Reasonably priced. Stylish design. Good grayscale performance. Wide viewing angles. Short input lag.
Skewed greens. Limited ports and settings. Tilt-only stand
- Bottom Line
Lenovo's L27q is a nice-looking, reasonably priced In-Plane Switching (IPS) monitor that offers wide viewing angles and good grayscale performance.
Designed for everyday tasks like web surfing and reading email, the Lenovo L27q ($299.99) is a sleek-looking 27-inch monitor that uses In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology to deliver a sharp WQHD picture with wide viewing angles and good grayscale reproduction. At just under $300, it's a good deal for a big-screen display, but the Philips Brilliance Full HD Curved LCD Monitor (279X6QJSW) offers better performance and more features for the same money.
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Design and Features
The L27q's panel is housed in a silver, bezel-free cabinet, which is supported by a round, silver base with a thin, metal mounting arm. The arm lets you tilt the panel forward and backward, but there are no height, swivel, or pivot adjustments. The lower-front edge of the cabinet holds a power switch and four buttons used to access and navigate the settings menus. Around back, facing outward, are an HDMI port and a DisplayPort input, as well as an audio output. You won't find any USB ports on this monitor, nor are there any speakers. The IPS screen has a 2,560-by-1,440 resolution and a peak brightness of 350 cd/m2. It also has a 16:9 aspect ratio, a 1,000:1 native contrast ratio, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a 4-millisecond pixel response.
Picture settings are limited to the basics. In addition to Brightness, Contrast, and Dynamic Contrast Ratio (DCR) settings, there are four color presets (Neutral, sRGB, Reddish, and Bluish) and four picture presets (Text, Web, Video, and Low Blue Light). Missing are the advanced six-color and black-level adjustments that you get with more expensive monitors, such as the BenQ SW2700PT.
Lenovo covers the L27q with a one-year warranty on parts, labor, and backlight. It comes with a setup guide and an HDMI cable, but you'll have to supply your own DisplayPort cable.
The L27q had no trouble displaying dark and light shades of gray in the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test. Shadow detail in my test images appeared sharp and well defined, as did highlight detail. Viewing-angle performance was also impressive; there was no obvious color shifting or loss of luminance while viewing from an extreme top, side, or bottom angle.
Colors appeared uniform and evenly saturated in the full-screen Color Purity and Uniformity test and while displaying episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix, but color accuracy was a tad off. As shown on the chromaticity chart below, red and blue colors (represented by the colored dots) are very close to their ideal CIE coordinates (represented by the boxes). Green is just outside of its ideal zone, but not to the point of tinting or oversaturated greens.
While not specifically designed for gaming, the L27q performed well in our Crysis 3 (PC) and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Sony Playstation 4) gaming tests. I observed some ghosting and motion blur, but not enough to ruin the experience. There was minor screen tearing as well, but unfortunately, the L27q doesn't offer support for AMD's FreeSync anti-tearing technology like the Philips 279X6QJSW does. Input lag, as measured with a Leo Bodnar Video Signal Lag Tester, came in at an impressive 9.5 milliseconds, matching our leader, the BenQ SW2700PT.
While operating in Web mode, which closely resembles the Standard mode in most other monitors, the L27q consumed 23 watts of power (it does not offer a power-saving mode). That's right in line with the Philips 279X6QJSW (24 watts) and the Dell 27 Ultrathin Monitor (S2718D) (24 watts), but the Philips display has a power-saving mode that reduces consumption to 15 watts. In comparison, the HP Envy 27 consumed 37 watts, and AOC's Agon AG271QX used 35 watts.
If you're in the market for an affordable 27-inch display for everyday use, the Lenovo L27q is worth a look. It delivers sharp WQHD imagery with wide viewing angles and good grayscale performance, but its color accuracy is a bit skewed, and as is usually the case with affordable displays, features are limited. For the same money, the Philips Brilliance Full HD Curved LCD Monitor (279X6QJSW) offers better color accuracy, a curved panel, and support for AMD's FreeSync technology. It remains our Editors' Choice for affordable big-screen monitors.
By John R. Delaney Contributing Editor
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of the Labs technical staff, as well as evaluating and maintaining the integrity of the Labs testing machines and procedures. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, John spent six years in retail operations for… More »
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