Philips’ 23-inch LCD won’t win any beauty contests. It’s not ugly, per se, but its silver and black plastic chassis looks and feels a bit chintzy. Fortunately, it offers the full complement of adjustment options—a generous 7 inches of height clearance (by way of a telescoping neck), along with swivel, tilt, and portrait functions. It also offers four USB 2.0 ports. Onscreen display (OSD) buttons across the front bezel are comprehensive and fairly intuitive; or you can perform all the same functions using the bundled SmartControl app, which adds an embedded tab to your Display Properties windows—nifty.
As with the display’s physical appearance, we were initially unimpressed with its DisplayMate performance. One of our first tests is always the Dark Screen, which reveals how well a screen can produce a deep, uniform black. In this, the 230WP7 appeared splotchy and uneven, with signs of backlight showing through at various places.
But the 230WP7 redeemed itself with strong grayscale skills, producing smooth, accurate gradations of up to 256 steps. Its color reproduction of high-res digital photos and video was solid when viewed straight on, but the picture loses a lot of contrast and depth when viewed off-axis. Like the HP LP2465 that we reviewed in our September roundup, Philips’ LCD had some trouble reproducing a stream of image patterns in the speed test Pixel Persistence Analyzer. Rather than moving across the screen in a steady, rapid fashion, the images stuttered at regular intervals.
The stutter was not immediately apparent in our game tests—in fact games looked pretty darned good on Philips’ screen (again, when viewed straight on), but when we moved our character sideto-side across the screen (to mimic the action of the benchmark), we observed an almost imperceptible periodic hitch.
Month Reviewed: November 2006
+ Caramel Corn: Fully adjustable ergo stand; four USB ports; good grayscale performance.