Philips 276E6 27-inch Quantum Dot Monitor Review

We've been hearing about Quantum Dots for a while but Philips' 276E6 is the first computer monitor to use the technology. It's a 27-inch IPS-ADS screen with FHD resolution and an Adobe RGB color gamut. Today, we check it out in our labs.

For decades displays have been saddled with first the Rec.601 and now the Rec.709/sRGB color gamut. When looking at the spectrum of color visible to the human eye, these gamuts represent just a fraction of it. Newer standards like D-Cinema, Adobe RGB and Rec.2020 attempt to increase the amount of color presented by a display but current technology is still a limiting factor.

Adobe RGB monitors have been around for many years but typically the wide-gamut option is found only in expensive professional products. This is practical in that most content, both graphics and video, is mastered to the Rec.709/sRGB standard. The ideal image in our minds is one where the content and display conform to the same parameters for color, white point and gamma.

But it's also important to push the envelope so that someday we might actually have screens and content that can reproduce the full spectrum of visible color. Today, we're looking at a new technology that has the potential to take us a few steps closer to that goal: the Philips 276E6.

Specifications

The 276E6 has a lot in common with other IPS desktop monitors. It's a 27-inch 60Hz screen with FHD resolution and an LED backlight. But the similarity ends there. Philips bills it as an Adobe RGB display but as we discovered in our tests, that's not the whole story. What's showcased here is an all-new addition to the backlight: Quantum Dots.

To achieve the necessary wavelengths for a wider color gamut, most Adobe RGB screens use a GB-r or RGB LED setup. Both employ diodes of different colors to augment the filters used in the liquid crystal layer. This approach is both expensive and power-hungry. With Quantum Dots you truly can have your cake and eat it too.

In simple terms, Quantum Dots absorb short wavelengths of light and convert them into longer ones thereby changing the emitted color. In Philips' implementation, the Dots are placed in a sealed glass tube and installed atop blue LEDs. A three nanometer dot emits green light and a seven nanometer dot produces red. When combined with the backlight's native blue, you get white with narrow spectral peaks. It is these peaks that expand the color gamut. And it's done at a lower manufacturing cost with less power consumption.

To highlight the extra color available in the 276E6, Philips has broadened its implementation of the Adobe RGB gamut. You'll see in our tests that the display produces a good deal more red saturation than the standard calls for. What results is a screen that isn't necessarily accurate but it is beautiful. Images are rich and deeply detailed beyond what one sees on a typical sRGB monitor. It's not a picture you'd want in a professional product but as a general use and entertainment panel, you won't see anything else quite like it.

There's another technology here that we haven't seen before: IPS-ADS. ADS stands for Advanced Super Dimension Switch and takes IPS to another level with lower power consumption and improved viewing angles. It also moves the liquid crystal molecules with greater efficiency resulting in faster panel response.

Our tests revealed some interesting things and it's pretty easy to understand Philips' design intentions once you see the monitor in action. The 276E6 certainly is unique and appealing so the best thing now is to take a closer look.

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21 comments
    Your comment
  • xenol
    Finally! I've been really wanting to see this technology come through to more than two products (that I'm aware of)
    0
  • Dan414
    I'm not too concerned with power consumption at my desk. How about phones and laptops - will we see quantum dot screens there soon?
    1
  • Andy Chow
    8 bit, 1080p, next!
    -1
  • gunbust3r
    Takes some design ability to make a 27" look more like a 22", good job on those monster size white bezels. :p
    3
  • melgross_85
    $299 is pretty cheap. I'd like to see what they could do with a higher budget.
    2
  • sillynilly
    Love the tech, but the screen specs at that size will make it look like monster dot technology. 1920 x 1080 at 27" looks just horrendous after using a higher rez monitor. Some monitor OEMs are a bit behind the times it seems (although this tech is pretty cool).
    5
  • picture_perfect
    Quote:
    For gamers seeking vivid color and a bright image, your monitor has arrived. 18ms is an excellent score for any 60Hz display


    I can only LOL and I never LOL. 18ms response (57ms total lag) is just god awful terrible. These arbitrary endorsements are getting lame.
    2
  • Albert Rampo
    "18ms is an excellent score for any 60Hz display"
    is that a typo ?
    0
  • CaedenV
    Did I miss where it has a price? It can be the best consumer display in the world, but if it is $5,000 then that would not make it a recommended buy.
    0
  • Nintendork
    All this quantum bull* and still 1000:1? Meanwhile tablets and smartphones using IPS neo from jdi with near 2000:1.

