Philips 272P4QPJKEB full review
If you want lots of screen space in an extra or replacement monitor, then you want it to have a high enough resolution to fill that space. That’s where the Philips 272P4QPJKEB comes in. It might have a name like a spare part at a tractor factory but it boasts a handsome 2560x1440 resolution on a 27” W-LED backlit, Plane-to-Line Switching (PLS) panel. The PLS standard was created by Samsung to supersede IPS with greater viewing angles, lower costs and better brightness.
Things get off to a good start with the massive base and sturdy column which give an instant sense of solidity. The monitor clips to the back and can swivel – just – into an upright position. Note that the stand isn’t quite tall enough for this and you need to tilt the panel backwards to avoid scraping it along the desk when rotating. The sense of solid mechanics is backed up by the considerable 8.5Kg weight.
There’s a solid back panel housing the power and electronics, so only a plug needed, no external PSU. The interfaces are mainly located under the ledge, which is tricky so the rotating screen is required. There’s plenty of them though, with Display Port in and out so further monitors can be added on the end, two HDMI, Dual-link DVI and a clutch of USB 3.0 sockets on the side. One of the features of the monitor is that it can process two signals at once, so you could be running a laptop display on one side and have a computer/TV feed on the other. There’s also a webcam with microphone built into the front to facilitate communication as well.
The actual front of the panel isn’t behind glass so none of those reflection problems and with 300 cd/m2 brightness it can perform in bright rooms as well. There’s a fair size bevel around the edge of the screen and eco sensors on the front. When the user moves out of the way the brightness drops right down to save power. Also on the front are touch sensitive menu controls, but as usual, when the monitor is on, the words are printed so faintly they can’t be seen and they don’t light up. Otherwise, it’s a fairly bland looking monitor for your money.
However, it’s the display that you’re paying for and here the 2560 resolution looks details and crisp – though only over DVI and Display Port, not HDMI which is limited to 1920x1080. The viewing angles aren’t much greater than a standard IPS panel at 178 degrees, but it does mean you can see the screen clearly from all manner of positions. There’s no light leak anywhere across the entire panel, which speaks volumes for a high quality build, and on solid colours it’s even everywhere, there’s just no variation in it. Yes, the contrast is lacking at 1000:1 and on shade tests you can see fine definition into the highlights but the shadows tend to run together with the final 6% of blacks merging pretty much into one. There’s full sRGB coverage but here the actual colours are slightly off where they should be. For anything but absolutely colour-critical work it is fine though and photographs for example look crisp and vivid. One area where IPS and PLS panels are supposed to fall down compared to TN panels is the refresh rate. On paper this is 12ms typical and 6ms grey to grey which is perfectly fine for almost any application. If you were intending to stop designing and photography work for half an hour of gaming or to watch a movie, you won’t notice any ghosting in practice. So yes, technically, it isn’t as fast as a TN panel, in reality with real-world applications, it makes very little difference.