Selling for just £14 less than the 20in Philips Brilliance 200W6CS/00 that currently tops our high-end flat-panels chart (see December issue, page 211), the 190P7ES faces a difficult job convincing you it's worth so much cash. After all, this screen measures just 19in.
Not only do you get less screen space, but you also get a lower native resolution: 1,280x1,024 rather than 1,680x1,050.
However, cast a glance over the specifications and you'll see that the 190P7ES is a very different animal. It's sleek, with a case design that's swanky enough for the home but sufficiently discreet to meld into an office setting. The stand includes full height adjustment, and you can spin the screen through 90 degrees for text-heavy applications and web pages. On-board speakers aren't included, although almost everything else is, from dual DVIs (digital visual interfaces) to a USB hub.
The 300cd/m2 brightness rating is one of the more ordinary specs here – and even this beats many a 19in flat-panel. The contrast ratio of 1,300:1, on the other hand, is quite superb, indicating that you can look forward to fantastic colour depth.
But we have doubts about the official horizontal and vertical viewing angles. Philips claims the monitor is viewable at 178 degrees, which should guarantee a steady image almost regardless of where you sit. However, we found that even moving our heads slightly to one side caused the image to deteriorate. It wasn't dramatic, but it was enough to call the specs into question.
Indeed, the Philips didn’t perform as well as we expected in our real-world testing. The colours were attractive and there's loads of detail, but we’ve seen screens with even more eyecatching images. The ViewSonic VX2025wm’s picture, for example, is sharper and more involving. The Philips did better on text, making it a very decent office flat-panel.