Philips 29″ UltraWide monitor review

7

Good

[quote]If I had separate desks for doing SA Techie work and for playing games, this monitor would be my choice for a single screen that does the job of two, without the extra hassle and cables and distracting bevels. [/quote]

philips 2

Professional screens have extremely high demands placed upon them. From panel uniformity variance, colour reproduction, performance, gamma, saturation and more, these screens are expected to operate in extremely precise and small tolerances. In general, the screens have started to garner interest in the gaming world too, where several of those features translate into a great viewing experience, even if it costs a premium.

The 29″ UltraWide is an odd resolution, but it works in several instances. If you need multiple browser pages or spreadsheets and documents open, the ability to have two full-size windows next to each other is priceless. If I had separate desks for doing SA Techie work and for playing games, this monitor would be my choice for a single screen that does the job of two, without the extra hassle and cables and distracting bevels.

If you work with images and photography, in a professional capacity, the screen starts to lose its shine though. While a variance of 18% in brightness uniformity is nothing to laugh at with side a wide panel, the two dark spots in the top corners, as well as a hot spot towards the lower center of the panel makes that variance rather obvious when working with images. The lack of a factory colour calibration seems odd, as other professional screens offer this feature. Still, with a few minutes of fiddling, the screens colour can be made much warmer and closer to being visually correct.

For movies the 21:9 format works really well, thanks to a large viewing area, and the upscaling to fill your 2,560 x 1,080 looks better than most movies scaled to fit a 2,560 x 1,440, especially anamorphic widescreen format movies.

So how does it fare in the gaming department?

With a 14ms refresh rate, this is not a screen for high-speed gaming. While the SmartResponse system does try to compensate for this rather slow refresh, it ends up creating a triple image system, thanks to reverse-ghosting, perfection and ghosting all appearing on screen if you use a high speed camera to catch the action. While you won’t see it due to it happening so fast, an hour of gaming will leave your eyes tired as your brain tries to process the extra image information. The increase in pixels to 2,560 x 1,080 will put a strain on your card, despite it sounding like a small increase. Due to being an odd resolution, most games will look odd unless you can choose this resolution and alter the FOV.

Do you work in an environment where you need two screens’ worth of spreadsheets or documents open, but your desk / machine only has space for a single monitor? Then the Brilliance 29″ UltraWide is a perfect choice. For work with video, images and photography, the lack of factory calibrated presets for colour profiles will leave professionals rather spending more money on other screens, rather than saving R2,000. In the end the screen’s value will depend on what you need and use it for, and how tolerant you are of colour and brightness uniformity. This is a try before you buy purchase.

Good

  • Great for work on two spreadsheets or two full-sized windows at once

Bad

  • No factory colour calibration | 14ms too slow for gaming
7

Good

Value - 7.5
Performance - 7
Features - 6.5
If it has the letters RPG in it, I am there. Still battling with balancing trying to play every single game that grabs my interest, getting 100% in a JRPG, and devoting time to my second home in Azeroth.

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