The first two characters of the Philips 274E5’s model number give the clue that this is a 27“ monitor. With a thin black bezel, the LCD monitor offers an effective viewing area of 597.89 by 336.31mm with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and an optimum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 60Hz.
The monitor panel needs to be mounted on the supplied black stand using a screw located as part of the oval base, and this monitor doesn’t possess swivel or height adjustment features, so you’re limited to landscape orientation with the screen’s height fixed at 10cm above the workspace. The only adjustment you can make to positioning is the ability to tilt the screen between -5 and 20 degrees. This isn’t a deal-breaker, though, especially for a monitor of this price.
Positioned on the rear of the monitor are connections for HDMI, DVI, VGA, headphones and audio plus mains power. Leads are provided for VGA, audio and a two-piece AC/DC power adapter.
Following the usual pattern, the monitor’s controls are located below the bottom-right corner of the bezel. While some of these buttons, such as the on/off control, have a single function, others change their functionality to reflect the current mode set from the OSD (on-screen display).
The particular model under review features Smartlmage Lite. This is proprietary technology developed by Philips and has been designed to analyse the content displayed on the screen. The information gained from the analysis will be used to dynamically adjust various features of the display to give a better performance. How exactly this works isn’t evident, but we were impressed with the results.
Smartlmage Lite technology has three different modes. These are designated as Standard, Internet and Game. Depending on the chosen mode, the areas targeted for adjustments will vary. In the case of Standard mode, text will be enhanced while brightness should be dampened. Contrast, color saturation and sharpness enhancements fall under the remit of Internet mode. An overdrive feature will be activated with Game mode. This will attempt to produce a better response time and cut down on the jagged edges of fast moving objects.
This Philips monitor also supports Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), which allows you to set up a direct connection between a mobile phone or other portable device and the monitor in order to display the mobile content on the high-definition screen. This feature requires the presence of a special MHL lead and a MHL-certified mobile device with the connection made via the HDMI option. Assuming you have everything required, this is a useful function to have and is great for things like viewing photos and videos, among other things.
As part of the supplied software, you get a copy of Smart Control Lite, which allows you to manually adjust features of the display. The areas covered have been categorized as Adjust, Color, Settings and Help. A list of options, with tools such as slider bars and navigation arrows, will appear as each category is selected.Is this the best 27″ monitor on the market right now? Probably not, but for the price, it’s a pretty good option. Michael Fereday
A monitor that offers good value.