    Or even better an RGB OLED display.
    -1
  • iam2thecrowe
    Quote:
    Love the tech, but the screen specs at that size will make it look like monster dot technology. 1920 x 1080 at 27" looks just horrendous after using a higher rez monitor. Some monitor OEMs are a bit behind the times it seems (although this tech is pretty cool).

    I have been using a 1080p 27" benq VA panel for a while. Coming from 24" 1080p there really isn't a huge difference, you get used to it and stop looking for the dots after a while. For gaming its really not an issue, but for content creation maybe you would want higher res.....which is where this monitor is aimed at.....
    2
  • cats_Paw
    Data seems rather bad.
    Bad blacks, very high delta... Not for me.
    0
  • ahnilated
    Hmm, who in their right mind thinks 1080P at 27" is good? I think they should fire that guy/gal.
    1
  • norseman4
    Haven't been interested in 1080P monitors for quite some time now for anything over 24".
    1
  • photonboy
    A lot of comments indicate confusion with the data.

    For one thing the 18ms is Black-to-white, it is not grey-to-grey.

    Other things like 27" at 1080p are somewhat valid, but not everybody sits the same distance from their monitors. Some lean back in their chairs or push the monitor towards the rear of the desk so 27" may be ideal for them.

    OLED has its own issues, which is why we don't have monitors yet.

    Frankly, if people would carefully read the review it appears this monitor sits in a price/feature niche that is appealing to some people.
    3
  • picture_perfect
    It's no gaming monitor. Gray to gray is 5ms which is meh, and without strobing to compensate (pointless here anyway) it will blur badly. Hard to game seriously with 3.4 frames input lag. Probably great for photography though!
    0
  • photonboy
    Anonymous said:
    It's no gaming monitor. Gray to gray is 5ms which is meh, and without strobing to compensate (pointless here anyway) it will blur badly. Hard to game seriously with 3.4 frames input lag. Probably great for photography though!


    5ms is really not that bad IMO.

    I think we have different opinions of what is acceptable. For example in the article:

    "There aren't too many 60Hz IPS displays that can beat the 276E6 in the lag test. It's certainly the fastest wide-gamut monitor we've tested. It's not marketed as a gaming screen but will certainly work well as one."

    I think the problem is that the method for input lag they use is probably different from what others use, just like the response time 18ms b-to-w instead of 5ms g-to-g.

    If you want 1ms response times then you have to go with a TN panel and sacrifice color and viewing angles.

    But seriously, you may want to READ AGAIN this page:

    "For gamers seeking vivid color and a bright image, your monitor has arrived. That's assuming you don't care about things like adaptive-sync or high refresh rates. 18ms is an excellent score for any 60Hz display. We saw a visible improvement when we turned the SmartResponse option to Fastest. It introduces a tiny bit of ghosting to moving objects but that is more than made up for by significant blur reduction and an increase in motion resolution."

    So again, not perfect, but then find me a monitor that is.
    1
  • picture_perfect
    Quote:

    I think we have different opinions of what is acceptable.
    5ms is really not that bad IMO.


    True on the first one. I'm not knocking the monitor, just the over enthusiastic gaming endorsement...response time on the other hand is really irrelevant here considering persistence blur will be the main cause of blur on this panel. It won't be a "tiny bit". Not a big deal to some gamers though.
    0
  • kenjitamura
    No display port or Freesync technology? Pass. We're getting closer though.
    0
  • zodiacfml
    From Anandtech, Philips promised to send them a copy with an SRGB mode for review. What does it mean, don't buy yet without that?
    0