One of the most important pieces of tech you can invest in is a good monitor. Being mostly visual creatures, we have some pretty complicated, sensitive eyes. An older monitor, or one that flickers, tears, or puts out the wrong levels of light is going to be a pain to use, literally and figuratively. Philips has always made no-frills, all performance displays, and in this Gadgets Lab, we take a look at one of their more recent offerings, the 248E, from their E Line of devices.
The 248E is a sleek, slim, curved screen monitor with beautifully-thin bezels, and a solid metal stand. Done in a glossy black, with a matte silver stand, the display fits nicely on a work desk, beside a sleek desktop. To keep visual clutter down, jacks and ports are located on the rear of the panel, just above where the stand meets the back of the display. The back panel is also where the menu joystick is located, right at the right corner, where it’s easy to reach, but out of view.
The monitor has a large 23.6-inch curved, flicker-free panel that reduces eye strain by providing consistent brightness, and bringing the edges closer to the user’s eyes. The panel has wide 178-degree viewing angles, and a high-resolution 1920 x 1080 panel for sharp images and crisp detail. Philips’ Ultra Wide-Color technology gives a larger color gamut, for more natural-looking colors, and vivid, true-to-life images. Should you have a compatible computer, it also offers AMD Freesync for smooth, tear-free gameplay.
User Experience: 4/5
The Curved 248E is firstly, a sleek, elegant device. From the gentle curve of the panel, to the simple stand, and understated Philips brand on the bottom bezel, it’s a looker of a monitor. Setup is easy. There are two cables to connect: power and input, and once those are done, your screen should be up and running. The power brick is about the same size as a laptop’s, so you might still want to set that on the floor or somewhere out of sight. There is a single HDMI port, which is fine for the purpose, though you also get the VGA port in the rear for older devices. Philips has also traded a speaker to make room for the curved screen, and that’s a fine trade-off. The monitor does have a 3.5 audio jack in the rear for speakers or earphones should you want it.
I have used a few curved screens in my time, and I have always appreciated them. The 248E is no different. The curved display and flicker-free display make long work hours much easier on the eyes. The wide area also make multiple windows easier to use than my stock laptop display, and whether or not it was actually true, I felt like I was doing significantly more work than usual.
Whenever I could, I snuck some gaming time in on the display as well. The Resident Evil 2 demo was extra terrifying with such deep blacks, a curved screen, and smooth action. Sure, this isn’t really a gaming monitor, but it can pull duty as one, particularly if you have an AMD freesync-compatible rig. It should also be noted that friends of mine who usually complain of discomfort with shooters didn’t seem to mind as much on the 248E—likely a combination of the lack of flicker, and that wonderful curve again.
My main concern with the display is the control scheme for going through menus. It was a great system when they first implemented it some time ago, but I think it might be about time to update this for the current generation of interfaces. It can be difficult to find the particular menu you want to enter, and when you do find it, it’s far too easy to exit and end up back where you came. I understand that there is not much you can do with a little multi-directional stick, but surely something can be done there.
From image reproduction to comfort, and design, it’s a winner in my book. A curved monitor pays for itself in comfort, and the Philips 248E gives you that and more.
Made for work, this is a display that will happily double-duty for gaming.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE February 2019 Issue.
Reviewed by Ren Alcantara