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Philips 288P6LJEB 28-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

We're hard at work reviewing every 4K screen we can get our hands on so that you know which one is best. With our evaluation of Philips' 288P6LJEB, only one available monitor remains. How does this 28" Ultra HD display size up to its competition?

Philips 288P6LJEB, Solid Build And Performance

It is a common misconception that monitors based on the same panel part perform the same. While this is a logical conclusion to draw, our testing proves that it’s rarely the case. Having four monitors all made from the same component shows clear differences not only in our benchmark results, but also in their feature sets.

Asus was first to market with its PB287Q. Sporting a price tag well below prior 4K models, it represented a major breakthrough in pixels-per-dollar. The only caveat was its TN technology. Obviously, that wasn't seen a major issue because the competition followed quickly with their own versions of Innolux’s part. People are obviously buying them.

Hot on Asus’ heels was Dell, then Planar, Samsung and Phillips. The UD590 is the only screen we haven’t tested yet, but that will be rectified soon. While none of the monitors win awards for supreme color accuracy or contrast, their performance is more than adequate for gaming and productivity. The important difference appears in our input lag test.

It seems there are two different control board solutions in use. Philips and Dell are using one that creates a tremendous amount of lag, over 100 milliseconds in our measurements. Additionally, the Dell is limited to 30Hz, regardless of the connection you use. Both the P2815Q and 288P6LJEB are fine for Windows, but any kind of motion-intensive title can be a frustrating experience even for casual gamers.

Asus and Planar manage to support a 60Hz rate over DisplayPort 1.2, yielding input lag scores that are lower than most of the QHD/IPS monitors in our database. They’re not in the vicinity of any 120 or 144Hz screens. But, in our observation, first-person shooters are perfectly playable for all but the most skilled gamers.

We’ve also seen many comments comparing TN to IPS with regards to image quality. Many TN monitors do indeed exhibit poor viewing angles, washed out color and low contrast. However none of the 28-inch Ultra HD screens we’ve tested fit in that category. When viewed head-on, they are indistinguishable from an IPS monitor. Color saturation is excellent and contrast is nearly as good. You’ll certainly spot the TN display when you move off-axis, but even in a 28-inch size, this Innolux panel looks pretty good.

It is inevitable that we’ll have 4K IPS screens at this price point eventually. It's hard to say when that will happen. For now, though, the Philips 288P6LJEB and its brethren represent the best value in Ultra HD displays. If gaming is not part of your daily routine, any of these monitors will suffice. Entertainment buffs will want to stick to either the Asus or Planar displays. Philips’ and Dell’s screens simply have too much input lag to make them viable for high-speed play. For all other uses, we have no problem recommending the 288P6LJEB.

  • blackmagnum
    Oh, how I miss Sony and its Trinitron!
    Reply
  • envy14tpe
    It seems as though this is a 4k gaming monitor but I don't think that really lives up to the demand for fast fps gaming. 2160p sounds great but if its lag isn't that good it loses out to the 1440p 144Hz Asus PG278Q monitor. That seems more appropriate for gaming.

    I know this review is about 4k gaming but I'd like to see how the speed of a 1440p compares. There is a tradeoff when you take resolution over speed.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    Great review.

    If I'm looking in the $799 price range, I'm looking for higher-than-1080p resolutions and I'm either looking for the color accuracy of an IPS or PLS monitor for work purposes or I'm looking for TN gaming performance.

    Since this is a TN monitor, we need to consider gaming performance. No G-sync at $799 retail? I can get the Acer 4K 60Hz with G-sync for this price or less. That's just too much for this Philips, but the Amazon price of around $580 seems closer to the target. Further, if a monitor is not using G-sync or a high refresh rate (120Hz+), I definitely wouldn't consider it for gaming. $580 might be worth simply upgrading to 4K though if you're on a 60Hz, but the contrast on this monitor kind of stinks.

    Also, I'm not looking for color accuracy in a TN monitor. If I want color accuracy for matching print to screen colors, I'm looking at IPS or PLS options. On the other hand, when looking for a good TN monitor for gaming, you want good contrast for picking out bad guys in shadows and this monitor has not-so-good contrast.

    I might consider this monitor for productivity, but nothing else.
    Reply
  • envy14tpe
    double post. sry. delete me.
    Reply
  • general lee
    "When viewed head-on, they are indistinguishable from an IPS monitor." Yeah, no. Put any solid Win 8 color to the desktop and see how the gamma shift makes upper and lower parts of the monitor look completely different, even when viewing head on. The new 4K TN panels might be color accurate to a calibrator, but it doesn't take into account the viewing angle, which is only 90 degrees in dead center of the monitor when viewed head on. These are simply not good for color accurate work, period. The same goes for VA's due to its gamma shift viewing cone. That said, these are better than the cheaper TN panels you find in budget models and 144 Hz monitors, and are good enough for non-color critical work. I'd still go for IPS for color work, and VA for media consumption due to it's superior contrast. TN is only good for fast-paced CS:GO type gaming where motion performance and visibility trumps any picture quality concerns.
    Reply
  • ahnilated
    Why would you buy a monitor that is not true 4K resolution? 4096 X 2160 is true 4K resolution and not down sampled or just cut off.
    Reply
  • Eggz
    Accuracy check on the following paragraph, concerning color reproduction of 4K displays:

    Tom's Hardware said:
    We covered the subject of pricing in Planar IX2850 28-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review: Affordable 4K, but it bears repeating. If you want 4K today, you have three choices. At the high end are 32-inch IGZO panels from Dell, Asus and Sharp. They sell for between $2000 and $3000. The Dell UP3214Q offers a wide gamut option, while the other two are sRGB-only.

    Is that correct about the Sharp display? It boasts a "1.07 Billion Color Palette." That's a 10-bit panel, I believe, unless there is some sort of trickery I'm not seeing. The touch version of the Sharp also has the same panel, boasting "1.07 billion colours."
    Reply
  • Eggz
    Accuracy check on the following paragraph, concerning color reproduction of 4K displays:

    Tom's Hardware said:
    We covered the subject of pricing in Planar IX2850 28-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review: Affordable 4K, but it bears repeating. If you want 4K today, you have three choices. At the high end are 32-inch IGZO panels from Dell, Asus and Sharp. They sell for between $2000 and $3000. The Dell UP3214Q offers a wide gamut option, while the other two are sRGB-only.

    Is that correct about the Sharp display? It boasts a "1.07 Billion Color Palette." That's a 10-bit panel, I believe, unless there is some sort of trickery I'm not seeing. The touch version of the Sharp also has the same panel, boasting "1.07 billion colours."
    Reply
  • Bondfc11
    4K and gaming just don't mix right now. I am not a 120 or 144 hz snob by any means, but I just cannot go back to lower FPS and slightly increased lag. It is noticeable once you have been in a higher bracket for a period of time.

    I played a few games on a 28" ASUS and returned it - just couldn't take the pixel density (size issue on the desktop - I know scale scale scale, but I didn't like it), I didn't like the higher lag, lower FPS, and hated to have to drop the native resolution for some tasks.

    Personally, I will not buy 4K until these issues are no longer issues. I find it funny when people say "well just scale up or change the native res to 1440/1080". Ok fine, but why buy 4K if you have to do those things? 4K and me are just not ready for prime time.
    Reply
  • wiyosaya
    14714619 said:
    Oh, how I miss Sony and its Trinitron!

    Agreed! Sony tossed innovation out the door when they hired its first western CEO. They have not quite yet figured out that innovation was what made Sony legendary even though they got rid of the western wonk.
    Reply