Philips 288P6 28″ 4K Monitor Review
With more powerful Graphics Cards like the recently launched Nvidia GTX 980 is it time to really take a look at 4K, or is it still the thing that Gaming dreams are made of? Why not let pcG dip its toe in the 4K water and see what we make of all the fuss. To help us in this quest we will be taking a look at the Philips 288P6 28″ 4K monitor.
The 288P6 is a 16:9 28″ 3840 x 2160 (4K) display with a TFT-LCD panel with LED backlighting. It features a 5ms response time (Gray to Gray) and a Smart Response Time of 1ms (Gray to Gray). It has a height adjustable stand with tilt, pivot (90 degree for portrait mode) and swivel, the monitor also houses x2 3W speakers.
The Philips 288P6 came well packaged in a colourful box, with the information in the top right indicating that this monitor is from Philips’ P-Line. Suggesting that this monitor maybe be more suited to the office than the Gaming room!?
Highlighted on the side of the box we can see various features of the Philips 288P6 (see above right).
Opening the box we can see everything sat in hard polystyrene foam; on the top we have the base, some cables and also some paperwork.
Blow this tray lies the panel itself wrapped in a soft cell bag.
The contents of the box (other than the panel and stand) are shown above and listed below (what I find funny is that there’s no cable that supports 4K, according to the Quick Start the DisplayPort cable is optional!). 😮
- Power Cable (Euro)
- Dual-link DVI Cable
- VGA Cable
- Audio Cable
- Quick Start
- Quick Reference Guide (German!)
- Power Sensor documentation
- Drivers and Manual CD
At the time of writing the Philips 288P6 28″ 4K Monitor is available for approximately £465 from Ebuyer and comes with a 1 year warranty.
courtesy of Philips
Once the base and panel was out of the box (and out of the bag) the first job was to marry to the two together. This is about as simple as it comes; as all you have to do is locate the base on the bottom of the stand, ensuring that the small tab of the stand goes through the small hole in the base. Then the two are secured together by a single thumb screw.
Now with the monitor as a whole it was time to marvel at its beauty!? The Philips 288P6 is a decent looking monitor, but it’s not going to win any design awards that’s for sure. It’s a simple design with a small silver strip at the bottom, highlighting the Philips brand. At least the design is clean and simple and not adorned with buttons and LEDs (always good to see!).
In the bottom right corner you can just see the five touch sensitive buttons (four for the OSD and one power button) as well as a single LED (white) power indicator between the two.
INPUTS & OUTPUTS
Overall the initial impressions are good, the screen and stand have plenty of adjustment and there’s a host of connection options (although only one supports 4K), including USB and Fast Charge support. But it’s all about that picture really isn’t it, let’s take a look… 😉
The Philips 288P6 was tested using our Test Rig with a fresh installation of Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (service pack 1) installed together with all the latest relevant drivers and software. No additional screen calibration software was used, all of the default modes were tested and then the screen was calibrated by hand and eye to the best of my ability.
The test rig uses a MSI R9 290 Gaming 4GB (Boost Clock: 1007MHz / Memory 5000MHz) as its defaulkt card. But considering how much horsepower a 4K screen needs to drive it effectively, I will also be using a new MSI GTX 980 GAMING 4G card also.
During the review I used the following Games to help in the evaluation of the Philips 288P6.
I assumed then when I fired up the Philips 288P6 4K for the first time that I would be blown away by the awesome picture that was presented before me! Well, were you James? Well, I guess not, not initially anyway!
Although picture definition and clarity was very high (although that’s kind of expected with over 8 million pixels in front of you!). But brightness levels, contrast levels and overall colour representation was very poor! After downloading and displaying various 4K wallpapers, I decided it was time to delve into the on-screen-menu (OSD). Accessed from the buttons in the bottom left corner of the screen, I found the controls, and menus slow and cumbersome. After trying some of the preset factory settings like (Office, Photo, Movie, Game, Economy etc), I decided that it was time to go it alone. As all of the presets (AFAIK) were terrible.
After some time of messing with controls, fighting with an Adobe sRGB mode and playing with color temps I got to point where I was happy (ish). There’s no doubt that this is no IPS panel and colour representation is not a patch on monitors such as my own Dell U2711. Although that has to be expected due to the TFT-LCD nature of the panel used…
Now I could marvel at the picture before me and I have to admit (after a little calibration) the image is impressive, with fantastic detail and a sharp focus. Wallpapers were put to one side a this point as it was now time for Gaming, or at least I tried…
(1) Unless you have x2 very powerful GPUs forget 4K, I resorted to a single GTX 980 (overclocked within an inch of its life) and that still wasn’t enough…
(2) I ran into issues with certain GPUs and the Philips 288P6. The end result was flickering at 60Hz, at 30Hz it was fine, but at 60Hz there was a wobble to the image, occasional flicker and sometimes even a loss of picture! This only occurred on our test MSI R9 290 GAMING and my own Personal SLI GTX 780 setup!? I have no idea why, we tried to get to the bottom of it, but…
(3) Assuming you can get running, make sure you’re using a DisplayPort cable and the monitor is set to DisplayPort 1.2, otherwise you will be locked at 30Hz!
With all that said what is Gaming like on a the Philips 288P6? The short answer is beautiful but slow…
Most Games returned frame rates of around 30 FPS (not good enough for Gaming!), this made testing tough! What also became apparent in testing is that there was high levels of input lag, I felt that I could almost count the time between a keypresses and the result on-screen!
After weeks of testing with the Philips 288P6 I came to the conclusion that either 4K was not for me, or that the Philips 288P6 was not for me. Picture clarity was awesome, still images awesome, but Gaming suffered. Of course this is not helped by the fact that you really need two modern high powered GPUs for 4K Gaming (FACT!) and for testing we just didn’t have that kind of horsepower. This (of course) is no fault of the Philips 288P6 though and that we must bear in mind…
I have to admit to being a little disappointed by the Philips 288P6 28″ 4K monitor! Is that down to the fact that it requires so much horsepower to drive it, or is it down to the fact that Philips didn’t bring their A game to the table? The answer is a bit of both I think…
The 288P6 is a good looking monitor, but as I have said before it’s not going to win any design awards. It does of course have a plethora of features including, tilt, swivel, and pivot (90 degree for portrait mode). Add to this the USB Hub, Fast Charge port and stereo speakers and we can see the 288P6 is well specified.
Out of the box picture performance was poor, although the image was extremely clear thanks to that 3840×2160 resolution and the associated 8 million plus pixels, colour levels were not so good though. All of the presets didn’t help either, so I manually set about calibrating the monitor to my personal liking. Once done the image was pretty good, but still colour representation was no where near the level of a decent IPS panel.
Gaming was also a mixed bag, not only did we run into issues with flickering on some GPUs (R9 290 & GTX 780), but also we hit the inevitable problem of finding enough horsepower to drive this 4K screen. Even a new Nvidia GTX 980 (heavily overclocked) wasn’t enough to push Games much past 30 FPS! I also felt that there was a fair degree of input lag (even with Smart Response set to Fastest) with the Philips 288P6, a difficult thing to measure but I know I could feel something was wrong.
Overall the Philips P288P6 28″ 4K monitor performed well enough for day to day working, but I’m not sure it’s a Gaming grade monitor…
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Philips 288P6LJEB/28W 28″ HD 4K HDMI Monitor
Many thanks to Philips for providing this sample for review