The rate of innovation in the PC monitor market over the past two years or so has been, frankly, explosive. Ultra-wide 21:9 aspect panels, curved screens, 4K-plus resolutions, panel sizes of 40 inches and beyond – all of this and more is now routine if not necessarily achievable and affordable in a single screen.
Meanwhile, 120Hz-plus refresh rates and adaptive frame syncing have become more affordable. As if all that wasn’t enough, yet further image-enhancing frills and features including quantum dot technology and new HDR standards and capabilities are now coming on stream. It’s a great time to be buying a new screen.
It’s into that context of dizzying innovation that Philips has launched the relatively serious and sober-suited Brilliance 328P. Its remit is relatively narrow. But it aims to do its thing to a very high standard. That ‘thing’ is deliver a 4K native resolution with proper precision courtesy of a high quality 32-inch panel and at a particularly competitive price.
In other words, there are no oddball aspect ratios or pixel grids, no exotic refresh rates or fancy gaming shizzle, no next-gen HDR capabilities. Just accuracy and quality in a generous 32-inch 4K format along with the extensive colour spaces and calibration capabilities professionals require.
Specifically, that translates into a 3,840 by 2,160 pixel grid running at 60Hz with native 10-bit per channel colour support, plus 12-bit internal colour processing. So far, so par for the ‘pro’ monitor course. Where the 328P diverges from expectations is via VA or vertical alignment LCD technology where you might expect to see an IPS panel in place. VA technology has not always been synonymous with colour accuracy. It’s also arguably inferior to IPS when it comes to both viewing angles and pixel response.
On the other hand, VA brings several unambiguous upsides to the table. For starters, Philips reckons the Brilliance 328P is capable of 3:000 to 1 static contrast. In other words, roughly three times that of a comparable IPS panel. Subjectively, VA also tends to deliver more in terms of subjective saturation and visual pop than IPS, though the latest IPS panels have closed the gap in that regard fairly dramatically in recent generations.
The question, therefore, is whether Philips can resolve the traditional shortcomings of VA and deliver a high-precision package that stands out from the existing 32-inch 4K IPS pack. Game on.
Philips Brilliance 328P6VJEB specifications
- Screen size: 32-inch, 16:9 aspect
- Native resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
- Refresh rate: 60Hz
- Panel type:VA
- Contrast ratio: 3000:1 (static)
- Brightness: 300cd/m2
- Response time: 4ms Grey-to-Grey
- Display inputs: DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI / MHL, VGA
- USB hub: 3.0 x4 with fast charging
- Tilt: Yes
- Raise: Yes
- Swivel: Yes
- Rotate / pivot: Yes
- Vesa: 100mm x 100mm
- Cables included: D-Sub cable, DP cable, HDMI cable, Audio cable, Power cable
- Other: 9.23kg with stand, audio in and out
Retail Price: £565 (inc. VAT)