Philips Gioco review: Ambiglow on your desk and much more

Philips 278G4DHSD makes great use of the LG Display IPS panel


Philips Gioco 278G4DHSD

The Philips Gioco 278G4DHSD is a 27-inch monitor, which is equal to about 68.5 centimeters diagonally, with a 16:9 Full HD resolution. That's 82 ppi, but you have to sit real close to actually see the individual pixels. The extra, dark and glossy layer on top of the screen probably helps here. 

That polarizing layer makes it so that passive 3D glasses divide the screen into left and right images for the respective eye, creating the illusion of 3D. Passive 3D is less demanding on the eyes than active 3D, but you instead lose resolution. It's possible that you see lines of the alternating polarised images on a large monitor of 27 inches when you're sitting at desktop range, but you won't notice it if you sit further away and use it as a small TV. 

Philips Gioco 278G4DHSD

The Philips Gioco 278G4DHSD has three HDMI 1.4 connectors, so you can connect Blu-ray players and game consoles for playing 3D content as well. The monitor should be compatible with AMD graphics cards and Tridef and Nvidia 3D drivers, but the Nvidia 3D Vision system won't work since it uses active shutter glasses. 

Passive 3D requires a much lower refresh rate than active 3D, and Philips specifies a 7 ms response time in 3D mode. In 2D mode that is 14 ms. Kudos to Philips for stating realistic refresh rates than the typical (and fictional) G2G numbers often used by monitor manufacturers. Of course this might potentially scare off the less well-informed consumer that takes the 2 ms or 5 ms as truth and doesn't realize these are marketing ploys.

In addition to the three HDMI ports and the VGA port, the screen has four USB 3.0 host ports and a USB 3.0 slave port for connecting the hub to your PC. It's too bad that the connectors are placed so that they stick out towards the back of the monitor, and there are no VESA mounting holes for hanging the screen on a wall.


The main new feature on the Gioco 278G4DHSD is Ambiglow. If you will never use 3D or the USB 3.0 hub, there is a more affordable model without those features, the Gioco 278C4QHSN. Both have the same Ambiglow LEDs, five on each side of the screen that can light up in every color of the rainbow.

The monitor analyzes the colors in the incoming signal and adjust the 10 LEDs accordingly. Ideally it gives the impression that the picture on the screen radiates onto the wall behind it. It makes the transition between light and dark smoother, possibly preventing your eyes from getting too tired of a bright screen in dark surroundings. There's also a setting that just shines a neutral, white light with a 6500 K color temperature.

The Ambiglow effect is best visible in a dark environment when the screen is close to the wall. It works best with slow-moving images, if colors change to rapidly you will notice a slight delay. The brightness can be adjusted in a number of increments with the onscreen menu.  

We have seen products before that used lights to ease the transition between light and dark, with LED strips for example. These worked fairly well, but the lights did not follow the colors of what's on the screen. We have do admit that it does look better when the surrounding colors match, even if the feature on the Gioco isn't always quite fast enough. 

Philips Gioco 278G4DHSD


two products discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price

Philips Gioco 278C4QHSN

27 inch, 1920x1080, 82 ppi, IPS, HDMI input, 7 ms, 250 cd/m², 1000 : 1


Philips Gioco 278G4DHSD

27 inch, 1920x1080, 82 ppi, IPS, HDMI input, 7 ms, 250 cd/m², 1000 : 1

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