One of the promises of USB-C was that it could be the “one cable to rule them all” for hooking a notebook to a monitor. The bandwidth available is enough for 4K video, and the power delivery potentially sufficient to power and charge a laptop. But not all USB-C connections offer this ability. Fortunately, the Philips Brilliance 329P9H includes USB-C that meets all the requirements. So you can dock your notebook with a single wire, and that’s not the only cutting-edge feature this screen has to offer.
For a start, this is a large 31.5in 4K screen, like the Iiyama ProLite XB3288UHSU-B1, so has plenty of pixels on offer. However, unlike the latter, an IPS panel is used rather than VA. This means that whilst maximum brightness is a higher 350cd/m2, contrast is rated at a lower 1,300:1 – a typical characteristic of IPS versus VA. Pixel response is also a relatively pedestrian 5ms.
The video input selection is generous, with two HDMI connections and DisplayPort. There’s even a DisplayPort output for cloning the screen. Star of the show, obviously, is the USB-C connection, which can deliver up to 65W to an attached device so that your laptop can receive power at the same time as it is delivering both video and data connectivity to the screen.
Alongside the powered USB-C connection, there’s a four-port USB 3.1 Type A hub, with one of the ports supporting fast charge. Rounding off the conveniences, there’s a minijack audio output, 3W stereo speakers and a 2Mpixel webcam built in.
This is an incredibly adjustable monitor. The height variation is huge, you can rotate into portrait mode (which the Iiiyama ProLite SB3288UHSU-B1 can’t do), the swivelling is nearly 180 degrees in either direction, and the tilt range is very good as well.
However, there is an obvious downside with this screen – the price. Where Iiyama’s ProLite SB3288UHSU-B1 is available for a reasonable £400, this screen costs over £1,000, presumably thanks to its IPS panel. So let’s find out if it’s worth the extra money.
- Screen size: 31.5in, 16:9 aspect
- Native resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
- Refresh rate: 80Hz (60Hz in 4k)
- Panel type: IPS
- Contrast ratio: 1,300:1 (typical)
- Brightness: 350cd/m2
- Response time: 5ms Grey-to-Grey
- Display inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, USB-C 3.1 Gen 2
- USB hub: Yes, 4 x USB 3.1 (one fast charge)
- Tilt: 5 degrees forward, 25 degrees backward
- Raise: 180mm
- Swivel: 175 degrees left and right
- Portrait mode: Yes
- Other: Minijack audio output, stereo 3W speakers, 2Mpixel webcam, USB-C power delivery up to 65W, LAN
Retail Price: £1,025.75 (inc. VAT) – be aware as we went to press Philips told us the price has dropped to £800.