So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Height adjustable swivel base, Built in USB port, Built in speakers
- Some noticeable image noise
All up, the 190B7 produced decent image quality and is well designed for an office environment. We did notice some noise in its image reproduction, which may annoy some users.
Price$ 539.00 (AUD)
The Philips 190B7 is a 19in LCD monitor that's aimed at business users. It has good features that are handy for an office environment, such as a swivel stand, a built in USB port and integrated speakers. However, we did notice some image noise and flickering in our tests.
The monitor has a 4:3 screen ratio, but is big enough to place two windows, such as word processor documents or Web pages, side by side. It is not overly bright and has an 8ms pixel response time. Due to the response time, we noticed some blurring but this was only when scrolling in documents and Web pages with small fonts.
The monitor produced good results in our image quality and colour tests, and its horizontal viewing angles are excellent at 170 degrees. It has a native resolution of 1280x1024 which we tested via DVI using a GeForce 7600GT-based graphics card, on Windows Vista-based system.
The DisplayMate Video Edition tests indicate that the monitor has very good brightness and contrast. Dark grey colours on a black background and light grey colours on a white background were clearly distinguishable. The monitor is capable of producing a suitably dark black colour, while its white colour reproduction was slightly grey. We tested with the brightness level set to 70, in an office environment with fluorescent lights, but even when we turned it all the way up, the image didn't get washed out and was still easy on the eyes.
The monitor's grey levels scaled well in our tests, but had a very slight yellow tinge. We did notice a little bit of noise in the monitor's image reproduction, in dark grey colours as well as lighter colours. During normal use, this made the monitor look like it was flickering, but this may not be something that all users will notice.
The screen didn't suffer badly from any uniformity issues and during our tests, text was clear and easy on the eyes. However, the top half of the screen did seem to be a little duller than the bottom half. Viewing from the sides resulted in a slight shift in colour, but since the screen has a swivel-base, it can be easily moved left or right.
When viewing photos, we found colours to be vibrant with no colour banding. All image details, especially shadowed areas and textures (such as feathers and fabrics) were reproduced faithfully. The image noise we noticed previously was not prevalent when viewing photos.
As well as a DVI input, the 190B7 has a VGA port and a USB port on its left bottom edge. This can be used for plugging in a USB key or a VoIP headset, for example, and means the user doesn't have to be within easy reach of the actual PC. A pass-through cable for the USB port is supplied. The unit has integrated speakers which are decent for listening to both voice and music output. Unfortunately, there is no built-in headphone jack which we felt would have been a convenient addition for private listening.
The Philips 190B7 produced decent image quality and is well designed for an office environment despite some image noise which may annoy some users.
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