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Can 19" LCDs Pass the Frag Test?

Philips 190X5's Gaming Luxury

In early November, Philips announced that it would be marketing new LCD monitors in its high-end series, called X as in "eXperience." Set for release later this quarter, this is another monitor that uses the Philips 12ms panel, but with a luxury shell and extended possibilities. And for over $550, let's see if we get our money's worth.

Diagonal measurement19 inches
Native resolution1280 x 1024
Contrast500: 1
Luminance260 nits
Latency12 ms
Colors16.2 M
H/V viewing angles160/160
Loudspeakers2 x 2 W
ConnectivityVGA, DVI, audio in, headphone
Average price$560

Fine Design

This monitor's design is superb. True to the latest fashion, (the one for blue LEDs seems to have finally passed, we notice with some relief), the shell of the display is black and silver. The plastic is thick and of high quality. However, the smooth black-plastic parts scratch easily, so take care in handling it. The base is solid aluminum and provides good stability. On the back of the monitor is a removable cover somewhat like the one on the Sony SDM-74HP. Its purpose is to hide the VGA/DVI and power supply connectors once the unit is set up. Oddly, the audio input is not located under this cover, as if the audio cable needs to be connected and disconnected more often than the others.

The power-on button is located on the front. In fact, it's more of a touchpad than a button, and all you need to do is brush the surface of the monitor with your finger to turn it on. The other buttons are more classic and are set along the edge of the monitor, with indications of their functions engraved into the surface of the unit to make them clearer.

Ergonomics

The ergonomics of this monitor are well thought out. The connectivity is complete, but at this price it would have been nice to include a USB hub. The monitor has no height adjustment, but has a wide range of tilt adjustment. Navigation in the OSD is fairly simple, but we've seen better - the XL795D setting the example among the units tested for this article. Next to the power-on button is a touch-sensitive area for applications such as Web-page viewing or DVD play, which unfortunately are ultimately not very convincing.

So we've established that the 190X5 has a luxury exterior. Now let's see what it has under the hood, starting with its color performance.