’ll be doing is in SDR although, so the U28 additionally affords an sRGB mode, Design for the online (sRGB D65). The OSD reveals values for purple, inexperienced, blue, white level and gamma for these two presets, in addition to for the HD video (BT.709) and Design for print (sRGB D50) presets, however they aren’t adjustable.
The Coloration menu additionally has presets known as Commonplace, Gaming, Evening and HP Improve+, which you’ll be able to set to Low, Medium or Excessive. Commonplace appears similar to the Pictures mode, focusing on the P3 shade house, as we’ll see within the following checks. HP Improve+, in the meantime, is meant to sharpen the show, however I felt it seemed synthetic and made some textual content look oddly uneven. There’s additionally an RGB Acquire Alter part within the Coloration Menu with sliders (as much as 1,023) for purple, inexperienced and blue.
Within the Picture menu, you possibly can play with Image-in-Image, the place you possibly can view two inputs directly, a useful productiveness device. You can even set response time throughout 5 ranges (it’s set to degree 1 by default) and picture sharpness. There’s additionally an enter menu, the place you possibly can set the enter, double verify the USB-C configuration and auto-switch.
Energy menu has a Energy Mode, the place you possibly can activate a Energy Saver mode that disables some options,like USB-C video, USB energy supply and the wake from sleep by way of PC operate. There’s additionally an Auto-sleep Mode, however you possibly can’t management the timing; it’s both on or off.
Lastly, there are some housekeeping sections like a Menu space that permits you to management issues like language and OSD positioning or reprogram the joystick’s features, which is nifty. You can even verify information like backlight hours or view the monitor’s serial quantity with out having to get beneath the underside bezel.
Out of the field, the U28 is about to its Pictures / P3 mode, which units the monitor at 45% brightness. That proved brilliant sufficient for getting work finished from numerous angles. My monitor sits perpendicular from a big window, and I had no concern seeing correctly with the monitor utilizing lower than half of its brightness functionality. Even once I sat sideways from the monitor, I may see the picture. It simply seemed darker, and I may see a mirrored image on darker scenes on the nearer third of the monitor. The highest view expertise was comparable.
You’ll be able to inform this monitor is geared for creatives with a love of shade via its P3 default. Home windows usually and net pages seemed additional saturated, with purple specifically delivering additional pop, greens trying stronger than regular, yellows much less washed out and richer blues. It’s a noticeable distinction, and, fortunately, HP makes it simple to modify over to an sRGB mode that makes issues look extra acquainted if most popular. I didn’t thoughts the additional saturation for every day work although.
With broad viewing angles and a variety of motion allowed by the U28’s stand, I may rise up shut and private with the display and place it at simply the fitting angles when doing detailed picture work after which step again and take a look at my work from totally different views. Whether or not writing an article, watching a film or making edits on photographs of a keyboard, I received a cushty, colourful view.
An SDR copy of Mission: Not possible – Fallout taking part in with the monitor’s default P3 settings seemed vivid and detailed. The additional saturation didn’t distract or detract, partially as a result of a variety of the colours are extra muted, like impartial tones, beiges and olive greens, and in addition as a result of I’m used to watching the film in HD, too. The orange of an evening membership seemed a bit of extra vibrant than anticipated in SDR although, as did a number of the darker inexperienced nature on the mountains or inexperienced lights in a darkish tunnel. Actually, generally the additional shade introduced a bit of extra readability. Pores and skin tones, for example, seemed extra vigorous and flushed. It was additionally simple to see particulars, like brick textures or fencing, within the film’s many darker scenes.
Upping the brightness from default 45% to 90% and better didn’t horribly harm picture high quality, however in some instances, particularly when there have been very brilliant areas within the scene, there was a drop. Gentle, like sunrays coming via lengthy home windows or from a rocket launching, bled into the encompassing colours extra, and a freeway’s grey concrete colours seemed extra washed out as a substitute of like grey concrete.
I additionally fired up an HDR copy of Black Panther and turned HDR mode on in Home windows. Afterward, the OSD’s Brightness+ and Coloration menus have been unusable, so I used to be caught with the monitor’s default HDR settings. Like many screens with out pricier edge-array or full-array native dimming (FALD) backlight techm, the film didn’t look a lot totally different watching it in HDR mode than SDR on the U28. That’s not too shocking although, given the monitor sports activities VESA’s lowest DisplayHDR certification,
With HDR on, colours within the film have been much less highly effective. Colours truly appeared stronger if I watched the film with HDR off and the monitor set to its default P3 mode. In HDR mode numerous colours, from a fuschia costume, to T’Challa’s darkish inexperienced blazer and orange mild coming via a window seemed good. But when I turned HDR off, I received richer colours. The inexperienced blazer seemed darker and the orange bloodier. Darker reds popped a bit of extra, with, for instance, Okoye’s burgundy lipstick creeping nearer to the purple aspect of the spectrum with HDR off and the monitor in P3 mode. Even pores and skin tones differed. With the P3 mode, the monitor confirmed hotter undertones.
