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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.

Conclusion

There is no doubt the 276E6 is an interesting and, for now, a unique product. The combination of IPS-ADS and Quantum Dots produces a beautiful bright image with striking color saturation, decent contrast, great viewing angles and lots of light output. And it does so with low power consumption and at a price point beneath that of rank-and-file professional screens.

But we don't see this display really competing in that market. Our tests reveal a generously wide color gamut that actually goes beyond Adobe RGB in the red primary and falls a little short in the saturation of blue. For these reasons we wouldn't recommend it for color-critical work but for all other uses it provides a lovely image that is sure to satisfy most users.

The subject of interpretive versus accurate color can take two paths. Our contention is that a display should correctly show content as it was created with no change in color, white point or gamma from the original material. This has the downside of showing every flaw and mistake in the creation of said content. If you're an audio enthusiast you'll understand the concept of a neutral loudspeaker. Bad recordings sound bad and good ones sound good. An accurate monitor is the same thing. It simply reproduces the signal with no modification or enhancement.

The other path is to a display that makes all content look better. And better is a subjective term that means different things to different people. Monitors like the 276E6 fall into this category. With a large gamut and super-bright output, it's designed to take even mediocre content and enhance it. While this approach has merit, it also can allow a little "un-naturalness" to creep in. When looking at a picture of a familiar object for example, your mind and memory tell you what color it's supposed to be. If the monitor disagrees with that, it doesn't look right. You may not know why it's wrong, you just know that it is.

Many users prefer color saturated beyond what video standards call for. Just look at the picture modes on any HDTV for example, and you'll see options like Vivid and Brilliant. All of them pump up the gamut to enhance the image. And they're not just there to help the set stand out in the showroom. Plenty of viewers use them happily every day. If you are in the group that prefers this approach, the Philips 276E6 is the ideal monitor for you. It offers a wide gamut at a low price with tons of brightness and excellent clarity. And its white chassis and modern styling are sure to help it stand out in a sea of plain black industrial products.

And don't forget the IPS-ADS pixel structure. It's responsible for the best viewing angles we've seen to-date. We've been impressed by AHVA screens but ADS raises the bar even further. If you're considering a wide gamut screen because you feel standard sRGB monitors look dull, we recommend giving the 276E6 a serious look.

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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Monitors.

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Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.