• Display Size: 34” Resolution: 3440 x 1440 pixels
  • Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 2 (one with MHL), PC Audio In, Audio out
  • Touch: No
  • Viewing Angle: 172 degrees (H) / 178 degrees (V)
  • Misc: USB 3.0 x 4, built-in speakers
  • Dimensions: 826 x 479 x 220 mm (with stand)
  • Weight: 10.3KG (with stand)
  • Pros:
  • Punchy colours
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Curved, 2K-plus resolution screen
  • Cons:
  • Price

Wide Screen Cometh

The wide, wide world around us is constantly evolving and moving – and is presented naturally in a curved manner. Our eyes are not just some flat surface to see content with – why must our monitors be flat as well? Philips is well known for their monitors – and we even have reviewed a couple before in our previous issues. Today, we have their brand spanking new product, the Philips BDM3490UC.

For those who are not in the know, curved monitors are currently becoming a trend among manufacturers as they offer a more natural view of the digital monitor than a flat screen can provide. In this case, it is a 34-inch panel, with a WQHD resolution of 3440 x 1440. Yes, this monitor has an above 2K resolution. While it is not 4K, it is more than sufficient to make it a ‘more than Full HD’ Monitor.

You get a huge number of ports with the Philips monitor

You get a huge number of ports with the Philips monitor

A few standout features of the monitor includes a built-in speaker in the stands, a built-in USB 3.0 hub at the back, as well as a complete array of connectivity for your inputs. You get both DisplayPort as well as HDMI, and in a couple different flavours for the latter. Two normal HDMI inputs is available, as well as one that is MHL compatible – making it a trio of HDMI ports. There is also an Audio-in jack, as well as a headphone jack for output.

The On Screen Display controls for the monitor is accessed using the 4-way control located at the middle of the monitor, just under the Philips logo plate. Here, you can select your input, control the values for brightness/contrast/etc, as well as controlling the volume of the built-in speakers.

The built-in speakers at the bottom of the monitor are pretty decent

The built-in speakers at the bottom of the monitor are pretty decent

Using the monitor can be daunting for first timers. As it uses a 21:9 screen ratio, the long monitor will dominate your desk. Videos played on screen will have vertical black bars instead of horizontal ones as most videos are made with the 16:9 or 3:2 ratios in mind. However, with supported games, you will get the full experience of using the full 21:9 screen, and it is a glorious view indeed.

Our main concern at this point is the price – it is not exactly cheap to get a monitor this big, with this features list. However, for those who can afford it, it will be a worthwhile investment for your upcoming productivity and gaming life.

CHIP CONCLUDE: A great investment into the new world of wide-screen curved monitors.

(previously published in issue August 2015)

Philips BDM3490UC