I did discover it simpler to see particulars in darker areas with HDR mode on. For instance, a tapestry simply seemed like some darkish purple artwork within the background in P3 mode, however with HDR on, I may higher see the purple, yellow and inexperienced particulars of the piece.
Display uniformity is a matter that solely essentially the most nitpicky will complain about, and I had no points throughout common use. With an all-red or, particularly, all-white display via, the underside border appeared darker. Display uniformity can differ from unit to unit although.
Brightness and Distinction
Our testing consists of use of a Portrait Shows SpectraCal C6 colorimeter. To examine our monitor checks in-depth, take a look at Display Testing Explained: How We Test PC Monitors. We cowl brightness and distinction testing on page two.
To see how the U28 stacks up in opposition to different 4K screens within the 28-inch vary, we introduced within the Lenovo ThinkVision S28u-10, which is often about $100-$150 cheaper than our assessment focus, and the 27-inch Dell S2721QS, which can also be cheaper than the U28’s present $450 price ticket, with a ordinary worth of $350-$375. Just like the U28, each supply IPS panels. To get nearer to the U28’s $450 price ticket, we’re additionally together with the 32-inch curved AOC CU32V3, going for $390 as of writing. It’s the one VA panel right here.
The U28’s default Coloration Mode is Pictures (P3 D65), which targets the P3 shade house. There’s additionally an sRGB Coloration Mode, Design for net (sRGB D65), a Commonplace mode and 5 others. For our functions, we examined the P3, sRGB and Commonplace modes solely.
In its default mode Coloration Mode, the U28 peaked at max of 461.7 nits brightness. That already exceeds its minimal most brightness declare of 400 nits; nonetheless, we discovered an excellent brighter picture within the Commonplace Coloration Mode, the place we squeezed out a further 12.7 nits. It is a brilliant monitor, and on a sunny day with a variety of solar reflecting off snow and thru a close-by window, I had no bother working at simply 45% brightness. The subsequent brightest monitor in our comparability group continues to be behind the HP by 68.7 nits.
We examined three of the U28’s eight preset Coloration Modes, and the black ranges have been equal at 0.4 nit. That is the worst rating amongst our comparability group, however a 0.4-nit black degree continues to be within the typical vary for an IPS panel. The AOC is the standout right here, with its VA panel hitting a low 0.15-nit black degree. That helps the 32-incher leap previous the competitors in our distinction ratio check, the place we are able to see why VA is taken into account the distinction king. The U28 will get its finest distinction rating, 1,1108.8:1 in its Commonplace Coloration Mode. I hoped it’d obtain this in its default P3 mode, however the distinction is minor.
Grayscale and Gamma Monitoring
We describe our grayscale and gamma checks intimately here.
The U28 confirmed glorious grayscale monitoring with virtually no seen errors in all three Coloration Modes examined. The one blemish is within the sRGB mode, the place at as much as 20% brightness there’s small error with the colour leaning a bit of additional purple. The error is simply barely above the three Delta E (dE) line, which represents the seen threshold, so that you’ll want a really eager eye, along with dim settings, to note.
In all three modes, gamma is within the 1.9 vary as a substitute of the best 2.2. Within the P3 and Commonplace modes the errors are notably excessive at 10% and 70-95% brightness. Sometimes, we’d say you’re not going to make use of your monitor at 10% brightness usually, however the U28 will get fairly brilliant, and if you wish to use it in a darkish room you could be dropping brightness considerably. At that time, particulars in shadows, just like the arches in a stone wall in Mission: Not possible, turned more durable to see, but it surely wasn’t a large concern.
With the monitor set to its sRGB preset, the excessive gamma is much less of an issue, however we nonetheless see a dramatic drop at greater brightness ranges.
Throughout three picture settings, the U28 delivered pro-level grayscale monitoring with no seen errors, topping the comparability group. All of the screens right here characteristic good grayscale monitoring although, with solely the Lenovo exhibiting apparent calibration potential.
Within the gamma worth vary check, we observe how shut every monitor sticks to the two.2 purpose throughout brightness ranges, so the tighter the vary, the higher. The Lenovo gained this check, however the U28 in sRGB mode takes second place. Our assessment focus’ P3 mode was the least correct of the three, examined however nonetheless scored higher than the AOC monitor.
