While laptops make up the majority of computer sales, it's difficult to defend against the benefits of a large screen, especially when you have to balance multiple apps at the same time. A large, high-resolution display opens up possibilities that even the largest laptops cannot offer.
And they're not much bigger than the monitor we're going to review today. We had the opportunity to spend a few weeks with the Philips BDM4350UC, a 43-inch 4K LCD monitor, to see if a really big screen could increase your productivity. Could this be the monitor of your dreams? It's time to find out.
Philips BDM4350UC design and specifications
Given its size, it's no surprise that the Philips BDM4350UC is more like a television than a conventional monitor. In most cases, monitors – except those with atypical aspect ratios – look like smaller televisions, except for the fact that most have tripods that allow you to position them in a way that is not intended for televisions.
But the Philips BDM4350UC looks just like any TV of its size. To install this monitor, two legs must protrude on either side of the monitor, as we saw on large-screen TVs like Xiaomi and others. We didn't have a table big enough to house this monitor attached to the legs. So we decided to leave it in the box.
Fortunately, the monitor is still stable enough to stand on its own without any problems, so we used it for the entire duration of our test period. Although there is a slight inclination of the back in this position, it is definitely not as stable as the legs, and we do not recommend using it in the real world. With or without legs, you can neither adjust the height of the monitor, nor do you have the option to tilt or swivel the display in any way, which is a little different than many standard-size monitors.
You should consider the sheer size of this monitor before buying it, as physically it may not just be a plug and play replacement for the 24-inch monitor currently in use. It has a standard VESA mount (200 x 200 mm) for wall mounting or a third-party VESA stand that allows tilt and pan adjustment that the monitor does not have on its own.
The bezels aren't particularly large, but this isn't an edge-to-edge monitor, and one might argue that because of its size, this may not be the case. We never really noticed the bezels, probably because so much screen space took up our field of vision. The entire design looks and feels great. This monitor is not comparable to most budget TVs that we have seen recently.
A small plastic piece splashes out of the middle at the bottom. This part has a Philips logo and a small LED that is not noticeable when the device is switched on and flashes gently in standby mode.
All connections are located on the back on the left side (if you reach from front to back) near the floor, with the exception of the power input on the right side. You get two HDMI 2.0 ports (with MHL), two DisplayPort 1.2 ports and a VGA input. It also comes with four USB 3.0 ports, one of which is listed to support quick charging, and a USB port that allows you to connect the monitor's USB ports to your computer. Audio-in and audio-out connections (3.5 mm) are also well integrated. As we found, all of these ports are facing outwards, which has not turned out to be a problem for us. However, it can be problematic if you want to mount this monitor on the wall.
The panel measures 108 cm in diagonal, so Philips can market it as a 43-inch monitor. The native resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels is supported at up to 60 Hz and a specified typical response time of 5 ms. The peak brightness should be 300 nits, with a typical contrast ratio of 1200: 1. The panel does not support HDR. There are two built-in 7W speakers each, which is theoretically a good idea, and we'll soon find out how they work in the real world.
The monitor also supports picture-in-picture mode (PIP) and picture-for-picture mode (PBP), which can be used to display input from more than one device at a time. There are no buttons on the front. At the bottom right there is only one joystick button with which all settings can be controlled. It takes some getting used to positioning and operating this button, but after a few days with the monitor, we reached for it and blindly adjusted the settings without any problems. There is also a power switch that can be used to turn the monitor on or off, but it is not that easy to reach.
Philips BDM4350UC performance
In this section, we focus on two main areas: first, the daily use of a monitor of this size and the possible impact on your productivity. The second is the performance of this panel itself, in which we'll look at some benchmarks and other formal tests.
We connected the monitor to a Mac mini, and macOS used the native 4K resolution by default. We had no problems reading text and most of the other elements on the screen. Therefore, we have not bothered to downsize to a lower resolution, although your mileage may vary. The only elements of the user interface that seemed a bit too small for our convenience were the menu bars in the top right corner of the screen. Switching to a 3200 x 1800 resolution resulted in a better experience.
Nevertheless, we loved the extra pixels that the native resolution offers and returned in no time. As you'd expect, the 4K panel in its native resolution offers you an enormous amount of real estate, and as someone who juggles multiple windows, we decided to make the most of it.
We dedicated part of the screen to our email client, another to the browser, a Slack (our chat application) and another Google Analytics that we like to watch in real time. We still had a lot of real estate left for other windows. Although it was great to keep track of so many applications at the same time, we noticed some patterns in our use.
