Philips Brilliance 190P6 review: Philips Brilliance 190P6

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MSRP: $399.99
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Highly adjustable; four-port USB hub; embedded speakers; pivoting software.

The Bad Text display could be sharper; screen not uniformly bright.

The Bottom Line Aside from a few small image-quality flaws, the Philips Brilliance 190P6 has everything you need for business and some pleasure, too.

7.3 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Service and support 8.0
  • Setup and ease of use 7.0

Philips Brilliance 190P6

Though designed for corporate use, the dignified Philips Brilliance 190P6 will please home and business users alike with embedded speakers, a USB hub, and a high degree of adjustability. The snazzier LG Flatron L1981Q costs less than the $559.99 Brilliance 190P6, but it lacks speakers and a USB hub, and its image quality isn't as good.

Like most business-oriented 19-inch LCDs, the Brilliance 190P6 won't turn heads. Only a thin, dull stripe of chrome around the control panel interrupts the monitor's square shape and dark-gray coloring. At 16 pounds, the 190P6 is heavy, but a large, oval-shaped base keeps it from wobbling. Despite its plain design, this LCD is exceptionally adjustable. Its telescoping neck provides 7 inches of variable height. The panel tilts forward 25 degrees and backward 5 degrees. It swivels 65 degrees in both directions. It also pivots back and forth between portrait and landscape mode; curiously, it doesn't come with software to reorient the image, so you'll need a graphics card that can. Two plastic loops on the neck keep cables organized.

The Brilliance 190P6 includes both analog and digital ports, plus one upstream and four downstream USB 2.0 ports. Also onboard are an audio input, a headphone jack, and a pair of embedded 2-watt speakers. The speakers offer good sound quality but not enough volume. Philips provides cables for everything, including one USB 2.0 cable. The company will provide a free adapter for Mac users on request.

The Brilliance 190P6's eight control buttons are set into in a chrome strip. One of them activates Philips's LightFrame DR technology, which lets you quickly toggle through presets for Internet, text, and graphics. Once you've installed the included LightFrame DR software, the button switches between full-screen mode and multiwindow mode. Using the software, you can enhance the brightness and contrast of photos or graphics while keeping other windows at their normal settings. The panel has an autoadjust button and volume and brightness controls. The SmartBright setting automatically adjusts the display's brightness to changing lighting conditions. Philips also provides the SmartManage tool, which gives IT departments the ability to track and service displays over a LAN.

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