Philips 27B1U7903 review: a lot of monitor for a lot of money

Monitors aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term mini-LED. In the recent past, screen technology was mainly associated with Samsung’s QLED televisions. Little by little, manufacturers are also using the panel technology in their monitors. With the Philips 27B1U7903, brand license partner MMD has launched a 27-inch monitor with 4K resolution. The special feature: Thanks to mini-LED technology, the device is said to achieve peak brightness of up to 1,400 candelas per square meter (cd/m²), making it ideal for professional users. The test of the Philips 27B1U7903 shows whether this is true.

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27B1U7903


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27BN55U-B


LG

558M1RY


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Momentum 559M1RYV


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288E2A


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27UL650-W


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U2790PQU


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Philips 27B1U7903 in the test: monitor on a large foot

The base of the Philips 27B1U7903 already shows that the device is aimed primarily at designers and artists. Instead of the plastic sockets that are otherwise common in monitors, the Philips comes with a solid metal base that is reminiscent of a hollowed-out rectangle. This looks stylish on the desk and makes cable management easier. Thanks to the many setting options, working is comfortable: the monitor can be rotated, tilted and adjusted in height – the pivot mode enables vertical alignment.

Philips 27B1U7903 in the test: If there is limited space, the Philips 27B1U7903 can also be conveniently used in portrait format.

If space is limited, the Philips 27B1U7903 can also be conveniently used in portrait format.

Philips 27B1U7903: great colors, wide viewing angles

However, good workmanship and ergonomics alone do not justify the handsome price of around 1,300 euros. Above all, a monitor has to convince with its image. And that’s more than neat with the Philips 27B1U7903. With a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, the content runs razor-sharp on the screen, and due to the very good factory calibration (color distance of Delta E < 1), the color fidelity and color temperature are excellent. Incidentally, the Philips covers 100 percent of the sRGB and 98.5 percent of the DCI-P3 color space. This makes it ideal for graphics and video editing. In addition to accurate color reproduction, the viewing-angle stable IPS panel enables very large viewing angles - perfect when there are several people sitting in front of the monitor.

Philips 27B1U7903: Bright, brighter, Philips

The real highlight is not the display, but its lighting. The LCD (LC display) is not supplied with light by a conventional LED backlight, as is usually the case. Thousands of zoned LEDs can be controlled – and they only shine with full power where the picture is supposed to be bright. A total of 2,304 dimming zones in the Philips 27B1U7903 ensure that it selectively achieves a brightness of 1,875 cd/m² and thus even exceeds the maximum of 1,400 cd/m² specified by the manufacturer. The color reproduction in particular benefits from the enormous peaks in brightness. In addition, the mini-LEDs ensure uniform illumination of the panel with only minor deviations in brightness.

The best monitors

MateView (HSN-CBA)


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272E1GAEZ


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X27


HB

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Huawei

VP2768a


Viewsonic

BE27ACSBK


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HG440CFW


HANNSpree

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Philips 27B1U7903: moderate contrast, short switching times

Contrast and black value, on the other hand, are a bit meager, which is typical for IPS. However, the advantage of the technology is obvious: the IPS technology ensures crisp colors, viewing angle stability and short switching times. Gamers will also get their money’s worth with the Philips 27B1U7903 – although the refresh rate of 60 Hertz for gaming is a bit low.

Philips 27B1U7903: Thunderbolt 4 – USB-C at speed

In addition to the image quality and the fine-resolution mini-LED lighting, Philips has another highlight up its sleeve. For the first time, the manufacturer is giving a monitor the new Thunderbolt 4 technology and equipping the 27B1U7903 with two of the fast connections. On the outside, Thunderbolt 4 is a completely normal USB-C port, but there is tremendous power slumbering inside: Compatible notebooks such as the MacBookPro (2021) or the Acer Swift 3 transfer data as well as video and audio files with a bandwidth of up to 40 gigabits per second (Gbps) to the monitor. In this way, even the largest amounts of data can be stored on an external (Thunderbolt 4) SSD in a short time or transferred from there to the notebook. The protocol is also supported on the four USB-A ports of the monitor, which means that transfer speeds of up to 32 Gbit/s are possible.
Philips 27B1U7903 in the test: A lot of monitor for a lot of money The Philips 27B1U7903 is not exactly delicate.  Instead, it comes around the corner with 4 USB ports, a LAN socket, Thunderbolt 4, display port and two HDMI ports.

The Philips 27B1U7903 is not exactly dainty. It comes with four USB ports, a LAN socket, Thunderbolt 4, DisplayPort and two HDMI ports around the corner.

Philips 27B1U7903: One cable for everything

In addition to data transfer, the image and sound transmission from PC or laptop also takes place via the Thunderbolt interface. While one of the two high-speed connections can supply a connected notebook with power thanks to its 90 watts of power, the 15 watt port is suitable, for example, for connecting a second 4K screen or for charging the smartphone. This saves occupying another USB socket on the PC or notebook and reduces cable clutter.

Philips 27B1U7903: Numerous connections, enormous power consumption

If that is not enough in terms of connections, you will be happy about the DisplayPort input and the two HDMI inputs of the Philips. There is also a LAN socket and an audio output. If loudspeakers in monitors are often not available at all or are so bad that they are not even suitable for YouTube videos, the Philips 27B1U7903 with its 3-watt stereo loudspeakers is in a comparatively good position. Although the sound is a bit distorted and tinny at times due to the weak bass and treble, it is definitely enough to show colleagues the new presentation. On the other hand, there are deductions due to the very high power consumption: it accounts for 85 watts due to the energy-intensive mini-LED technology. After all, the monitor has a so-called power sensor, which is supposed to help save electricity. The Philips uses an infrared signal to detect whether someone is sitting in front of the screen and reduces the display brightness when they are absent.

  • Very high image quality
  • Very large color space
  • High power consumption
  • Expensive

With the 27B1U7903, Philips has succeeded in creating an almost perfect monitor. Its high color fidelity recommends it above all for graphic artists and other creative minds who depend on an image that is as accurate as possible. Thanks to mini-LED lighting, the Philips achieves an above-average maximum brightness of almost 2,000 cd/m², which further improves the color representation. Another highlight is a Thunderbolt 4 connection, which enables extremely fast data transfers and supplies connected notebooks with power. There are deductions for the immense energy consumption and the very high price of 1,300 euros.

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