Philips 34in Brilliance UltraWide LCD Display with MultiView
Ergonomic adjustments; quality picture; wide view
Philips 40in 4K Ultra HD
Quality picture; input sources; PiP and PbP; looks great
Fixed stand; volume controls
Multi-tasking can be an issue on a single display. A standard 24in monitor can be a great companion when you’re working on a single window or even running two side by side, but if you’re having trouble displaying all the windows necessary for your work or play, the hassle of opening and minimising windows can grow to be quite the grind. Rearranging multiple browser windows, your favourite text editor, photo-editing software and finder windows into the perfect layout welcomes frustration. Here’s a look at two possible solutions.
PHILIPS BRILLIANCE ULTRAWIDE LCD DISPLAY WITH MULTIVIEW (BDM3470UP)
The Philips Brilliance UltraWide LCD Display with MultiView (BDM3470UP) certainly provides the extra width, in a thin-bezel, pixel-packed package. Featuring a 3440 x 1440-pixel AH-IPS display running at 60Hz, the monitor can easily handle multiple windows open side by side, reducing the painstaking task of prioritising which windows should be open and which can afford to be minimised.
Rather than expanding a display vertically and horizontally, Philips has stretched the display on each side, changing from a common widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9 to a whopping 21:9. Without the stand it stretches 82.8 x 37.8 x 5.8cm.
With RS232, DVI, MHL-HDMI, DisplayPort and D-SUB input ports, the Philips monitor offers a range of connectivity options. Two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, one of which is a fast charging port to quickly recharge a smartphone or accessory, sit around the back of the display.
The BDM3470UP supports a nice range of ergonomic adjustments, making it easy to spin the display on its base to access the range of ports. The flexible stand lets the display move vertically in a surprisingly smooth manner and holds itself in place wherever you decide to stop on the 18cm range.
Moving the display horizontally is just as easy: the screen is able to move 170 degrees left or right. The monitor tilts five degrees forward and 20 degrees backwards, which we found very helpful, and can also switch 90 degrees from horizontal to vertical if you need to view long lists.
While the BDM3470UP provides extra screen real estate from a single source, it can also run the contents of two sources in two halves of the screen via Picture by picture (PbP) or one source in the top-right of the screen via Picture in picture (PiP). Maybe you have two computers that you need to use simultaneously? Or, like us, you think it would be great to watch a Blu-ray movie while you work.
We were able to choose which side of the display we wanted each screen and, aided by the size of the BDM3470UP, the drop in size didn’t hamper our ability to read text, surf the internet or work productively (despite the regular head movement towards the Blu-ray movie distraction).
Throughout our test period the display was exceptional. The picture was beautifully crisp. Blacks were dark, colours were accurate and we didn’t spot any backlight bleeding.
The IPS panel offers a wide 178-degree viewing range from top to bottom and side to side, making the display accessible in a number of viewpoints. However, the flexibility of the stand makes it easy to align the display with your seated position.
The menu is easy to work your way through with one exception. When connected to our Mac, the volume controls are handed over to the display – those on our keyboard no longer worked – and, without external volume buttons, it can be a pain to head through the menu to adjust the volume.
PHILIPS 4K ULTRA HD MONITOR (BDM4065UC)
The Philips 4K Ultra HD monitor (BDM4065UC) takes a different approach to screen real estate with a 40in display at an aspect ration of 16:9. This is a display for professionals.
With a 3840 x 2160-pixel resolution, the monitor can run as a single 4k display, two displays side-by-side, three displays with two on one half of the screen and four HD displays, taking up a quarter of the screen each, from four different inputs.
The BDM4065UC provides a flicker- free, true-colour experience that will impress. It is quite incredible to see four Full HD screens in full flight on the one display. For those who work with multiple computers and/or sources simultaneously, this is a monitor that should be on the list to test, especially at just under $1100.
When divided into multiple displays, users can select which window is located in which corner and the audio output. Like the BDM3470UP, the Ultra HD monitor can run two inputs as PiP. However, Philips has taken the useability up a notch with the BDM4065UC, adding the ability to choose the corner you would like the smaller display to sit and also to adjust the size of the window.
Plus, with an adjustment to the button layout from the BDM3470UP, the 40in monitor allows users to quickly switch between input and audio sources, rather than scroll through the menu options.
Unlike the BDM3470UP, the BDM4065UC has no ergonomic adjustments. Once it has been set up, it will not rotate side-to-side, tilt forward or back or move vertically. The wide 178-degree viewing range does mean the whole screen is viewable from a number of seated positions, but the stationary stand is slightly limiting.
With RS232, VGA, MHL-HDMI, HDMI, DisplayPort and mini DisplayPort input ports, the BDM4065UC also offers a range of connectivity options. The larger display features four USB 3.0 ports, one of which is a fast charging port, located on the back and like, the BDM3470UP, has 3.5mm audio in and audio port ports.
Philips’ SmartImage provides six display presets for different usage modes, such as office, movie, photo and gaming, which are accessible via the new button layout. It is quick and easy to adjust the display when you switch between work and play.
Both Philips monitors offer serious screen real estate and picture quality. The 34in BDM3470UP is a display for the multi-window type and would suit the desk of many office-bound workers. The ergonomic adjustments are a big plus, as is the number of input options.
The 40in BDM4065UC is a monitor for professionals working in photography and video. The ability to display content from four sources and the huge number of pixels it offers isn’t a requirement for most, but would be very handy for video editing.