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Philips Brilliance 498P9Z 49in Ultrawide 165Hz Monitor Review

Rating: 8.5.

Sometimes, less is more. But not when it comes to screen size. Desk space and graphics acceleration power permitting, the bigger the panel and the greater the number of pixels it provides, the better. The Philips Brilliance 498P9Z delivers 49in of super-ultrawide desktop real estate and a gobsmacking 5120 x 1440 resolution. Usually, massive screens like this are compromised for gaming in some way, but this screen also offers 165Hz refresh. What's not to like?

This monitor should not be confused with the similarly named 498P9, which despite having just one letter fewer, is a lesser beast. In fact, the Z version is aimed at gaming whereas the non-Z is for more general use. This shows itself in a number of areas. Whereas the non-Z offers 5ms grey-to-grey pixel response, the Z drops this to 4ms. Where the non-Z has 450cd/m2 brightness, the Z goes up to 550cd/m2. The 498P9 is an evolution of the 499P9H, which we reviewed in mid-2019.

That refresh is the standout difference, however. While both screens support AMD FreeSync adaptive sync, the non-Z only goes up to 70Hz, whereas the Z can hit 120Hz with an HDMI connection and 165Hz with DisplayPort. Considering the size and resolution of this screen, the refresh is a considerable achievement. While there are lower-resolution panels offering 200Hz or more, a 5,120 x 1,440-pixel screen capable of 165Hz is fairly unique and will stretch most graphics acceleration. The one thing both editions of this screen have in common is the 3,000:1 contrast ratio, thanks to the use of VA panel technology.

Philips also claims a great colour gamut for this screen, with 122 per cent sRGB, 89 per cent Adobe RGB and 91 per cent DCI-P3. The brightness enables this screen to offer DisplayHDR 400 certification, and there is a wealth of inputs as well. These include three HDMI 2.0 ports and a single DisplayPort 1.4 connection. There's a quartet of USB ports as well, with two upstream inputs to create a KVM switch. The speakers are reasonably powerful at 5W each, and of course there is analog audio output for headphones. There's height adjustment, tilt, and swivel, too.

All this doesn't come cheap, however, at over £1,100 ex VAT (around £350 more than the non-Z version). On paper, though, this screen lacks for nothing. Does it really deliver on the promise of ultimate super ultrawide gaming real estate and performance?

Specification:

  • Screen size: 49-inch, 32:9 aspect
  • Native resolution: 5,120 x 1,440
  • Curvature: Yes
  • Refresh rate: 165Hz, AMD FreeSync Premium
  • Panel type: VA
  • Contrast ratio: 3,000:1 (typical)
  • Brightness: 550cd/m2
  • Response time: 4ms Grey to Grey
  • Display inputs: HDMI 2.0 x 3, DisplayPort 1.4 x 1
  • USB hub: Yes, Type B input x 2, 4 x USB 3.2 outputs
  • Tilt: 5 degrees forward, 15 degrees backward
  • Raise: 130mm
  • Swivel: 20 degrees left or right
  • Portrait: No
  • Other: Audio output minijack, 2x 5W speakers

Retail Price: £1,461 (inc. VAT)

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