Surely, our technology is advancing at a pace where it is impossible to grasp what’s next. But nonetheless, we are now witnessing the age of curved displays with likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and many more. Truly, these curved-screen displays are magnificent and remarkable. Over the last couple of years, we have seen countless curved-displays emerging from various manufacturers.
Although pricier than conventional flat-screens, watching The Walking Dead on a curved display or getting a kill streak on Battlefield is a sight to behold, the amazing details, color precision and much more, – which are absent from traditional flats.
Early this year, Philips has enter the fray with a 34-inch Quad HD Curved UltraWide monitor that is as alluring as it can get. The Philips Briliance ultrawide, curved-screen monitor is nothing like most flat displays. Sporting an UltraWide Quad HD resolution of 3440 x 1440 at 60Hz, and a 21:9 aspect ratio display, this piece of technology is an arresting piece of hardware. The panel is an IPS LCD which should make for good viewing angles, and Philips claimed that the screen has 99% sRGB color coverage which will be good for color-related work.
Design & Features
Manufactured by LG Display, the display panel is an Advanced High Performance In Plane Swithcing (AH-IPS) panel with grey-to-grey response time of 5ms. The casing itself is beautifully presented with a narrow, matte-grey-bezel finish, with a striking glossy white black, slender metal base and chromed stand for an elegant look. However, a major letdown is the lack of height and rotation adjustment which is a standard feature in today’s market. That said, the display does have a tilt function and located in the narrow perforated grille base are two forward facing Dolby DTS loudspeakers.
A very thing frame makes up the display – an overlapping front pane plastic over the bezel behind resulting an ‘edge-to-edge’ appearance. While the display underneath does not really stretch to the edges, it does actually make the display slimmer and more elegant.
As elegant it may seem, it does require a larger amount of space on your desk to accommodate this beauty. Width wise, you can expect it to be longer than conventional ones while the height is not really that much higher than other large monitors and it could be somewhat be an issue as Philips decided to drop the height adjustment feature.
Moving on to the back, ports will be split into two groupings where on one side, you are greeted with three HDMI ports, one of which supports MHL for easy connection to your mobile devices. There’s also a DisplayPort, as well as an Audio In and headphone out jack. Right next are four port USB 3.0 hubs for seamless connectivity and HDMI 2.0. Though some may argue it may be a tad more convenient to have the ports on the side of the monitor but still, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Setup & In-Use
With its’ large dimension and build, you would probably expect this beast to require assembly once it arrives like many other large monitors around. Luckily, this curved-display arrives fully assembled so you can easily plug and play straight out the box. Wall mounting is not an option with this monitor though and it is a reasonable compromise, considering a monitor of such will not be used in a multi-screen setup but that being said, it is one feature that could be questioned for such a price.
When opened, you will get a DisplayPort cable and a color matching USB 3.0 cable for the USB hub connection. Philips has opted for an inline power supply instead of fitting an internal power supply which is a surprised despite such a large monitor which means you”ll have to allocate more space for the power brick as well.
Once you are done setting up the monitor physically, you are gonna navigate the onscreen display to set it up to your liking and you might find the control system an appealing one. All you have is a single four-way joystick on the underside of the frame that controls everything. This brings us back to the older generation monitors where you need to navigate to different menus by tapping front, back, left, right multiple times.
Image & Sound Quality
Of course, the display quality is the first question that comes into mind whenever you purchase a new one. In the case of the Philips BDM3490UC , it is obvious that is a quality display. Punchy yet natural looking, colors are very sharp and it looks strong as well in the dark and light element contrast. The matte finish on the monitor also helps reduce reflections despite the curve which is known to have reflections.
And a curved display is such a wonder. Much much more than televisions display where you need to be sat far away, unlike monitors with a combination of ultra-wide and curved display really lets you experience the crisp image, providing a wraparound three-monitor setup but in one screen. You probably wouldn’t really understand or feel what I’m saying considering the looks of he monitor doesn’t really translate its capabilities.
You will truly experience the monitor’s capability when you start watching films and run Battlefield. While not all films are filmed in 21:9 aspect ratio, most highly-rated and blockbusters are available. By watching these “big” films, you will be watching with the whole screen filled with the image and not with those annoying black bars above and bottom as seen on 16:9 screens.
Sound quality on this machine should at least provide an okay performance, good enough for daily use. They do pump out quite a volume and the audio is not all that bad – not to the level of sounding shrill nor do they break up at high volume. Naturally, these built-in speakers will not offer much true bass or that oomph you wanted but if you wanted more, you could always get an external one like the Logitech Z623 speaker system.
Undeniably, the Philips Brilliance Curved Monitor is a very, very nice display. Built with combinations of top-notch image with slim, elegant design, better connectivity and above all it features an ultra-wide, curved display that’s mouth-watery.
While you may be paying a premium price for this display, it is possibly one of the most sought-after computer upgrades at the moment. The Philips BDM3490UC is a great bechmark of what to expect from a 34-inch curved-screen monitor gets you. Designed so elegantly with excellent image quality and an immersive experience, truthfully, my mouth gets more watery the more I review this piece of art. It’s expensive but you won’t regret it.
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