Despite all the extra pixels, we tended to use the "main application" – i.e. H. Whatever we were focusing on at the time – position near the bottom left of the screen. While the email client's message list window was displayed on the top left of the screen, we created emails near the bottom left (luckily, the macOS Mail app remembers the position of the window after you drag it once ). We noticed that the top half of the display is largely useless for purposes other than monitoring apps that occasionally require a look.
Although the ability to display large documents in a large window on the screen sounds theoretically good, we have found that a long look at the top third (at least the top half) of the screen takes too much effort. and it almost feels like watching a front row movie. We think everyone will end up with “sweet spots” where most of the action takes place, with everything else on the periphery.
There are some other issues that have arisen from the specifics of macOS in connection with our usage habits. Mac app notifications appear in the upper right corner of the screen. This is a behavior that cannot be changed (apart from the fact that notifications are of course deactivated as a whole). So if you focus on the lower left corner of the screen like we do, it is too easy to miss notifications due to the size of this screen. Even when we managed to catch them, it sometimes seemed too tiring to turn our attention to the top right corner and then back to what we were working on.
We also started Windows on our Mac mini to see what the experience was like. By default, Windows used a scale of 300 percent, but we switched to 100 percent and the experience was pretty similar to what we found with macOS above. The text was sharp – even at 8 dots – and the overall experience wasn't what you'd remember when you connected your old, non-4K, large-screen TV to your computer a few years ago.
Of course, some people have to change some habits to get the most out of such a monitor. Many users who grew up with Windows are used to maximizing their current window and switching between apps with Alt-Tab. If you're married to this style of work and don't use apps like Photoshop or other high quality apps, you can hardly do much with a monitor of this size and will likely see a large white (or black). Bands on both sides of your content.
Some of you may be concerned about the eye strain associated with using such a large display at relatively short intervals. We haven't found any physical discomfort using this monitor, but we've spent almost every moment of waking up in front of one or the other screen in the past 30 years, so we're probably not apt to comment on this screen, we recommend instead obtain an opinion from an approved doctor.
As mentioned earlier, you have to reach for the joystick button to access the monitor settings, but we quickly got used to it and the menu layout. The settings allow you to control basic things like the current input source, the aspect ratio (widescreen, 4: 3 or 1: 1, although the latter does not seem to have any effect and mimics the widescreen mode), color temperature, gamma correction, brightness and contrast and pretty much everything else you could expect (see pictures below).
There are a number of standard functions under the Philips brand names, e.g. B. SmartImage presets, which are said to be optimized for film, game and office scenarios, and SmartResponse, which is designed to optimize the response time and reduce the delay in gaming. We were pretty happy with the settings, but it's good to know that the options are there for those who want a bit more control.
Our favorite part of the settings area was the one related to PIP and PBP. The former gives you a slot that takes up part of the screen. You can choose which source is the main entrance and which is the slot. You can adjust the position (top left, bottom left, bottom right, top right) and size (small, medium, large), with the slot occupying slightly less than a quarter of the screen's largest size.
This has proven useful, for example, when we worked on the main screen with an Apple TV connected to watch a cricket match and continue working at the same time. Yes, you can easily do this by opening Hotstar in a browser window on your computer. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
We appreciate the ability to control the video we watch with the Apple TV remote without interrupting work. The downside, however, is that we cannot control the exact position of the slot as you would see a window on your computer screen. This can lead to important elements on the screen being covered. We wish there was a way to use the joystick to position the insert exactly where you want it.
With PBP you can position two, three or four sources side by side without overlapping. We didn't like that very much, but your mileage may vary. It's a good way to run the same computer and Apple TV side by side, for example, so that one doesn't get in the other's way. To get the most out of this mode, you should set your computer's resolution to 1080p, as all inputs in PBP mode are rendered in Full HD resolution.
On the main PassMark MonitorTest screen, which was run with a native 4K resolution of 16: 9, the grid was displayed at the top left with a pixel spacing of one pixel as a uniform gray color instead of individual black pixel lines. We switched to 4: 3 and could then see the individual lines. The middle circle, which is expected to be a circle at 4: 3, was more oval, while at 16: 9 it appeared to be a perfect circle. The opposite happened with the four smaller circles in the corners. We could not see any blurring or smearing on the six colored squares near the center. Everything else on the screen was as expected.
