Philips 273E3QH review
27in screen size, 1,920x1,080 resolution, DVI: yes, VGA: yes, HDMI:
With its uniform grey bezel, you could easily mistake the 273E3QH for a budget monitor, but look a little closer at its specifications and you’ll see that’s far from the truth. Philips has used a high quality Vertical Alignment (VA) panel, rather than the more common TN, as well as a white LED backlight for improved colour accuracy.
The 27in, 1,920x1,080 panel has a matte finish which diffuses light reflections effectively, meaning we could always see what was on the screen, even under fluorescent lighting. The VA panel also has 178-degree viewing angles, so you need to be practically side-on to the monitor before you notice any change in colour or darkening of the screen.
At the monitor's default picture settings, we thought images looked slightly washed out, beyond what we would normally expect from a matte finish display. Even so, everything still looked sharp at the native resolution and the LED backlight was evenly lit across the entire panel, with no patches of uneven light or significant bleed in darker images. The monitor is certainly bright enough, and great contrast preserves plenty of shadow detail – Philips claims an absurdly high dynamic contrast ratio of 20,000,000:1, but this will of course vary depending on the on-screen content. We would have liked blacks to have been a little deeper, but unless you have a gloss or glass panel instead of a matte version, with the associated problems with reflections from overhead lights sources, you'll never come close to true black.
To improve colour definition, we used the simple on-screen display (OSD), which you control with four touch-sensitive buttons built into the centre of the screen bezel. As well as a more customisable user setting, which gives you control over brightness, contrast, gamma and colour temperature, Philips also includes three SmartImage presets – Standard, Internet and Game. Internet reduced the brightness slightly to reduce eye-strain, but we recommend steering clear of Game – it ramped up image sharpness and blew colours up to unrealistic levels.