The year was 2008 and in a random conversation with a friend I scored a trade for my 22 inch LCD monitor for a 27 inch.
Then in March 2020 I started working from home when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the west coast of Canada.
“I miss my 30 inch monitor at work but I’m glad I have a 27,” I thought.
And it stopped working a day later.
“I’ll just work on one 22” monitor all day.’“
Nope, that’s not going to work.
The Philips 326 E Monitor
I set out to find a decent price 27 inch monitor with 1440p resolution. I ended up finding the Philips 326 E monitor for $289 at Costco.
First the specs:
- 32” (actually 31.5 inches diagonally)
- 1.074 billion colors
- AMD FreeSync technology
- VA display with 178 degree viewing angle
- 5ms response time
- 60mhz and 75mhz refresh rate
- 20M:1 contrast ratio
Is bigger better?
The first, and biggest spec, there is the 32 inch size. I wasn’t looking for a 32 (it’s actually 31.5) but have one at work and it’s fantastic. The question you need to ask, and it’s hard to know before you actually look at some monitors, is do you need the screen to be bigger or just more pixels?
To get 1440p resolution, the monitor just needs to be 2560 pixels by 1440 pixels for a total of 3,686,400 pixels. 13 inch MacBook Pro’s with a Retina screen has more than those number of pixels so almost any screen size can be that resolution. Typically 24 inch desktop monitors and up have 1440p resolution or higher.
I like using a 32 inch monitor but some people don’t. One of the issues with a monitor so big is the viewing angle changes so much from the centre to the sides. The pixels can get dark if you’re looking at them at too much of angle. The 326E has a 178 degree viewing angle so I don’t notice issues with seeing the pixels until the very edge.
I have heard from friends that 4k monitors are just too hard to see unless you’re vey close but I haven’t tried. I think a 27 inch monitor with 1440p resolution is probably the the best of both worlds.
But there might be a solution to the viewing angle.
Should it be curved?
All the curved monitors were more expensive that the 326E so I didn’t splurge. Now, looking back, the next monitor I get that size, it will be curved. Being curved lessens the viewing angle to the pixels at the edge, making the distance from your eyeballs to the monitor consistent all the way across. And looks badass.
27 is probably as big as I would go without being curved but with a good viewing angle you can get away with a 32.
5 ms response time
One big downside to this monitor is the response time. It’s slow. I don’t notice it doing office-type things.
That said, I am gaming on it with old games and don’t really notice it there either. That’s probably more to do with the games being old and my computer not able to handle newer ones than the 5 ms response time being noticeable. If I had a solid gaming rig, and a faster monitor to compare it will, I’d probably see it.
At the end of the day bigger is better in my opinion. The 32 starts to get big enough where curved is nicer but it’s still a great amount of real estate. If you can find a curved 32 for the same price, I’d grab it but it’s usually going to cost more. If all you can spend is the price of this flat 32, it’s still an awesome monitor.
See the Philips Monitors E Line 326E8FJSB Monitor on Amazon.