Price (RRP): $699
Gamers want more screen real estate. They are increasingly turning to 4K TVs ‘on their desks’, but there are a few pitfalls for the unwary. We put the 55-inch 4K Philips 6103 through its paces – and depending on what you use it for – you may save motza money.
Gamer GadgetGuy Arjun Krishna Lal selected the Philips 6103 for one reason – its currently on special at the Good Guys for $699 which makes it pretty well the best value in Australia (and Philips was prepared to loan it to him for a warts-and-all assessment).
Not to mention that we have been very impressed with Philips Momentum monitors that cost a good deal more for much smaller screen sizes. But more importantly we could have selected vastly more expensive TVs – we wanted to see how well an affordable one was.
For the past one week, the 1000-pound gorilla in my room has been a ‘monitor’ that’s slightly larger than the desk it is sitting on.
I use the term monitor figuratively – it is a 55-inch, 4K UltraSlim, Smart LED TV 55PUT6103/79 (Philips 6103 website here). I wanted to explore the pros and cons of using a TV as a PC monitor – especially for games.
It took me some time to figure out just where to put the damn thing. You have no idea what it is like to replace a 27-inch monitor with something 2.04 times its size!
- An incredible gaming and media experience
- Super-charged productivity
- It’ll light up your room at night
- It completely takes over your desk
- Input lag not good for high-speed gaming
- Eye strain when used for long stretches
- Did I mention it’ll light up your room at night?
That was the short version. If you want a more detailed account of the supersized monitor experience, that’s what this deep-dive is all about. This will take a bit of time, so strap in.
A quick overview of the Philips 6103 TV
It is one of Philip’s budget 4K sets, a solid performer. You get a straightforward design with moderate, 1cm bezels. It has 2 x 8W (16W RMS) 2.0 speakers delivering ‘decent’ TV audio quality with a focus on clear voice- it lacks bass response, but that’s what a soundbar is for.
You get a 4K VA (vertical alignment) panel. VA panels usually have better contrast (3000:1 versus IPS at 1500:1), colour accuracy, deeper black levels (as low as .03 nits), uniformity and better image quality than IPS. VA’s even better in a dark room – as most gamers prefer. Samsung is a VA aficionado.
IPS usually wins on viewing angles (72° versus 40°) and input lag, though LG and Sony like IPS.
What’s the panel like?
It has a decent panel – 4K (3840 x 2160), HDR-400 Plus and edge-lit, ‘micro-dimming’ that Philips claims give them 6400 different dimming zones. It’s a cut above the no-name, el-cheapo TVs out there.
Hardware-wise it has a quad-core ARM processor; a GPU that supports up to HEVC H.265 decoding; HDMI ARC; Two x HDMI [email protected]; 2 x USB-A 5V/900mA; Wi-Fi N (dual-band 2×2), Wi-Fi Miracast and Ethernet. Its housed in a 1243.2 x 729.6 x 85.9 mm x 13.35kg unit.
The V-shaped stands at either end are 241.3mm and elevate the screen by 52.65mm. It is VESA 200 x 200 wall mountable.
Why would you use a TV as a monitor?
There are a ton of good reasons why you’d want to do this. For starters, price and screen real estate.
Even in the entry-level segment, monitors always cost substantially more than TVs of the same size. A 32-inch 4K ‘dumb’ monitor sells for about $500-700, and this smart 55-inch TV is $699. That’s because for every monitor sold there may be a thousand TVs sold. Yes, I made that statistic up, but it’s all about economies of scale.
Both 1980×1080 and 4K monitors need clarity and crisp images to be viewed from about 60-100cm.