Philips Flat Panel 150X review:

Philips Flat Panel 150X

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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Sharp picture; DVI and analog interface; height adjustment; built-in stereo speakers and amplifier; superior auto adjustment.

The Bad Pricey; DVI image isn't notably better than analog; oversensitive menu controls; wobbly construction; awkwardly positioned speakers.

The Bottom Line With its DVI interface and stylized looks, the Philips 150X is a step up from the competition in features--and price.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.0 Overall

LCDs are cool by design, and Philips ups the aesthetic ante with its full-featured 150X. This hybrid's lofty price and futuristic lines won't appeal to everyone, but its crisp picture might. If you don't already have a DVI graphics board, beware of the added expense. LCDs are cool by design, and Philips ups the aesthetic ante with its full-featured 150X. This hybrid's lofty price and futuristic lines won't appeal to everyone, but its crisp picture might. If you don't already have a DVI graphics board, beware of the added expense.

Bargain-basement chic
The 150X's $699 list price is considerably higher than that of some budget LCDs, but its long list of features will justify the added expense for some. For starters, it accepts both analog and digital video signals. A digital connection provides a sharper image because it eliminates two unnecessary video-signal conversions: from digital (your PC's graphics card) to analog (your traditional CRT or analog LCD display), and from analog back again to digital. Although the 150X's geometry is somewhat sharper in digital mode, your eye may not notice it. The display failed to produce a wide range of white-level intensities in CNET Labs' grayscale tests, as well (the pure white end of the spectrum had a yellowish cast).

In analog mode, the 150X's image quality is on a par with that of other cheap LCDs that CNET Labs has tested, including KDS's Rad-5. The Rad-5 is comparatively short on extras, but it outperformed and undersold every analog flat panel in its class. The 150X's viewing angle is better than average for this category (160 degrees horizontal, 135 degrees vertical) and will come in handy for presentations.

For the price premium, you also get height adjustment for added viewing comfort and a small pair of built-in stereo speakers. Unfortunately, lowering the screen will partially block the speakers, further degrading their marginal tone.

All shook up
The 150X's polished facade doesn't smooth over its shaky construction. The top-heavy screen was wobbly at its base. The bezel's thick, rounded look adds substantially to its girth but not its stability.

The 150X's six-button control system has a broad range of settings, including auto-adjust. The auto-adjust nailed every control, including the phase setting. Unfortunately, when you're navigating the onscreen menu manually, the overly eager down cursor button will sometimes skip two or three menu places instead of just one (very annoying).

Dual-interface capability and fashion sense single out this product from the crowd. But whether it's worth several hundred dollars more than the Rad-5 or Samsung's 570v depends on how much you value its feature set.

15-inch LCD image quality test
Longer bars indicate better performance
KDS Rad-5
73 
Samsung SyncMaster 570v
68 
Philips 150X
63 
Sharp LL-T1501A
59 
 

Although the Philips 150X's geometry is somewhat sharper in digital mode, your eye may not notice it. The display failed to produce a wide range of white-level intensities in CNET Labs' grayscale tests, as well (the pure white end of the spectrum had a yellowish cast).

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