While 19-inch TFT displays are overtaking 17-inch ones in the sweet spot for size and cost, 20-inch monitors and above are still holding onto their premium pricing. But Philips has upset the apple cart with the 200W6CS, a 20-inch TFT LCD display that you can get for under £400 if you shop around.
Not only is the 200W6CS a 20-inch panel, it’s also widescreen, and its 1,650 by 1,050 pixel native resolution, although lower than some of its competitors, is just the job for displaying two A4 sheets side by side. This makes the 200W6CS a good choice for business users who yearn for dual displays but lack the desk space. With a 16ms response time this is a display that won’t appeal to hardcore gamers, but for the rest of the planet it’s perfectly adequate.
It looks smart in its silver finish, with the 16:10 aspect ratio screen held in place on three sides by a narrow bezel. The bottom half is wider enabling it to house a pair of 2W speakers which, because of a lack of bass response, may be fine for business use but sound tinny when the volume is turned up. The stand allows swivel, tilt and a little height adjustment but doesn’t have a pivot function.
On the back of the panel lurk the DVI digital and VGA analogue inputs; the DVI option is the one to choose if your graphics card supports it as this usually gives you the best picture. Alongside these two are the audio in and headphone sockets along with a USB upstream port. A downstream USB port is usefully placed on the left side of the bezel.
Under the basic DisplayMate tests overall colour quality was good in both digital and analogue modes, with colour scales well defined. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the greyscale tests: images low in colour saturation appeared white, with the extreme high end of the greyscale washed out. Better results came from using the digital input rather than the analogue one, at both ends of the scale. Having said all that DVD movies played smoothly with just faint flickering in only the dimmest lit scenes.
The viewing angle is impressive, Philips claiming 176 degrees on both vertical and horizontal planes. Certainly the colours remained sharp and true at all angles from which we looked at the screen.
Another pointer to this display’s business intentions is the inclusion of SmartManage, a LAN-based management software tool that IT managers will love. With this you can remotely switch monitors on and off, reset display settings, perform diagnostics and, best of all, if stolen the monitor can’t be used with a different PC.
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