To a backdrop of smoke, lights, and the Stade De France, tech giant Philips this week unveiled its brand new foray into the world of gaming at an event in Paris.
iMore was invited along to the showcase to get a taste of how Philips plans to disrupt the gaming accessories market over the coming months and years thanks to its brand-new gaming arm, Evnia, with the likes of Razer and SteelSeries in its sights.
The Greek word Evnia means "to show interest to protect someone/something", but also just sounds quite cool. So what is Evnia, and why should Mac users care?
Right now, Evnia is a lineup of gaming peripherals and accessories based on the age-old gaming values of pretty aggressive design and high performance. With the prospect of more to come down the road, Philips and Evnia this week unveiled a series of three new monitor and accessory lineups and some pretty stellar gaming displays.
Unfortunately, Evnia has fallen into the classic trap of naming its products using Wi-Fi passwords. There is also quite a lot to work through, so let me pick out some highlights.
Evnia has three "tiers" of products, the 3000, 5000, and 7000-8000 series, based on the "good, better, best," philosophy of product segmentation.
Each features gaming monitors and a series of peripherals, a gaming mouse, a mechanical keyboard, a headset, and a mouse mat. On display in Paris were the new 5000 and 7000-8000 series (the product names are already getting out of hand, apologies).
The flashy peripherals demonstrate bold design and solid construction, although I did think they were a little on the plasticky side at first introduction. They look fantastic though, and use an LED RGB system that taps into an ecosystem you can control (think Razer Chroma etc). However, this also features in the premium monitors with a new Ambiglow system that provides soft ambient lighting directly from the monitors, similar to Philips Ambilight TVs. The peripherals in the top-end series are wireless, offering both 2.4GHz and Bluetooth connectivity, while the cheaper options are wired.
The most exciting monitors are the top-end 7000-8000 series, snappily named the 34M2C7600MV, the 42M2N8900, and the 34M2C8600. Yeah... Wi-Fi passwords.
The first is a mini-LED HDR1400 certified WQHD curved monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate and adaptive sync. It also has whopping 1152 dimming zones, and during hands-on time we were blown away by the lighting performance and responsiveness in Spiderman. I heard one member of the press in attendance audibly let out a "Woah!".
The second and my personal favorite is a 42-inch desktop behemoth with 4K UHD output, HDMI 2.1, and a 138Hz refresh rate through DisplayPort. This is the monitor you'll want to buy if you do any gaming on the current generation of consoles through Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5.
The 34M2C8600 is a 34-inch panel with HDR TrueBlack 400 certification, a QD-OLED panel, and a 1440p UltraWide resolution as well as a 175Hz refresh rate.
Those are some big numbers, so let me give you some more. Philips didn't announce pricing or availability at the event, but our friends at T3 report that these monitors start at a cool €579, with the aforementioned 34M2C7600MV priced at €2,069. Philips is offering some pretty serious kit for some serious prices, which means they'll need to prove a lot to muscle in on the best gaming monitors.
However, each offers some really fantastic USB-C connectivity and the usual charging and passthrough features, which means that users of the Mac now have another option when it comes to premium monitors that can also be used to fuel that gaming hobby when not working and creating. There's definitely a market out there for people who want monitors which can be used both as productive and creative workspaces but also for high-performance gaming, even if you'll need to plug in something other than the best MacBooks to achieve it.
We'll need more hands-on time to see if these Evnia products are worth their salt, but early indications are impressive and Philips is clearly serious about the run it's making on the world of gaming peripherals and performance monitors.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
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