Reviewed: Philips BDM4037UW Curved Display

While the hype around curved TVs has mostly died down in favor of the flat 4K trend, monitors continue to benefit from the advantages curved technology brings to the table. Philips takes those two trends and puts them together in one glorious device–a 40-inch, curved, 4K display in the Brilliance 4K HD LCD display.

Design: 4.5/5

Philips has always been for the minimalist approach when it comes to their displays and this one is no different. You have a curved screen, beautifully thin bezels, a slight chin, and an elegant curved stand. The controls, which on a lower-end display might be found on the bottom edge, or, heaven forbid, the front of the device, are neatly tucked away at the rear. Even that is a single clicky joystick that’s surprisingly intuitive to use. Built-in speakers fire downward from the back panel, and the power brick plugs neatly into its port, keeping the profile of the display slim. Ports and connectors all reside behind the display, and are more than a single person could possibly use. The whole package is an elegant white, with a touch of brushed aluminum, making it fit as nicely at an office desk, as a gaming station.

Hardware: 4.5/5

The star of the show is the beautiful 40-inch 3000R curved display. It’s backlit by the W-LED system with a brightness of 300 cd/sqm, and 60 Hz refresh rate. The contrast ratio is an adequate 4,000:1, if you’re into that kind of detail. It also has a relatively quick 4ms gray to gray response. With a pixel density of 110 ppi, you’re not going to be noticing individual pixels at the distances you’ll be using the display.

Ports include a VGA port, two display ports, 1.4 and 2.0 HDMI ports, and four USB 3.0 ports, with fast charging. You also have a PC-audio in, and a headphone out jack, to further uncomplicate your wiring. Should you want to refrain from headphones, it also has two 5 W speakers that perform about as expected for a built-in set.

User Experience: 4.5/5

I generally do all my work and gaming on a laptop, and while a 15.6-inch screen is reasonably large for a portable rig, it doesn’t hold a candle to this display. 40 glorious inches of curved 4K sharpness is really something. You’re going to need to be a little distanced away from such a large screen. It was roughly double that of what I would normally be on my laptop display. It might seem like a very slight difference on paper, but the curve on the display really does help put the farthest points of the screen at roughly the same distance as the center area. It didn’t just help with eye strain, the curve also helped make the whole experience more immersive.

That’s something I appreciated while reviewing Escape from Tarkov last month. The game is quite hardcore, and action goes pretty fast when it erupts. The display, its curved surface, and the size of it made the experience that much better, and with no tearing, stuttering, or ghosting,
I was 100 percent in the game.

4K content is just as one would expect. Detail is through the roof, and that’s helped along by vivid color reproduction, and again, the immersion the display brings to the table. Should you need it, you can do up to four separate displays on-screen at a given time. Viewing angles are also great. 178 degrees both vertical and horizontal means you won’t get any distortion, practically no matter how you look at it.

The control scheme, usually a royal pain to deal with, is intuitive and quick to figure out. A single joystick on the rear handles navigation and menu selection, and reminds me of navigating an earlier series mobile phone.

Internal speakers do lack power and clarity, but for purposes of hearing dialogue, syncing audio or generally just having music or sound in the background, it is more than adequate, and a welcome addition.

Value: 5/5

The display certainly isn’t for everyone, but those who might benefit from it most will find the sticker price of about PHP 40,000 reasonable. Graphics design work, extended periods at your desk, and even some light gaming are all fair game for a display such as this, and with the other options being both limited and prohibitively expensive, this isn’t a bad deal.

Bottomline:

If I had the cash to burn, and a large enough desk, I’d get one in a heartbeat

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE March 2018 Issue.

Reviewed by Ren Alcantara

 

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