Philips Brilliance 230W5VS

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Philips Brilliance 230W5VS

Pros

  • Lots of inputs, great design

Cons

  • Poor image quality

Bottom Line

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

Would you buy this?

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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" wide-screen monitor in November 2004, it earned a very good rating for text and graphics quality, with consistently high performance on almost all tests. When we tested it again in July 2005, the 230W5VS's image-quality ratings landed squarely in the middle of the pack. The other vendors had rapidly caught up with the venerable Philips monitor.

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 tested the Philips with DVD playback, the image was fuzzy and the contrast weak in dark areas. The unit'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 considerably less money.

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