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    Reviewed: Philips 328E9 Monitor

    A great CPU is nothing without a monitor to match. You can cash out a bunch on your mobo, proc, and GPU, but since you’re going to be staring at a monitor and not hardware in your PC case, you need a good one to enjoy your build. Philips has been around, and making displays for a long time, so they know their stuff. They’ve sent over the 328E9 for review, just in time for some other hardware I’m testing, so let’s see if it does the PC justice.

    DESIGN: 4.5/5

    First off, the design. This is a beautiful, curved 32-inch monitor with wonderfully thin bezels, and a slight chin at the bottom. The face of the device is done in a smooth black, with a sleek brushed metal base. The front is bare, with all the controls and inputs residing at the back panel, within easy access thanks to the monitor’s curved back. Overall the design is tastefully done, and will fit as nicely on an office desk as among your home gaming hardware.

    HARDWARE: 4.5/5

    This 32-inch monitor isn’t just a pretty face. It has a gentle curve to it, pulling the edges closer to the user and making the experience a little easier on the eyes. Philips also has the VA display for optimized viewing angles, and a Full HD panel for great visuals. AMD users have the additional benefit of FreeSync compatibility. Should you require it, this monitor also has a DisplayPort on top of the standard HDMI port. There are even 3.5mm input and output jacks on top of the built-in 3W stereo speakers.

    USER EXPERIENCE: 4.5/5

    To put this particular E9 line monitor through its paces, I paired it with the Lenovo T530 Tower, with a robust RTX 2060 GPU. I was eager to get to try ray tracing titles, and I figured this was the monitor to try and get the job done.

    Philips takes some steps to make setting up easier. A thing I always appreciate is the simple two-part construction, with the inclusion of a thumb-turn screw to affix the display to the base. Once that’s installed nice and tight, it’s a simple matter of attaching a power cable and a video source, and get to work.

    By work, I do actually mean office work. I had articles to write, videos to review, and photos to look over. Through all those things, the display performed superbly. I have no idea how I’ll survive with a smaller monitor, as 32 inches gives a lot of room to work without losing detail, so for constant multitaskers such as myself, it’s a massive boon. Video editing is also great, as smaller thumbnails aren’t lost as they tend to be with smaller screens. Color reproduction and detail are likewise superb for all the multimedia uses I threw at it, including inspecting pages for the magazine.

    Gaming was something I was keen to try on this as well. I’m quite pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed. It’s great at displaying the spectacular lighting ray tracing can deliver in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, making a gorgeous game absolutely jaw-dropping. The curved display is certainly no small matter in this as well, wrapping the corners in nicely. Screen response times aren’t 1ms fast, as it’s not a gaming monitor primarily, but that didn’t affect its gaming performance at all. More important was that the images were smooth, tear-free and evenly bright, so I would have no reservations using this for even competitive FPS titles. Viewing angles are great on the monitor, and even when I was off to one side working on other tasks, YouTube videos were undistorted and dead easy to follow. The 75Hz refresh rate is also a great bump over standard 60Hz, as long as your machine can push it.

    The speakers leave a lot to be desired though. I didn’t have a wall behind the screen, and with such small drivers, the sound is distant and tinny. With an output jack available on the back of the monitor though, hooking speakers up in a clutter-free manner should be trivial.

    Menus on the monitor, as well as speaker volume control, are still available via a five-way stick on the back bottom edge of the display. Since there’s just one UI input, it will take some thinking to get used to navigating though the menus, but after using the monitor for about a week, it was easy enough. Up and down goes through menu items, and right selects it. Then it’s a simple matter of picking the level or setting you want.

    VALUE: 4.5/5

    At a price of PHP 16,199, this is great value for money. You get a monitor from a good, trusted brand, in 32 beautifully curved inches, and all the features that give it a leg up over cheaper competition. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a looker as well.

    Specifications:

    • LCD panel type: VA LCD
    • Backlight type: W-LED system
    • Panel Size: 31.5 inch / 80 cm
    • Effective viewing area
    • 698.4 (H) x 392.85 (V) – at a 1800R curvature*
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9
    • Maximum resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 75 Hz*
    • Pixel Density: 70 PPI
    • Response time (typical): 4 ms (Gray to Gray)*
    • Brightness: 250 cd/m²
    • Contrast ratio (typical)
    • 3000:1
    • SmartContrast: 20,000,000:1
    • Viewing angle: 178º (H) / 178º (V)
    • Connectivity: VGA (Analog ), DisplayPort x 1, HDMI (digital, HDCP), PC audio-in, Headphone out
    • Speakers: 3 W x 2
    • Dimensions with stand: 713 x 525 x 236 mm
    • Weight with stand: 6.78 kg

    What’s Hot:

    • It’s huge!
    • Great colors and viewing angles
    • The price isn’t bad at all

    What’s Not:

    • Small speakers for its size
    • UI takes getting used to

    Bottomline:

    Definitely one of the best gaming headsets out there.

    Reviewed by Ren Alcantara
    Also published in Gadgets Magazine June 2020

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