Philips Bril­liance 258B6QUEB

A MacBook-friendly USB-C dis­play

Mac Format - - APPLE CHOICE - Re­viewed by Keith Martin

£299 from Philips, philips.co.uk Fea­tures Multi-func­tion USB-C dock, Dis­playPort, HDMI, DVI and VGA ports, ad­justable stand

Big­ger isn’t al­ways bet­ter, which is why we wanted to check out the new Philips 25-inch mon­i­tor in

its Bril­liance range. It’s known as the 258B6QUEB, though Philips also refers to it as the “Bril­liance LCD mon­i­tor with USB-C dock”, and this 25-inch dis­play has got an aw­ful lot go­ing for it.

First of all, as that longer name in­di­cates, this de­vice has a built-in USB-C dock. Okay okay, we know it’s a mon­i­tor, so what’s the big deal about this dock? The point is that this makes the dis­play qui­etly but squarely aimed at MacBook own­ers who need help deal­ing with their lap­top’s sin­gle out­put port. Plug a 12-inch MacBook into this dis­play’s USB-C port and you’re linked to a power source, dis­play and data through reg­u­lar USB (there are three ports on the dis­play for hook­ing up de­vices), as well as Eth­er­net – yes, there’s a stan­dard RJ45 socket hid­den along with the other ports around the back of the mon­i­tor. This is a screen that MacBook own­ers in par­tic­u­lar will love as it ac­tu­ally man­ages to make per­fect sense of the sin­gle-port de­sign that Ap­ple pre­sented to the world.

Next comes the stand. It’s not as ‘gee whizz’ as the USB-C dock, but it has an hon­est-to-good­ness tilt, swivel and heigh­tad­justable sup­port. You get around 135 de­grees of turn on the base, and with a bit of fin­ger pres­sure you can change the height from low enough to trap your hand on the desk to high enough for a pint glass to sit un­der­neath, should you want to do that.

Our very first im­pres­sion wasn’t per­fect, as we had to reach for our tool bag to put the dis­play to­gether. When you first un­pack this prod­uct you’ll find that mount­ing the mon­i­tor on its stand is a bit of a pain; you’ll need a cross-head screw­driver (not sup­plied) to fix the stand’s mount­ing plate to the back of the dis­play – but re­lax, as it was all plain sail­ing from then on. The good news, for some peo­ple any­way, is that this is a stan­dard VESA-com­pat­i­ble con­nec­tion, so if you want to put the dis­play on a wall or use some other kind of sup­port you can, us­ing a wide range of mount­ing gear from many dif­fer­ent places. For reg­u­lar desk­top use, though, the stand that’s pro­vided is fine.

Good con­nec­tions

The con­nec­tion op­tions Philips has built into this thing are good. As well as USB-C with its at­ten­dant dock­ing ports there’s one HDMI, one DVI, one old-school VGA and one full-size Dis­playPort con­nec­tor, plus a cou­ple of head­phone-style jacks for au­dio in and out. It also has built-in speak­ers, though they’re noth­ing you could rock out to.

One ques­tion you need to ask your­self is whether a 25-inch mon­i­tor is big enough for your needs. It’s a Quad HD dis­play (with a na­tive res­o­lu­tion of 2560x1440 pix­els), so it’s a de­cent bit of screen real es­tate. To com­pare, the MacBook’s own screen is 2304x1440. It’s phys­i­cally smaller and with slightly fewer

ver­ti­cal pix­els, although of course it packs those pix­els into a Retina-qual­ity panel.

The dis­play it­self is a de­cent IPS LCD panel, and it has the same ex­cel­lent view­ing an­gle range that we’ve come to ex­pect from Philips; colours and con­trast stay very good through al­most 180 de­grees. Yes, that’s far be­yond the point where you could make sense of what’s dis­played. In our Spy­der col­orime­ter tests it per­formed well for main­stream use: 99% of sRGB, which is also around what a MacBook achieves. It’s pack­aged in a chas­sis that has an ex­tra slim bezel along the top and sides, and it has the stan­dard set of dis­creet con­trols lined along the bot­tom. True, these ‘but­tons’ are the frus­trat­ing touch-sen­si­tive type, but this is a mi­nor an­noy­ance in an oth­er­wise pleas­ing pack­age. If you’re look­ing for a dis­play to put into a multi-mon­i­tor ar­ray the VESA mount is a big help, but the strand of con­trol but­tons makes the bot­tom bezel not­i­ca­bly larger than the sides. But that’s not re­ally where this prod­uct is aimed.

Now USB-C me

If you use a MacBook Pro, Air or Mac mini this is a per­fectly good 25-inch IPS dis­play, but prob­a­bly not your best op­tion. For one thing, the price re­flects its spe­cial USB-C ca­pa­bil­i­ties. It’s pretty clear this mon­i­tor’s ideal au­di­ence is the new MacBook-tot­ing crowd. If that’s you and you’d like more screen space then this dis­play rises to the chal­lenge beau­ti­fully, us­ing its in­tel­li­gent multi-func­tion dock to make the most of the MacBook’s sin­gle USB-C port. We wouldn’t be sur­prised to see Ap­ple giv­ing it an hon­ourable men­tion at its next event. Use this as the quick way to hook into your desk­top setup in one step: hard drives and other USB de­vices, wired net­work and power, and, of course, the dis­play con­nec­tion it­self.

The Philips 258B6QUEB comes with plenty of ports to give you many ex­pan­sion op­tions the MacBook lacks.

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