The Philips 200CW8FB is a neatly compact 20.1in monitor featuring SmartAccessory, small storage units that can be attached to either side of the screen as a home for your MP3 player, webcam or headphones.

This is a nice thought, but we'd have preferred some attachable speakers, since the Philips 200CW8FB has no built-in models.

With a glossy black surround and sophisticated sheen, the Philips 200CW8FB certainly looks attractive. It's straightforward to set up and incorporates Philips' hand-holding SmartImage technology, which claims to automatically enhance contrast, colour saturation and sharpness to suit content. There are two USB 2.0 ports, DVI and D-Sub inputs and a cable cover to ferret away messy leads.

With its stand attached, the Philips 200CW8FB screen can be tilted back and forward to a limited degree to aid visibility, but not from side to side. With a row of six operational buttons near the bottom-right corner of the screen, operation is reasonably intuitive. Press the SmartImage button to the far left and you get five choices: Office mode for document viewing, the self-explanatory Image mode, Entertainment, Economy and Off.

We selected the Philips 200CW8FB's image-viewing mode and ran a timed slideshow. This immediately gave the picture a punchier, sharper and more colour-rich appearance. Entertainment mode is a little more subdued and Economy even more so – in fact, there's little visible difference between the Economy and Office work settings.

Running our 'Spider-Man 3' movie test, fast-moving images were smooth and made for a comfortable viewing experience. Likewise, games weren't a problem – Quake gameplay proved free from distracting image lag or ‘ghosting'. Using the Philips 200CW8FB' optimised settings, it's hard to find fault, but while there's very little negative to say about the 200CW, there's little that's inspired either; perhaps that why you get bundled accessory holders to sweeten the deal.

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Philips 200CW8FB: Specs

  • 20.1in flatpanel display
  • 1,680x1,050
  • pixel pitch: 0.25mm
  • 300cdm2
  • 1,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 5ms response rate
  • digital connectivity: VGA, DVI
  • 480x393x193mm
  • 4.9kg
  • 20.1in flatpanel display
  • 1,680x1,050
  • pixel pitch: 0.25mm
  • 300cdm2
  • 1,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 5ms response rate
  • digital connectivity: VGA, DVI
  • 480x393x193mm
  • 4.9kg

OUR VERDICT

The Philips 200CW8FB is a decent if uninspired all-rounder: user-friendly, compact and attractive, with space-saving extras.

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