Performance wise, Philips is claiming a healthy 1,000:1 contrast ratio – ok, we know that these claimed figures are fanciful, but the higher the claimed figure the better is still a good rule of thumb. The brightness is listed at 300cd/m2 and a 5ms response time. This is listed as ‘typical’ but I can only assume this is a grey-to-grey figure, rather than Off-On-Off. The display colours are listed at 16.7 million, but I'm not convinced that it is actually an 8-bit panel, which this figure would imply. The screen doesn’t have any kind of high gloss coating, which is either a good or a bad thing depending on your view of such coatings.
Before we move onto the image quality tests, let’s talk about the OSD buttons. There are five buttons at the bottom right of the bezel. The far right is for power, and a yellow light to the left of this indicates when the screen is on. The Auto button on the far left is for optimising the picture when connected via analogue. The buttons to the right of this are labelled Brightness and Contrast, and once you press there the buttons turn into left and right to make adjustments. Pressing the menu buttons reveals a limited range of options – there are colour settings and you can choose between, Original and 9,300k and 6,500k colour temperatures, as well as sRGB. Alternatively, you can adjust the Red, Green, and blue manually. If you need to switch between the VGA and DVI ports manually, you can do so from within the menu but you’ll find it something of a faff to do so. You can change the OSD language and the position, and aside from a reset option, that’s about your lot.
The first image quality test I tried was simply regular Windows use. I switched the monitor to 6,500k and found that the picture in Windows was quite satisfactory and gave me a better initial impression than the design it is housed in. One thing I noticed immediately was a far more accurate white than the Dell monitor 2407 screen it shared a desk with.
The next, more objective look at the screen was using DisplayMate, which runs a series of tests to really put a screen though its paces. The first of these is designed to reveal any pixel tracking issues, which is really only an issue when hooked up by an analogue connector. As it turned out it immediately revealed a couple of other issues – there was some odd flickering, and an overly green tinge at the top of the screen. Meanwhile at the bottom of the screen there was a purplish patch.
Moving to the grey scale test and I found that the Philips did a good job, with every step distinguishable. The 256 level Intensity Colour Ramp was also dealt with well, with only a hint of banding and pleasingly smooth fading.