On 3rd of August 2011, amidst the hustle and bustle unique to Bangkok, Thailand, MMD (Multimedia Displays) launched the new range of Philips monitors at the MMD Regional Press Conference and Distributor Summit. We were present at the Sathorn Ballroom Plenary Room where the event took place to bring you a closer look of these new displays.
The representative of MMD who unveiled the new line-up emphasized to us that all new products are designed after soliciting consumer input and feedback. In other words, the new monitors sport features and options that consumers themselves have requested.
The new products are broadly grouped according to their expected areas of use - Business and Consumer. The two are then further divided into sub-categories based on their selling propositions, functions and usage scenarios.
In a nutshell, the consumer line consists of the C, E, V, X and G series. Though at first it seems that the naming convention is completely haphazard, there is actually a method to the madness.
The flagship product in Philips' latest line of monitors has been christened the Moda. With an elegant profile, the Moda aims to be a premium product that brings about prestige with its ownership. It is currently available in a two-tone color option (black front and white back). Die-cast aluminum is used to construct the circular base; this provides good stability and gives the Moda a modern feel.
Visuals are displayed on a TFT LCD panel with LED backlighting; and consumers have the option to choose between a 23.6-incher and a 21.5-incher that is said to be coming soon. New technologies from Philips such as SmartKolor (for boosting RGB gain) and SmartTxt (for enhancing text reading) technologies are implemented in the Moda to cement its position as the flagship product.
With the increase in the uptake of ebook reading on a computer, SmartTxt aims to improve the reading experience on a monitor. It achieves this by making slight changes to the background such as adjusting the contrast; hence, making the words pop on screen. However, this feature didn't seem to make a very noticeable difference to our eyes.
On the whole, the Moda lives up to its billing as a premium product. Pictures looked sharp and there was no presence of artifacts. Obviously, we were unable to run our usual battery of tests, so a more detailed assessment will have to wait until we receive a review unit.
The Moda 248C3LHSB 23.6-inch monitor is priced at S$349, and is available in the market right now.
Unlike in the older lineup where Philips E-series is catered for business usage, take note that with the new lineup, the company views the features in the E line of monitors as being essential for any monitor user. With TFT-LCD panels backlit by LEDs, the E line monitors come in four sizes: 27 inches, 23.6 inches, 23 inches and 21.5 inches. They are designed to cater to the masses. Philips states that they expect the E series to be the volume driver for the new line-up.
The 247E3LPHSU (23.6-inch) monitor is equipped with Philips’ patented PowerSensor technology to help the users pinch a few pennies here and there. Power Sensor has now been improved and gives 80 percent savings, compared to standard usage without PowerSensor. The feature works with the help of an infra-red sensor that switches your monitor to standby mode when it detects that you have left the proximity.
The most impressive product in the E line, in terms of display quality, is the 23-inch 237E3QPHSU, which boasts of an IPS (in-plane switching) panel. We certainly noticed deep colors and very wide viewing angles. This model also has the PowerSensor technology detailed above.
Currently available are the The 227E3LPHSM (21.5-inch) and the 273E3LHSB (27-inch) monitors that are priced at S$229 and S$489 respectively. The other sizes will soon follow suit. It is important to note that of the two, only the 21.5-inch model is equipped with Power Sensor technology.
Targeted at the emerging markets of Thailand, Vietnam and other developing markets, the V line aims to merge performance with a reasonable price. Design-wise, it has a slim profile and a glossy finish. Similar to the rest of the consumer models, the V line of monitors are LED-backlit. The HD-ready range sports a SmartContrast ratio of 10,000,000:1.
With physical buttons instead of touch controls, the V series also offers a greater variety of sizes in the lower ranges: the largest comes in at 21.5 inches, while the smallest measures 18.5 inches.
For now, Philips has considered Singapore as a mature market and will not release the V line here. However, the representatives from MMD are not ruling out the possibility of introducing it in the future.
The Gaming line consists of 27-inch behemoths that boast 3D capabilities. The selling point is that they are not tied down to any particular hardware; MMD claims that these monitors will work with any computer and graphics card. The 3D technology used is of the active shutter variety, which in the current scheme of things, would require the popular NVIDIA 3D Vision solution to get your true 3D ecosystem working. The monitors will also boast 2D to 3D conversion technology. With regards to the monitor's own performance and quality, we'll refrain from passing judgment as only the prototype was displayed but we do hope to get a retail model in the near future for a thorough review assessment.
Rounding up the consumer monitor list is the Extreme line of monitors. Monitors in the X line feature the Philips Lightframe technology. In short, Philips has found out that blue light at a certain wavelength has a calming effect on the viewer. More specifically, it refreshes the senses and reduces eye fatigue. This results in the Philips Lightframe, which is the translucent frame of blue light around the monitor shown in the image above. While it was first introduced a couple of years ago, the new upgraded version of Lightframe is still in the works and can be seen below.
Again, an accurate judgement cannot be formed since we were unable to log in the requisite hours needed before the Lightframe can have an effect. Also, only the prototype version was on display, as there are still some manufacturing kinks that Philips needs to address.