A good monitor is essential for the workplace when spending hours, days, months, and a lifetime in front of a computer. I prefer large monitors with huge resolutions to get enough space to work efficiently with Microsoft 365, Endpoint Manager, scripting, and automation.
Traditionally, I have used three to four monitors lined up. After migrating to one super widescreen, I will share my experience. Will it fulfill my needs and expectations out of the box, or do I need to do some hacks?
Please note: This is not a sponsored post!
Table Of Contents
The Philips 499P9H Hard Facts
The monitor I am installing is the Philips P-Line 499P9H 49″ DQHD UltraWide 32:9 Curved, which is like two full-size QHD monitors in one with its 5120×1440 resolution. It has a built-in USB-C docking station and a pop-up webcam that supports Windows Hello!
The resolution of 5120×1440 is designed to let the monitor replace multiscreen setups. I will have the same space as if I had two 27″ monitors side by side. However, the setup will be less complicated, with fewer cables to arrange, like power cables, HDMI cables, etc.
The monitor features a built-in USB type-C docking station, allowing for a one-cable connection from the computer. Peripherals like keyboards, mice, ethernet cables, and USB devices are connected directly to the monitor. By connecting my laptop to the USB-C cable, I am all set to work while my laptop is being recharged simultaneously.
The built-in KVM switch allows you to use two computers with a monitor-sharing keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) by simply clicking a button to switch between sources.
The monitor also supports MultiView, which allows the two connected computers to be projected onto each part of the monitor simultaneously.
The monitor is relatively big, and the box is even bigger (1308x384x553mm, 21.5 kg). Place the package on a flat surface where you have some space to unpack it.
Pay attention to the “open here” which seems to be on the “wrong side” of the box since you have to place it with the text on the sides upside down.
Turning the box on the head reveals the “Open here” marking and some instructions on how to unbox without damaging the product.
When opening the box, you should find the cables, instructions and the base. If not, you have opened the box at the wrong end. Remove the cables, base and the paperwork.
Next, you should lose the binding strap and remove the top of the styrofoam. Now you should see the back of the monitor. Since this is a curved monitor, you should leave it in the styrofoam when mounting the base – improper pressure will cause a broken panel! It could be wise to be careful with the box and keep it if you have to move the monitor later.
Carefully mount the base to the monitor’s backside.
The base must be mounted with four screws found inside the bag with the quick start guide. You will need a Philips driver to mount the screws.
Carefully place the monitor on the desk and locate the cables needed for your setup. Initially, all I needed was the power cable and the USB-C cable connecting my laptop to the docking station where my peripherals were connected.
The USB-C cable has a built-in adapter for USB-A, but if you use this, you will lose the power supply charging your laptop’s battery.
Lastly, you must remove the transport tapes from the webcam and unfold the camera from the monitor.
At this point, the modern workplace should be ready for some serious endpoint manager work.
The desk was cleaned for the photo session 😉
After using the monitor for a few days, I gained some experience and found some hacks to fit the product better into my workday.
The KVM and MultiView options might be valuable for me when working with Microsoft Endpoint Manager and testing several devices. I can now easily connect test devices to my primary monitor and peripherals without restructuring all cabling at my workplace.
The built-in webcamera with Windows Hello support allows me to sign in password-free to my devices and services. The fact that it is built into the product makes my desk tidy and clean, with less cable clutter.
The base is solid and has a neat design, giving me a good place to place some devices on my desk. The monitor also has a standard VESA mount (100x100mm).
The resolution is superb, especially when setting the scaling to 100%!
The Challenges And The Hacks
I noticed that the USB-C cable is not delivering the same amount of power as my Surface Studio is expecting. This gives a notification in Windows – but the battery gets charged anyhow.
For a person like me who is used to working with 2-3 monitors, the first challenge in my daily work on the monitor was that this is only one monitor, and I have fewer frames to snap my windows to (windows key + arrows). Open a full-screen window on “one of the monitors” is also not available anymore.
Windows 11 is addressing these challenges with its new Snap Assist for snap layouts and snap groups.
Snap Assist didn’t meet my needs. I found a better solution in the FancyZones utility from PowerToys. This tool allows me to design my zones on a large monitor where I can snap my windows.
By holding down <shift> while moving a window, I can easily snap the windows to one or multiple zones. I have also configured this to override Windows Snap. This way, I can use the windows key + arrows to move windows between the zones by using the keyboard.
FancyZones has an editor that allows you to build custom layouts. I have made my layout fit my needs. In this layout, I have a handful of zones where I can place application windows (or snap applications spanding several zones) and a main zone in the middle of the screen with a size/resolution of 1980×1080.
Creating several custom zones that can easily be switched with keyboard shortcuts +++ is possible. In this way, you can make zone settings fit the needs of your work. In the example below, you find my two current custom setups:
The first is explained above for online meetings, and the second is for focus work.
Teams Sharing Challenge
Another challenge is related to Teams meetings and “sharing of a screen” in a meeting. This has been flawless when working with 2-3 monitors where I have dedicated one monitor for sharing. Now that I have one large screen, this is more problematic because nobody can see anything if I share a screen with a 5120×1440 resolution. I have the laptop screen that could be shared, but even this monitor has a huge resolution of 2400×1600 in 100% scale. I also like to use the laptop screen for notes and sketches on the Whiteboard.
Region To Share To The Rescue
I found my solution in a third-party solution named Region to Share. This is a helper application to share only a region of a screen in video conference apps that only support full-screen or single windows. This tool simply mirrors the content of a screen region into a hidden window, which will then be shared in Teams as an application!
When starting Region to Share, I can simply snap it to my FancyZone number 3, covering an area of 1920×1080 in the middle upper part of my screen (close to the built-in web camera).
During Teams meetings, I can share the “Region to Share” application and have all my other applications supporting me in the meeting snaped to appropriate zones around my screen.
This is even better than sharing one of the screens in my old setup!
I believe this monitor will support me well while doing remote work, mainly focusing on Microsoft 365, Intune, and Endpoint Manager, and maybe using several devices for testing and running proof of concepts!