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Monitors

Philips 190X7: Smarter than the average TFT

We usually don't get out of bed for monitors that are less than 24 inches, but we'll look at the Philips 190X7 anyway -- we're feeling generous

Our friends at Philips blessed us with a sample of the new 190X7 monitor this morning, kind souls that they are. According to the accompanying press release, it's the first Philips monitor to have been awarded the 'Certified for Windows Vista' premium logo. W00t.

Essentially this means the display has an HDCP-ready DVI port. As a result it'll play HD DVD or Blu-ray movies that are saddled with copy protection -- provided you have an HDCP-ready graphics card.

The 190X7 is full of other clever touches, including the 'SmartTouch' touch-sensitive menu button, and 'SmartImage Lite', which automatically adjusts brightness, contrast, colour saturation and sharpness for gaming, video or Web browsing. Then there's SmartResponse, which lets you choose from pre-defined response times. You can go as low as 2ms for optimum gaming, or to higher response times when you want better colour saturation in static images.

The 190X7 is 'only' 19 inches diagonally so it runs at a fairly ordinary 1,280x1,024-pixel resolution. But it's pretty nice to look at -- particularly the rear quarters, which are curved slightly and finished in a piano-black coating. This just about makes up for the fat, mundane-looking black and silver bezel at the front.

The 190X7 is available now for around £200. We shall review it shortly. -RR