The Lenovo ThinkVision P27h-20 is a monitor designed for the user who needs a laptop workstation, and in many regards, it’s very well-designed for the task.
The P27h-20 is a behemoth of a monitor, so you’ll need a bit of space for its stand (around 20 cm depth). It’s a necessary evil because the stand needs to be robust enough to host the mechanism that lets you raise the screen up to 58 cm tall (13.5 cm of vertical movement), swivel 45 degrees in both directions, and rotate 90 degrees both ways for a portrait layout. It’s fairly sturdy for the most part – I don’t get the sense that anything is going to break even with a little rough handling. The P27h-20 is also VESA mount compatible, which is useful if you decide in future on a new mounting setup. But what they have here works great.
There are some nice little touches: the monitor offers cable management as well in the form of a rubber strap to hold the wires in place, and there’s a cutout on the stand that functions as a phone holder. The latter is a nice thought at best because there’s no way to stand the phone vertically as you charge it.
While it’s not much to look at, but the ThinkVision monitor is exactly what you would expect as a product from the Think family of products and the upside is that it complements your ThinkPads perfectly. The Playstation 4 also looks right at home next to it, if you don’t mind a hint of distraction out of the corner of your eye (just kidding, not ideal for that). The monitor has a fair assortment of connectivity options, as it was designed to be a hub that can also charge your laptops.
Here’s the tale of the tape: For video inputs, it can take one HDMI 1.4, one DisplayPort 1.2, one USB-C (3.1 Gen 1) that can double up as a DisplayPort 1.2. It also has a secondary DisplayPort 1.2 that it uses for daisy-chaining with another monitor.
It also has a Gigabit Ethernet port, along with five USB ports – one (3.1 Gen 1 spec) that you connect to your computer to enable the hub feature, with four regular 3.1 Gen 1 spec USB ports. Of the four one supports the BC 1.2 spec, which means you can charge your mobile devices through that port.
Admittedly, these aren’t ports that deliver cutting edge speeds, but they’re more or less fine for work unless you are a creative who has to deal with massive file sizes, day-in, day-out. Of the lot, being able to charge your laptop with a one-cable solution is perhaps the biggest draw (pun unintended) of the P27h-20, as it reduces cable clutter. The Smart Power feature is rated to deliver up to 90W of power through Power Delivery, and effectively, it’s virtually a one-for-one replacement for your existing charger. For me at least, this was the one feature I enjoyed. The convenience, as well as having one less cable dangling on the table. But of course, that is contingent on your laptop having a USB-C port with Power Delivery capabilities. The ability to daisy chain, though I was not able to test that, would be quite invaluable for multi-monitor setups.
Given all the effort to make this monitor as feature-rich as possible, it’s surprising that Lenovo did not place a set of decent speakers in the monitor. The 1W speakers onboard sound rather bad, and it seems out of place given the general quality of the other features and components. I highly doubt that many will find it acceptable, and it’s very likely you will have to connect a set of speakers to the monitor, adding to the clutter. There’s an optional soundbar that’s designed for this monitor (PN 0A36190), but in my opinion, Lenovo should have just designed a better set of onboard speakers.
Fortunately, there are no such complaints about the display, which is certainly competent enough. While it is not a 4K display, the 2560 x 1440 QHD resolution works fine on a 27-inch canvas and is perfectly suited for work purposes. It’s not a screen that’s designed to be a Netflix party favourite, but it does meet 99 per cent sRGB requirements (99 per cent BT.709 and 85 per cent DCI-P3), which is renders vibrant colours and it comes calibrated from the factory with a delta of E<2. It’s definitely above average when it comes to colour gamut and accuracy and the backlighting is sufficiently bright, being able to hit 350 nits. It’s perfectly functional if you need to do photo or video editing. The matte screen is also a nice touch because it reduces any issues with glare from indoor lighting.
With a 60 Hz refresh rate and 6ms response time (4ms in extreme mode), this is more work than a gaming monitor, but it’s fine for casual games that aren’t dependent on responsiveness. If I have anything to complain about, it would be the physical controls for the display. Changing the settings for the monitor is always a pain as the buttons are laid out at the back.
The P27h-20 is priced at $747.16 at Lenovo’s site (less if you look around online), which is on the pricier side if you use the display panel as the benchmark. In a nutshell, aye or nay comes down to the excellent ergonomics of the stand and the workstation hub, which is basically what you are paying the extra cash for.
You could easily buy a budget monitor like the Prism+ W280 Max for almost $300 less – it has a better panel, though not by a lot if your sole purpose is productivity. Meanwhile, Dell, for example, has the very competitively-priced P2719H ($389), which offers the flexible swivel display but the rest of the features are basic, while the U2719D is quite close in specs ($799) but it lacks the Power Delivery feature.
It may seem strange that I’m advocating the P27h-20 mostly on its non-display features. But while it may not have the best specs in any single area, what it offers as a whole is useful and it isn’t something that’s readily available as well.
Display QHD 2560×1440 IPS with anti-glare (99% sRGB, 99% BT.709, 85% DCI-P3)
Brightness 350 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Stand Tilt Angle (-5° / 35°)
Swivel Angle (+45° / -45°)
Lift Range (135 mm)
Pivot (-90° / 90°)
Display Inputs 1xUSB Type-C Gen1 (DP1.2 Alt Mode), 1xHDMI1.4, 1xDP1.2, 1xDP1.2 (Out)
Connectivity 1xEthernet, 1xUSB 3.1 Gen1 (Upstream, by USB Type-C), 4xUSB 3.1 Gen1 (Downstream, incl. 1 x BC1.2), 1xAudio Out (3.5mm)
Speakers 2x 1W
Other features TÜV Rheinland Eye Comfort, Kensington lock, colour calibrated (Avg. Delta E<2)
Power Consumption 27 W Typ. 150 W Max.
Dimensions 208.0 x 441.5 x 613.8 mm
Weight 7.35 kg
Lenovo ThinkVision P27h-20
Features – 8/10
Value Proposition – 7/10
Performance – 7/10
Design & Build Quality – 7/10
If it’s a minimalist, tidy workstation space that you want, this monitor checks all the right boxes.