Philips's stately 19-inch LCD, the 190P5, incorporates a smart, attractive design; solid image quality; and a nice handful of useful features, such as built-in speakers. We've seen 19-inch LCDs that sell for considerably less than this monitor, such as the
The 190P5, which comes in black or silver, is big, sturdy, and highly adjustable. Its trim bezel runs about three-quarters of an inch along the top and the sides and three inches along the bottom to accommodate the embedded speakers. The screen smoothly pivots from Landscape to Portrait mode and tilts 5 degrees forward and 25 degrees backward. You can extend the sleeved neck to give you about 5 inches of additional height, which brings the top of the panel a towering 21 inches from the desktop, making the 190P5 one of the tallest monitors we've ever seen. The 190P5 also swivels 65 degrees to the left or right, though the action is a bit stiff. The 190P5 will work with a &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex_1&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwebopedia%2Ecom%2FTERM%2FV%2FVESA%2Ehtml">VESA-compatible arm mount or wall mount and has a built-in &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex_1&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ekensington%2Ecom%2Fhtml%2F1441%2Ehtml">Kensington antitheft lock bracket. Though the embedded speakers on most LCDs are junky, the 190P5's built-in speakers deliver above-average audio quality.
The 190P5 offers both digital and analog connections (Philips supplies both kinds of cables), as well as an audio-in input and a headphone jack. Because the panel pivots, the signal inputs on the back of the panel are easy to access, so the 190P5 is a breeze to set up and connect to a PC or a Mac, and Philips's tech support will provide a Mac adapter free of charge. About the only thing missing is a cable-management system; the cables just dangle, which detracts a little from the 190P5's sleek profile.
Adjusting the 190P5's picture is almost easier than hooking it up. The image-adjustment control panel is a snap to operate, and Philips dedicates two of the six buttons to the all-important brightness level. Another button activates Philips's patented LightFrame3 technology, which automatically pumps up the brightness and the contrast in the areas of the screen you select for viewing photos, videos, or other files, while it preserves your normal settings on the rest of the screen. We like this feature, especially for viewing photos in LightFrame3 while simultaneously typing without it.
The Philips 190P5 did well in CNET Labs' tests. Running with a 1,280x1,024 native resolution, text looked readable and reasonably sharp. While the monitor showed some flaws in our grayscale tests--we noticed some inconsistencies and hints of colors--there were less than with most other LCDs we've seen. Once we adjusted the brightness (the default is set quite high), colors looked vibrant. In our motion tests, the 190P5 delivered adequate performance, although it showed the streaking and ghosting effects common to LCDs; we saw similar, though somewhat less severe problems during our gaming tests.
Philips backs the 190P5 with an industry-standard three-year warranty that covers all parts and labor costs. During the first year of the warranty, Philips will replace a defective unit with a new or refurbished one within two business days and will cover shipping costs; thereafter, users must pay for shipping.