When the first e-readers with epaper displays came out nearly two decades ago, some were hopeful that the low-power display will eventually replace the power-sucking and eye-fatiguing LCDs we’ve come to rely on. Well… let’s just say that still won’t happen any time soon. However, there are definite advantages to using epaper, especially when you’re dealing with interfaces that don’t require a frequent refresh. To take advantage of this, the Philips 24B1D5600 Monitor is pairing an erstwhile standard LCD panel with a smaller epaper screen on the side.
That’s right, this monitor is essentially a two in one, combining a landscape LCD panel with a portrait epaper screen in a side-by-side configuration. With this setup, you can use the LCD for your everyday computing tasks. However, you do get the option of moving documents and other reading materials on the epaper portion, so you can pore over PDF files, text-heavy websites, and long lines of code while going easy on the eyes.
The Philips 24B1D5600 Monitor, basically, puts two screens on a single stand, namely a 23.8-inch IPS display and a 13.3-inch E-Ink Carta epaper panel. The LCD has a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a 75Hz refresh rate, so you should be able to use it like any standard work monitor. It also gets 99.8 percent sRGB color coverage, 250 lumens maximum brightness, and a four millisecond response time. The E-Ink display, on the other hand, has a 1,200 x 1,600 resolution, a color temperature system (so you can minimize blue light), and full front lighting to keep it readable in low-light settings.
While the LCD and epaper panels are mounted on the same stand, they’re actually meant to function as two separate displays. As such, each one has its own connection to your PC (via USB-C DP Alt mode), although you can also connect to the main panel via DisplayPort 1.2. That means, you use this as a dual-monitor setup, with the epaper screen serving as an extension of the main desktop.
The Philips 24B1D5600 Monitor connects the two panels to each other via a hinge that allows the epaper display to fold inwards up to 45 degrees, so you can tweak the setup a bit to find your perfect reading angle. The epaper panel comes with a companion app called Smart Remote that you can use to adjust adjust text size (it offers nine different sizes), change text contrast (it offers four options), search documents, and flip pages, while buttons at the bottom of the screen let you pan and zoom on the document to make it fit flush onscreen. There are also four USB ports, which, we assume, will be for charging various gadgets. The monitor, by the way, is plug and play for both Windows and Mac, although the Smart Remote app is only available on Windows.
Sadly, the Philips 24B1D5600 Monitor has only been released in limited markets. So if it’s not widely available in your locale, you’ll have to get it as an import from places like Good Ereader, which sells it for $1,599.99.