Philips Brilliance 230WP7NS
At a Glance
This comparatively inexpensive and very solid performer offers flexible physical adjustments.
The 23-inch Philips Brilliance 230WP7NS turned in solid scores on PC World's performance tests. The $950 (on 8/17/06) silver wide-screen monitor is also moderately priced in its category.
Text appeared crisp in our Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. The monitor also easily handled contrasting black and white text and background; whichever was the background, text was always readable, even at smaller font sizes. Graphics reproduction received a cumulative score of Very Good. Though a tester commented that a portrait of a group of people appeared somewhat "too dark," the judges generally agreed the display gave out rich and vivid colors. Strawberries and mango slices exhibited wonderful contrast and delicious detail.
The panel pivots in a counterclockwise direction, unusual for this type of feature. Still, pivoting proved easy with this well-crafted unit. It tilts as well, and you can adjust its height about 5 inches. Four USB ports for connecting peripherals such as cameras adorn the bezel, with two on the left side and two on the back. Not the most impressively designed but adequately pleasing, this Philips sports a matte silver bezel, with a touch of translucent plastic that runs across the rather thick bottom side of the bezel and surrounds the on-screen display controls in the middle. A conventional black stand ends with a boomerang-shaped silver base.
The monitor generally produced vibrant colors when I viewed scenes from a test movie (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl). Reds were rich and blues were velvety, particularly in soldiers' uniforms. Skin tones, however, looked a tad unnatural, giving the tanned Jack Sparrow and lighter-skinned characters a uniformity and monotony that deemphasized the pirate's exaggerated suntan. The unit was also nimble at handling most sequences, though scenes where the sun was in the background or on the water at times seemed more overexposed than usual. Still, an occasional movie screening on this large LCD would be a pleasant experience overall.
The Philips 230WP7NS has well thought-out on-screen display controls that I found easy to navigate. Color controls include color temperature presets and individual RGB settings.
A generous three-year warranty comes standard with the monitor.