Philips Brilliance 200W6CB review:

Philips Brilliance 200W6CB

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Good image quality; ready for IT-friendly asset-management software; built-in speakers.

The Bad Cannot pivot from Landscape to Portrait mode; difficult to adjust; only one downstream USB port; drab-looking design; optional asset-management software is expensive.

The Bottom Line The wide-screen Philips Brilliance 200W6CB display performs quite well and offers some useful extras (that will cost you extra), but other displays offer more flexibility in form and function.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.3 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Support 6.0
  • Setup 5.0

Philips Brilliance 200W6CB

The Philips Brilliance 200W6CB is a good performer and will fit well in a business office or at home, but it lacks the features and adjustability we've seen on other similarly priced wide-screen LCDs. To its credit, the Brilliance 200W6CB offers network-management software (though it costs an additional $650) that businesses will appreciate; and home users may benefit from the standalone speakers, which can play music without video input. If you need the network-management software and like the staid look of the monitor, its $699.99 asking price is fair. But for the same price, the HP f2105 offers better-sounding built-in speakers and better performance; for even less money, the Dell 2005FPW provides S-Video ports, a pivoting screen, and picture-in-picture functionality.

In a product category where slick and space-age are the prevailing aesthetics, the Brilliance 200W6CB is a decidedly drab-looking display. Its matte-black bezel runs 0.75 inch wide along the top and sides and 2.5 inches wide along the bottom, where the decent-sounding 2-watt speakers are located. The display has a short, hinged neck and a round base, and its flexibility is fairly limited: you can't pivot it between Portrait and Landscape mode, and you can raise the panel only 2 inches. The hinges are very stiff, so making the few possible adjustments requires two hands and quite a bit of muscle. The display turns easily on a smooth surface thanks to a lazy-Susan-style disc built into the monitor's base. For $60, you can buy a special ergonomic base with a telescoping neck that adds 5 inches of height adjustment and a Landscape-to-Portrait pivot function.

The Brilliance 200W6CB offers an adequate array of ports for a monitor of this category, including digital and analog inputs, an upstream USB 2.0 port, a PC audio jack, and a headphone jack; given that it's a wide-screen monitor, we'd also like to see an S-Video input. Philips generously includes digital, analog, USB, and audio cables, and a Mac adapter is free upon request. On the back of the neck is a plastic panel that snaps off so that you can tuck all the cables neatly out of sight. Along the bezel's left edge sits one downstream USB port; in our opinion, that's at least one too few; most LCDs have at least two downstream ports, if not three or four.

The unobtrusive black onscreen menu-navigation buttons are embedded in the silver stripe on the bottom of the bezel. We experienced a slight lag between pressing a button and getting a response from the menu, but we got used to it after a while. The Brilliance 200W6CB's drab theme extends to the onscreen menu, with dull pigeon grays and tacky turquoise highlights. We found the menu a bit tricky to navigate at first, as it uses two sets of arrow buttons (up/down and left/right) to drill down into submenus and make adjustments. Most LCDs use just one set of arrow keys.

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