Philips Brilliance 298P4QJEB 29” UltraWide Monitor Review
How wide is too wide for a monitor? That’s the question the new Philips Brilliance 298P4 dares you to ask. Like many IPS-based monitors it has been designed with professional consumers in mind but in this instance, does so with a unique, controversial design.
Usually monitors come in 16:9 or occasionally 16:10 aspect ratios which blend vertical with horizontal space for an optimal viewing experience. While these ratios work very well for a wide variety of scenarios and tasks, there’s a small but vocal segment that wants a huge amount of horizontal real estate. Previously, they needed to look at higher priced, 27” and 30” monitors which routinely sell for $700 and more. That’s not exactly an economical solution since it’s being hampered by the higher manufacturing costs associated with substrate loss when producing LCD / LED panels.
In order to optimize production while lowering prices and offering additional viewing space, Philips is jumping into the gap between 1080P and 1440P by introducing the 298P4 in a 21:9 aspect ratio.
In order to optimize production while lowering prices and offering additional viewing space, Philips is jumping into the gap between 1080P and 1440P by introducing the 298P4 in a 21:9 aspect ratio. This leads to a somewhat oddball resolution of 2560x1080 and a monitor with the width of a typical 27” 2560x1440 monitor but the height of a 1920x1080 panel.
This changing of the aspect ratio is not unheard of as 16:9 / 16:10 aspect ratios did replace the once popular 4:3 standard. Such changes only occur when consumers see the obvious benefits for it and never happen simply for the sake of change. Luckily for Philips, this new layout may be tailor made for both home users and professionals to some extent. For you and it, the 298P4 will require a lot less graphic processing power to hit its 60 frame per second specification, while at the same time offering a more cinematic friendly monitor as the vertical space is same as a typical movie: 1080P. Unfortunately, there are very few games that can take advantage of this format but 2.39:1 anamorphic films may be recreated in truer form than on “normal” monitors.
For professionals, the loss of a row of 360 pixels – or 25% of a typical 1440P monitor’s height – may not be appealing but Philips has priced the 298P4 at just $699 and value speaks volumes in this market. Plus, having the ability to open two ‘full screen’ windows on the same monitor is a force multiplier that should not be overlooked in the workplace environment.
This new blending of value, performance and efficiency is what Philips is counting on, allowing the 298P4 to change the buying public’s perception of what a large screen monitor should be. In addition, it should give the likes of Dell and their 27” UltraSharps real competition in the value end of the marketplace. But will this “new” aspect ratio turn potential customers off due to its lack of vertical space? We’re about to find out.
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