capsule review

Philips Brilliance 230W5VS

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder 230W5VS27

    PCWorld Rating

Philips Brilliance 230W5VS
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

The Philips Brilliance 230W5VS offers inputs and a design that are remarkable even in luxury monitors. We wish we could say as much of its image quality. When we first tested this 23-inch wide-screen monitor for a November 2004 article, it earned a Very Good rating for text and graphics quality, with consistently high performance on almost all tests. In a second round of tests for the July 2005 chart, the 230W5VS's image-quality ratings landed squarely in the middle of the pack. Its ratings slipped to Good for both text and graphics.

A push-up cover on the front of the monitor conceals two USB 2.0 ports and (unusually) a six-in-one media card reader. The HDTV-ready 230W5VS conceals its entertainment inputs (component, composite, and S-Video) in the back, under a snap-off cover. When we originally tested this monitor, it earned Above Average--our highest rating--for DVD playback, though informal tests showed some ghosting when the monitor displayed our test DVD movie at full screen. When we tested it this time around with a different DVD, the image was fuzzy and the contrast weak in dark areas. The unita??s audio sounds tinny on the built-in monitor speakers. As with all large monitors we tested, its chief entertainment use is for watching TV or video in the picture-in-picture window while working. And though we like the 230W5VS's elegant design, Dell's UltraSharp 2405FPW includes the same basic features for $600 less.

The well-rounded Philips Brilliance 230W5VS includes a good mix of PC and A/V features, but newer competing models offer better image quality.

Philips Brilliance 230W5VS

23-inch screen; 1920-by-1200 native resolution; 19.8 pounds; one analog, one digital, one composite, and one S-Video input; swivel and tilt adjustments; TCO'03-compliant. Three-year warranty (including backlight); 16-hour weekday, 14-hour weekend tech support.

Laura Blackwell

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Solid performer includes six-in-one card reader and USB 2.0 ports stowed under a push-up panel in the front of the bezel.


    • USB ports, card reader under front panel
    • Well-designed and includes many inputs


    • Image quality is just average
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