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HP Omen 27c review: A Samsung Odyssey G7 challenger approaches

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
490
inc VAT

The HP Omen 27c isn’t a terrible monitor, but you can do much better for similar money

Pros 
Interesting design
Immersive 1000R curvature
Bright, impactful 240Hz panel
Cons 
No local dimming
Heavy motion blur/ghosting
Competition offers better value
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Whether HP will admit it or not, the Omen 27c is gunning for the crown currently held by Samsung’s indomitable Odyssey G7. It’s a vaunted position: the Odyssey G7 has been our favourite gaming monitor overall since its launch and is only becoming a more appealing prospect as its price slowly creeps downwards.

It certainly has a fight on its hands, then, but can this 1440p, 240Hz curved gaming monitor prove as versatile an all-rounder as the Odyssey G7? On paper, it would seem so.

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HP Omen 27c review: What do you get for the money?

The HP Omen 27c costs £450 from HP at the time of writing, although it’s cheaper elsewhere (£440 at Amazon). For that money, you’re getting a 27in VA panel with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440, a refresh rate of 240Hz, a curvature of 1000R, a response time of 1ms G2G (with overdrive), a DisplayHDR 400 certification and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support.

Ports line the bottom two edges of an unusual diamond-shaped protrusion on the Omen 27c’s rear. There’s one HDMI 2.0 input here and one DisplayPort 1.4 port plus a 3.5mm headphone jack, two USB-A 3.0 ports for your peripherals and a USB-C 3.0 port to hook them up to your PC or laptop. This USB-C port neither supplies power nor carries a video signal.

The stand delivers 130mm of height adjustment and 20 degrees of backwards tilt and has a hook on the top for hanging a gaming headset on. In the box, you’ll find DisplayPort and USB-A cables alongside a power supply complete with a hefty brick.

READ NEXT: The best monitors on the market right now

HP Omen 27c review: What does it do well?

I like the way the HP Omen 27c looks. The diamond-shaped rear and stand base have a monolithic simplicity to them that appeals to me more than the busy designs of many gaming monitors. The design is practical, too. The base is small yet steady and the angular sides of the rear diamond help make accessing the ports nestling there incredibly easy.

It’s good to see a USB-A hub on the rear and the built-in headphone stand is another nice touch. I’m also fond of HP’s OSD and controls: a joystick is always the superior option, and it helps that the menus themselves are easy to navigate.

I’m skirting the point, however. For better or worse, a gaming monitor like the HP Omen 27c lives or dies by the quality of its panel. There are comparatively few quality-of-life features here, which I suppose HP would argue isn’t something that would bother a gamer. Instead, the Omen 27c banks on a silky smooth 240Hz refresh rate paired with a dramatic 1000R curve – and it pays off. As with the Odyssey G7, gaming on a screen this curved is a wonderfully immersive experience.

From a performance standpoint, the Omen 27c’s panel is decent. Out of the box, the panel only produced 86% of the sRGB colour gamut but it did so with an average Delta E of 1.19, which is impressive. I’m not quite sure why this is the default, though.

In order to enjoy the vibrant colours associated with gaming monitors, you’ll want to switch into Gaming mode immediately: in this mode, the monitor produced 114% of the sRGB colour gamut and 81% of DCI-P3. Tested against sRGB in the same mode, the Omen 27c produced a Delta E colour variance score of 2.2, which is a touch on the inaccurate side but nothing you’re likely to notice. Fundamentally, this monitor straddles sRGB and DCI-P3 in its Gaming mode, which means colours are quite vibrant.

Peak brightness in SDR and HDR far exceeded the 400cd/m² required for a DisplayHDR 400 certification (I measured 461cd/m² using a 10% white window in HDR). As a result, this monitor performs better than most in the DisplayHDR 400 bracket. Without local dimming, this monitor’s HDR performance is undeniably hamstrung, but with wide colour gamut reproduction, a high peak brightness and a good contrast ratio of 2,780:1 it makes a solid attempt.

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HP Omen 27c review: What could be better?

Of course, a solid attempt may not suffice for the discerning gamer. If you want something resembling real HDR you need to buy a monitor with at least DisplayHDR 600 certification and local dimming of some kind. The Samsung Odyssey G7 ticks both of these boxes where the Omen 27c does not.

While I’m on the topic of the panel, I should note that this monitor produces a fair bit of motion blur, as many VA panels do. Pumping up the Overdrive settings helps a bit, but the top-most level creates an alarming amount of inverse ghosting, so you’ll need to play around with it to find a setting that works for you.

At this price, I was expecting a bit more from the Omen 27c’s stand, too, which only offers tilt and height adjustments. The Odyssey G7 offers tilt, pivot, swivel and height adjustments and the AOC AGON AG273QXP delivers the same for only £420. I’d be less irritated if the HP were an affordable mid-range model, but it isn’t.

Unfortunately, the stand is also frustratingly difficult to raise and lower, which is simply more fuel for this particular fire. It contributes to the sense that the HP Omen 27c hasn’t been thoughtfully designed; the lack of speakers and the fact that you need to go rooting around in the OSD to make the most of the panel just add to that feeling.

The biggest issue with the HP Omen 27c, however, is the value for money it represents. Given the specification, it’s impossible not to compare it with the Samsung Odyssey G7, which might have been a more flattering comparison to make back in 2020 when the G7 was £550. You can pick a G7 up for £470 at the time of writing, however, and it often drops as low as £400 over deals periods such as Black Friday.

READ NEXT: The best cheap gaming monitors to buy

HP Omen 27c review: Should you buy it?

This effectively dashes the aspirations of the HP Omen 27c. It’s not a particularly bad monitor, but there’s simply no point buying one unless you’re a diehard HP fan (if such a thing even exists). The Odyssey G7 delivers superior HDR and gaming performance in a more user-friendly package at a similar price. This makes my verdict effortlessly straightforward: you should buy the Samsung Odyssey G7 instead.

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