The benchmark's single-color screens looked good, as did the Scale Black-Red and Black-Blue screens, although the Scale Black-Green screens appeared as a series of different vertical green lines with different shades instead of a smooth gradient like the one in the other screens. In the gamma red, green, and blue tests, we found that the rectangular bar at the gamma level 1.16 takes a back seat. In the font test, the 6-point text was almost legible, with individual characters being as clear as we could have expected.
In the browser-based Eizo test, we noticed problems similar to PassMark on the start screen, with the squares being displayed as individual black and white lines in a resolution of 4: 3, but as a gray square at 16: 9. We didn't notice any bad pixels in any of the colors. In the homogeneity test, we found that the right half of the screen was 25 percent gray lighter than the left, especially closer to the edge.
The monitor performed very well in the color distance test, so that similar colors can be sufficiently distinguished. Our gradient tests gave results similar to PassMark, with only green being a bit strange.
The Philips BDM4350UC convinced in the text sharpness test with the scenarios white on black and black on white. The viewing angle test did not go as well, however, as the size of the circles on the screen changed noticeably with increasing viewing angles. Nevertheless, we have not noticed any significant deterioration in quality when viewing content from unusual angles in daily use. Eizo's gamma test gave a value of 2.4.
We also spent a lot of time using the monitor as a TV, to which a 4K Apple TV and a 4K media player from ACT Stream TV were connected. The monitor performed surprisingly well in this setup. Switching off the media player puts the monitor into standby mode so that we did not have to play around with the power switch. Switch on a media player and the monitor automatically switches the source to this input. The ACT Stream TV 4K media player has its own volume control, so we didn't have to do without a TV remote control when using this function as a video source.
The Philips BDM4350UC's built-in speakers are loud enough to fill a large bedroom, and in all the time we've spent with this monitor, we only remember one occasion when we wished they could have been louder, what could be a badly mixed show. The sound quality is good and although there is no real bass to speak of, the speakers are good enough to use this monitor as a standalone TV. You don't need dedicated external speakers, although the audio output allows you to do so if needed.
As for picture quality, watching HD and 4K content was pretty entertaining, and although we had no complaints about the brightness of the panel, at times we wished the contrast ratio was a little bit better. In completely dark scenes, we also noticed a bit of "IPS Glow", especially near the right edge, although it wasn't too bad. During the day we sometimes found the glossy panel to be a bit too reflective, especially when the device was used as a television from a distance, although this was not a problem when we were sitting nearby and using it as a monitor connected to our PC.
With a specified response time of 5 ms and the fact that most PC graphics cards cannot operate 4K panels with their native resolution and at the same time offer a consistent 60 fps, this monitor is not aimed at gamers' gaming benchmarks. Nevertheless, we connected our Xbox to the monitor for a bit of gaming and were satisfied with the experience.
The Philips BDM4350UC has a lot to offer. A 4K panel can significantly increase your productivity, and this monitor does pretty much everything it promises. Despite some minor quirks, we were unable to find any major performance problems and were more than satisfied with the overall experience. Creative professionals and others who can use additional real estate will love what this monitor has to offer. We can also see this monitor in conference rooms as a high-resolution general-purpose replacement for a projector or on an office wall where the PIP / PBP functions can display multiple sources at the same time.
As our time with the device has shown, not everyone will be able to make the most of the extra pixels, and it is easy to see in retrospect why many prefer to use multiple, normal size monitors side by side rather than just a huge one. Inch panel. Using such a large display as a monitor is not very practical and it is easier to develop blind or at least “not preferred” spots than using a multi-monitor setup, as was the case with our use.
With this in mind, the Philips BDM4350UC is a good choice if you are looking for a giant monitor that can also be used as a television. As much as we loved the PIP function, even without this function, this monitor is an excellent replacement for television thanks to the good built-in speakers. All in all, we think this monitor is a great addition to any home office where this kind of versatility could be particularly useful.
Price: Rs. 45,000
Warranty: 3 years
- Decent overall performance
- Many entries
- 4 USB 3.0 ports
- Built-in speakers are good
- Useful PIP and PBP functions
- Twice as a beautiful TV
- Large panels are not suitable for all applications
- Contrast ratio could be better
- Can be a little too thoughtful at times
Reviews (of 5)
- Design: 4
- Features: 4
- Performance: 4
- Value for money: 3.5
- Total: 4