Introduction & Closer Look
When looking to purchase a monitor, the options available are seemingly endless. Is its main focus gaming, productivity… or a bit of both? Is image quality and sheer volume of pixels more important than refresh rate? What size fits your requirement, and what aspect ratio do you need?
Once you’ve answered all that, there is a huge range of options from numerous manufacturers to choose from. Therefore, when a company decides to launch a new monitor, it needs to have at least one hugely redeeming feature to make it stand out from the crowd.
Enter, the snappily titled 273V7QDAB from Philips!
First impressions of the 273V7QDAB when unboxing was that it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. The styling is very bland, and the plastics used don’t really ooze quality. Apart from the screen and 2 piece stand, you get a power lead, a 3.5mm phono cable, and a VGA cable. What, wait… a VGA cable? In 2017? Yes, I’m afraid so.
Despite the monitor having support for DVI-D and HDMI, I’m surprised that neither cable has been included… unless it’s to save costs, and bring the price right down?
Whilst we are talking about its connections, let’s clear up everything else on the rear IO. In addition to the three types of display connections, we have twin headphone and audio in jacks… and that’s it. No USB pass through, or anything else for that matter… a tad disappointing.
Assembly of the stand, and attaching it to the panel is extremely straight forward. Slot the base and arm together, and then push into the recess on the rear of the panel. The whole process literally takes seconds.
The OSD and power buttons can be found tucked under the panel to the right hand side, with printed labels for each to the front of the bottom bezel.
Assembled the 273V7QDAB looks quite sleek, thanks to its frameless bezel design to three of the panel edges. Manoeuvrability of the screen is fairly limited though, as the stand doesn’t allow any adjustment whatsoever other than tilt.
Whilst the top & side bezels (or lack thereof) are a positive feature, I can’t say the same for the bottom bezel. Whilst it’s perfectly acceptable for this to have a certain amount of thickness to it, it does stand out a fair way from the panel. This leaves quite a gap, which over time I would expect to become a magnet for dust & debris.
Spinning the Philips 273V7QDAB around for a view of the rear of the unit, we find a solid moulded plastic panel, with a no frills VESA mount.
I must be honest, the aesthetics of the 273V7QDAB aren’t anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps it’s performance will be its redeeming feature?
- LCD panel type: IPS technology
- Backlight type: W-LED system
- Panel Size: 27 inch / 68.6 cm
- Effective viewing area: 597.89 (H) x 336.31 (V)
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Optimum resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz
- Pixel Density: 82 PPI
- Response time (typical): 5 ms (GtG)*
- Brightness: 250 cd/m²
- SmartContrast: 10,000,000:1
- Contrast ratio (typical): 1000:1
- Pixel pitch: 0.311 x 0.311 mm
- Viewing angle: 178º (H) / 178º (V), @ C/R > 10
- Display colors: 16.7 M
- Scanning Frequency: 30 -83 kHz (H) / 56 -76 Hz (V)
- LowBlue Mode
- On mode: 15.40 W (typ.) (EnergyStar 7.0 test method)
- Standby mode: 0.5 W (typ.)
- Off mode: 0.5 W (typ.)
- Power LED indicator: Operation – White, Standby mode- White (blinking)
- Power supply: Built-in, 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz
- Built-in Speakers: 2W x 2
- User convenience: Power On/Off, Menu/OK, Volume/Up, Input/Down, SmartImage/Back
- Other convenience: Kensington lock, VESA mount (100x100mm)
- Plug & Play Compatibility: DDC/CI, Mac OS X, sRGB, Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7
To test the performance and the colour accuracy of the Philips 273V7QDAB monitor, I used a device called the Spyder 4 Elite, which is essentially a tool for monitor calibration. It is very accurate and can tell you things the naked eye cannot.
To get started, after the installation and calibration, the results are as follows:
To sum it up in a way everyone will understand, although sRGB and AbodeRGB are both RGB, they are very different. sRGB is the most common colour space used today but AdobeRGB has a wider colour space which can mean more colours but not as accurate when looking at colours which overlap on sRGB. This is mainly used for photographers and people just using their monitors for normal tasks such as web browsing or gaming will never need to worry about this.
One thing that stuck on me instantly was the lack of brightness when calibrating. Even at the maximum brightness setting on the monitor (as it came at stock), it still wasn’t enough in the eyes of our calibration tool, the Spyder 4 Pro. Another slightly disappointing factor about the Philips 273V7QDAB is the whites at stock; they are simply too far off for a positive result here. When calibrated properly, the colour looks good and the images look very vivid for an LCD IPS panel with such poor out of the box settings; the potential is great for the price.
Phillips could certainly do more to improve the settings at which they are boxed up and set out for retailers, but it’s rare to find a monitor under £300 which doesn’t have flaws in terms of colour, brightness and contrast at stock.
As detailed above, performance out of the box is average at best. However, after calibration, the 273V7QDAB performed noticeably better. For the average consumer though, who isn’t going to have access to the special calibration tools we do here at Play3r, stock performance out of the box could really be improved upon and is something Phillips should spend more time looking at.
On the design front, there are very few features that really make this monitor stand out from the crowd. The styling is very conservative, and the materials used are by no means premium to the feel. The stand used is also not great, as it offers hardly any adjustment whatsoever, save for a small degree of tilt.
In it’s favour, the zero frame design around three sides of the screen is nice, and the unit as a whole is fairly light weight.
Pricing wise, the Philips 273V7QDAB is available for around £190 in the UK, and around €230 in Europe. Whilst that is in the ball park for pricing of monitors of this size, and containing these specifications, it does pitch it into competition with some very strong alternatives from competitors.
In summary, the Philips 273V7QDAB isn’t a bad monitor…but it isn’t an outstanding one either. The price is about right, but it’s pitched up against lots of other monitors which match the specifications we have on show here, and some that improve upon them, like adding FreeSync for a similar price. Taking all this into account, the Philips 273V7QDAB is worthy of our Bronze Award.
Huge thanks to Philips for sending the 273V7QDAB in for review.
- Zero frame design along 3 sides looks good
- Screen performed well after calibration
- Out of the box performance isn't great
- Monitor stand offers little adjustment other than tilt
- Design offers nothing to make it stand out from the crowd