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Philips Evnia 34M2C7600MV

How good is an ultrawide screen when you're paying over £1500?

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Philips Evnia 34M2C7600MV

Late last year, Philips unveiled the new Evnia brand, which brings four premium displays for gamers in 2023. The range includes the 42" 42M2N8900 OLED panel, the curved 34" 34M2C8600 QD OLED panel, the curved 27" 27M2C5500W VA panel and now the curved 34" 34M2C7600 miniLED illuminated VA panel, which we've recently taken a look at.

The bright screen is a real sight to behold. The crisp appearance is undoubtedly a refreshing change in a sea of dark screens. The upright part of the light leg is attached by a special lightweight fixing method, by pressing it against the frame, i.e. the panel part, while the base is attached to the stand with a traditional wing screw. No tools are required. VESA connection is achieved by means of a separate 10x10 cm metal connection adapter to the frame. Overall, the mechanical adjustments of the monitor are good, and the stand also protrudes very slightly over the front edge of the monitor panel. This allows the monitor to be positioned very close to the keyboard, thus covering even more of the field of view.

This is useful, as the 34" ultrawide is like a 27" screen stretched sideways, which to those used to larger screens feels helplessly small. It's worth remembering that if the content you're playing doesn't support ultrawide aspect ratios, you'll end up with wide black borders around the edges and a traditional 27" image in front of you. Fortunately, ultrawide support in games is starting to get pretty good these days, except for some smaller indie games.

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Philips Evnia 34M2C7600MV

Games are made even more immersive by the colour LEDs integrated behind the screen, enabling the AmbiLight feature familiar from Philips TVs. The LEDs colour the room to match,
the visuals on the screen, and it's pretty cool too. AmbiLight is controlled via the configuration menu. Unfortunately, there are only three settings for brightness: bright, brighter, brightest. Better named they would have been in the form of very dim, dim and bright. Actually, there are four options, if you count the "off" switch.

The most annoying thing about the control menu, however, is not the limitations of AmbiLight, but the clumsiness and slowness of the whole menu. This seems unbelievable, as control is via a right-hand control pad, which you'd imagine would make navigation easy. This is not the case, however, and the pad is not used at all in the menus, being relegated to a separate power button. In the menu, the four directions of the pad are used to make selections. The problem is highlighted by the fact that the four directions of the pad do not remain logically coherent in the menus, but change depending on whether you are at the top level of the menu or at a lower level of the menu. Closing the management menu is also a problem and can only be done from the top menu edges. This again is even more painful as the menu is really slow. Moving from one option to another at the top levels takes a second or two per selection. Fortunately, there's little need to fidget with the menus, as the factory calibration means the image is calibrated to an excellent level straight out of the box.

Backlighting for the VA panel, which supports 165Hz VRR, is achieved with thousands of miniLEDs divided into 1152 illuminated areas. Black really does look black and light looks light. There are so many illumination areas that even with a black background, you won't notice a specific light spot around the white mouse cursor. Precise backlighting also allows for a stunning HDR experience. The display's very high HDR1400, or 1400 candela maximum brightness, is a fantastic experience and exactly what HDR should be. You can have dark areas and areas that literally dazzle with brightness at the same time. The immersion in the games is incredible.

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The problem with VA panels is the smooth motion blur that manifests itself as iron motion blur. This has been annoyingly unresolved. There are faster VA panels on the market, but there's no bad experience to speak of. It should be mentioned that very few e-athletes play with ultrawide (at least not with VA panels). The overdrive setting in the control menu can improve the situation to some extent, but it's not something you can get rid of. The highest of the three available overdrive settings is completely useless with a clear overshoot, resulting in an inverted shadow image on the screen.

Philips Evnia 34M2C7600MV

It's a stunningly designed and technically impressive top-of-the-range screen, but its price of over £1500 is by far its biggest problem. Dropping the built-in speakers would at least bring the manufacturing cost down by a few euros. It's worth mentioning that during the one-month test period, the asking price seemed to have already dropped by €500 over the recommended price of £2000, which is the right direction.

The high price can also be offset by a number of premium features. In addition to AmbiLight, the monitor has a built-in KVM switch, which allows multiple devices to be connected to the monitor at the same time, using the same keyboard and mouse in addition to the monitor. The switch would logically allow you to use a USB-C connected mobile phone or tablet, for example, and mirror the screen to the monitor, but unfortunately the PC user forgot to test this before returning the monitor.

In summary, the 1152 area miniLED backlighting makes the HDR experience fantastically stunning. On the other hand, the panel doesn't feel quite as snappy as you might expect at this price. In addition, small blemishes in the menus seem particularly bad considering the screen's price tag. Fortunately, Philips has announced that the screen software is upgradeable, so hopefully the particularly slow and clumsy control menu will be done away with in the future.

Philips Evnia 34M2C7600MV
08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
HDR1400, brightness and contrast, 165Hz and VRR, factory calibrated, mechanical controls, USB-C 90W, DP Alt Mode, Ambilight
The panel could be a notch faster in this price range, large external power supply with fixed wires, control menu with navigation, built-in speakers.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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