Coloration Gamut Accuracy
For particulars on our shade gamut testing and quantity calculations, click here.
The HP boasts of the U28 being issue color-calibrated, permitting for hobbyists to enter pro-level territory when enhancing issues like photographs and movies. When measuring the P3 and Commonplace presets in opposition to the P3 triangle and sRGB in opposition to sRGB, errors have been nearly unattainable to see. The P3 mode reveals a 3dE shade error, and 3dE is the seen threshold. Its shade chart reveals slight oversaturation of purple on the 20-80% saturation steps. Blue additionally has some oversaturation whereas simply lacking the outer blue level by a smidge. However these are very small errors that you just’re unlikely to see this with the bare eye. That is pro-level accuracy throughout two totally different shade areas, exhibiting stellar efficiency.
The Commonplace mode’s P3 accuracy is especially excellent news since you possibly can squeeze a bit of additional distinction out of the U28 there.
We are able to additionally verify that HP’s low blue mild characteristic, which is all the time on, doesn’t affect shade accuracy — at the least throughout these three presets. How efficient it’s at maintaining your eyes fatigue-free will rely in your eyes, nonetheless. I sometimes don’t have a difficulty with blue mild however will notice that the monitor doesn’t have the identical dimmer or beiger impact that activating low blue mild modes usually forged.
Boasting manufacturing unit shade calibration and accuracy worthy of video and picture enhancing and the like, the U28 simply manages to ship on its shade accuracy claims. Its Pictures P3 mode crosses the 3dE visibility mark by a hair, however we’ll give it to them. And with a 2.7 dE sRGB shade error rating, it’s match for sRGB work as nicely.
With regards to the P3 shade house, the U28 covers 79.7% in its designated P3 Coloration Mode and 79.8% in Commonplace mode. 80% can be good, so isn’t unhealthy efficiency. Nevertheless, it’s disappointing to see the cheaper AOC supply a bit of extra shade at 85.5% protection.
For net browsing and the like, the U28 chooses accuracy above oversaturation. The entire different screens right here oversaturate sRGB, however the U28’s sRGB mode covers almost all of the house with out overdoing it, making it nice for color-critical work or play.
With Home windows’ HDR mode activated, the U28’s brightness and shade controls are grayed out, so there’s no tweaking out there by way of the OSD.
The excellent news is that the U28 reveals nearly good EOTF monitoring, intently following the yellow line representing good. This helps clarify why shadowy areas have been so clear and detailed in Black Panther, and I had no points seeing particulars in highlights both. The charts present some grayscale errors with a green-ish bias, however this wasn’t apparent.
It’s unlucky that the U28 doesn’t allow you to swap to its P3 preset with HDR mode, because it did a greater job of hitting the P3 shade targets. Within the chart above, the U28 fails to hit the triangle’s most outer purple goal. It additionally doesn’t attain outer targets for inexperienced, cyan, blue or magenta. In consequence, HDR content material typically seemed extra colourful with HDR off and in P3 mode than with HDR on. However I observed some element loss in shadowy areas with HDR off.
With none superior backlight options although, like FALD or efficient dynamic dimming to spice up distinction in HDR, the monitor’s distinction ratio will likely be fairly equal whether or not in HDR mode or not. Total, HDR content material seemed flat in comparison with how it will look on better-specced HDR screens and never noticeably totally different than SDR.
The HP U28 4K HDR monitor is a great purchase in that it does what it guarantees. Its IPS panel is colourful and correct. Whether or not SDR content material on the net or switching to the P3 shade house for artistic work or films, the monitor comes with correct shade presets that make productiveness and leisure gratifying and true-to-life. And its brilliant display makes it match for any room, irrespective of how sunlit.
HDR efficiency doesn’t fairly match up, nonetheless. HDR mode isn’t tweakable, and its colours aren’t saturated sufficient and it doesn’t supply a noticeable visible improve over SDR. Some would possibly even favor to observe films with HDR off in favor of extra correct, deep colours.
And whereas picture high quality is powerful, you’re not getting far more than you’ll discover in comparable sized and even bigger screens. For instance, the 32-inch AOC CU32V3 is a curved display with stronger distinction, attributable to its VA panel, and comparable, if not higher, shade efficiency. In the meantime, the 27-inch Dell S2721QS affords comparable distinction to the U28 and throws in some helpful options, like audio system and a home windows supervisor.
There could also be cheaper screens within the U28’s efficiency bracket, however the U28 is a dependable, correct monitor with sufficient nits to assist it shine brighter than some rivals.