Sometimes a piece of technology just looks beautiful. When I pulled the Philips 275C5QHGSW out of it’s shipping box I was immediately impressed by its glossy and impressive looks and was surprised to see a monitor that was beautiful both front and back. Switched off the 275C is a pretty monitor that would stand out of a crowd but would not quite be revolutionary.
I got it setup on my desk and plugged in and was hit by two things.
First was not the Ambiglow that is the big selling point but the bezel. The bezel. Or rather the lack of the bezel. It’s absolutely tiny and when the monitor is on seems to vanish. I’ve used and reviewed a number of modern screens over the last few years and this was the first to really strike me. There’s something about the design that de-emphasises it very successfully and combined with the high quality LCD panel makes for a great viewing experience.
The big unique selling point of the 275C is not the screen itself but what is built into the stand. The stand has a “AmbiGlow Plus” built into it. This is a colored LED glowing light that is designed to make whatever’s happening on the screen more immersive and powerful. It can either be set to a specific color and intensity or can pick up and try and enhance whatever is on the screen. It sounds interesting and unique and after having had it on my desk for a couple of weeks I’m still at the intrigued stage. It certainly adds to the monitor’s abilities and is so nearly is something I’d love to have. The issue isn’t the hardware but the control. While it picks up on the screen it doesn’t do so reliably in my dual screen setup. While it can be set manually this is static – so I can set it to bright pink and it’ll stay there. I had visions of it slowly getting dimmer in the evening or brighter in the morning which isn’t possible.
The other specs of the monitor match up as well – HDMI in and (with an extra cable) MHL compatibility. A 16:9 proportion and built in Phillips Flicker-Free tech that makes the screen more comfortable to watch.
Screen and connected stand, HDMI Cable, power cable with propriety screen connector and a power brick.
About Manufacturer: Phillips / MMD
Philips is a company that almost everyone reading this will have heard of. They are a consumer technology company that is diversified across a very wide range of products – everything from lightbulbs to TVs, Internet Of Things devices to healthcare machines. MMD is a wholly owned company that sells Phillips LCDs worldwide and has offices in Amsterdam, Prague and is headquartered in Taiwan.
The Ergohacks Evaluation
Looked at from one perspective the 275C is not that versatile. It has an integrated base and as such could not be arm mounted. So – desks only. It is designed to sit on your office desk or on the front desk at a business and look good. In particular I can imagine it looking amazing on a white gloss desk.
From another perspective the monitor is quite versatile. It accepts input from HDMI and MHL-HDMI as well as VGA and has a very wide viewing angle. While it doesn’t have speakers built in it has 3.5mm jack so you can attach speakers or headphones.
I also found that if I manually set the Ambiglow to white and maximum that it worked very well to illuminate my desk at nighttime.
The base with built in electronics means that the 275C does not have that much movement built into it. It can tilt up and down between 5 degrees down and 20 degrees up.
The controls are all touch based with four well marked buttons on the bottom bezel and the whole circular base being touch enabled. To change the lighting mode tap the base and it will cycle between four settings – Auto, Single, off and demo and slide your fingers around it to change the color manually.
Environment & People
High technology items are usually towards the less environmentally end of the spectrum but the 275C ticks every box it reasonably can with EnergyStar 6.0 complacency for a low electric draw, EPEAT Silver compliance and no lead or mercury were used in its manufacture. It also has an timer built in that lets you turn it off after a specific amount of time which could be very useful if you wanted to use it as a public facing informational monitor that switched off to save power at a certain point.
The packaging is 100% recycled. Post use the 275C would be a challenge to recycle because of the non-standard construction.
Monitors of around 27 inches with similar resolutions retail from anywhere around £150 to around £300 depending on the exact spec and design. The 275C rightly falls towards the top of this with its unique selling point base, good quality screen and the extras such as MHL built in.
Panel Type: IPS LCD
Size: 27 inches diagonal or 33cm x 59cm
Weight: 5.74kg (with stand)
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz – optimal
Brightness: 250 cd/m2
Response time: 14ms
Colors: 16.7 million
Viewing angle: 178 degrees, horizontal or vertical
Tilt: -5 to 20 degree tilt.
Input: VGA, HDMI, MHL-HDMI
Output: Audio 3.5mm out
Other: Kensington Lock
Warranty: 12 months
A PC, Mac or MHL enabled phone or tablet to control. Phillips state plug and play words with Mac OSX, Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 I used it successfully with Windows 7 and Windows 10.
I started off the review by saying that the 275C was one of the most beautiful pieces of technology that I had seen in a long while and I stand by that. Philip’s gloss white design is elegant and classy from both sides and it’s almost a relief to turn it on and realise that the quality of the screen panel inside it matches up to the expectations it creates. The AmbiGlow base is a gimmick but one that is actually fun to play with and in the long term worth having. If you’re after a highly adjustable monitor this isn’t the one for you but if you want something beautiful and high quality for your desk it would be a solid choice. Highly recommended and I’ll be keeping my review unit on my desk as long as I can.
The review is based on the Philips 275C5QHGSW kindly lent by Phillips MMD. This post contains affiliate links. First published on the 25th November 2015.