Philips 241B7QPJKEB review: Cut-price perfection

Looking for the best-quality sub-£200 IPS monitor around? You’ve just found it

IT Pro Value
Price
£167
  • Gorgeous design; Highly adjustable; Very colour accurate; Great value
  • Low maximum brightness

If you'd asked us to recommend a colour-accurate 24in monitor for under 200 before this Philips arrived, we would have said sure, before pointing you to the fairy dust aisle in Tesco. This monitor resets all the rules. Not only do you get a colour-accurate 23.8in IPS panel, but also a fully adjustable stand, a stunning design and even an integrated 2-megapixel webcam.

Philips 241B7QPJKEB: Design

But it's this monitor's sumptuous design that first strikes you. The top and side bezels are so slim as to be virtually borderless, making it seem as if the image is floating in space - and cutting down the room it consumes.

Better yet, Philips includes its SmartErgoBase, which provides height, swivel and tilt adjustment. You can also pivot it 180 while its sturdy base prevents the panel from wobbling. If a tidy desk is important to you, then note its smart cable management around the back, which stops the desk from becoming clogged with cables.

Nor do the features end there. Philips squeezes in its ingenious PowerSensor at the bottom. This sensor sits underneath the Philips logo and detects when you're away from the desk, automatically dimming the display to reduce energy costs and prolong the life of the panel.

Philips 241B7QPJKEB: Ports and features

When you want to make a Skype call, you simply pop up the integrated 2-megapixel webcam. It's no match for a dedicated Logitech webcam, whether for video or audio quality, but it's great for occasional calls and supremely handy as it can be popped back into the monitor's frame. That way, you won't have to worry about anyone spying on you - although note there's a small LED to indicate when it's in-use.

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The 241B7QPJKEB doesn't look quite so slick when viewed from the side - it bulges rather - but that can be forgiven considering all the ports and connectivity on show. You can connect it up via a DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 and VGA port, which are tucked around the back along with a 3.5mm headphone jack input and output. As this hints, this speaker packs in two 2W speakers, but think Windows notifications rather than listening to Vivaldi. A single USB 3 port, complete with fast-charging capabilities, sits on the left.

We've always been impressed by the level of customisation within Philips monitors, and again the 241B7QPJKEB excels. The monitor's OSD is accessed through the physical buttons found on the bottom right-hand side of the monitor. Within it, you'll find a selection of different options, most notably you can adjust LowBlue Mode, which alters the level of blue light that's displayed - useful if you're gazing at this monitor long into the evening. Within the Picture settings you can adjust its brightness, contrast, sharpness, response time and even enable Pixel Orbiting (to prolong the life of the panel). Finally, it has pre-defined colour temperatures, sRGB and user colour modes.

Philips 241B7QPJKEB: Colour accuracy

This leads us onto its Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS panel, which is a brilliant example of its type with excellent viewing angles, fantastic colour accuracy and a good contrast ratio. In sRGB mode, the 241B7QPJKEB had an average Delta E of 1.6, which means it's exceedingly colour accurate. At a contrast ratio of 1,327:1 and a 90.6% sRGB coverage, colours are vibrant and full of life. Blacks appear suitably black (measured at 0.16cd/m at peak brightness) and its white point is impressive. All of which result in a fantastic viewing experience.

In fact, this display only has one weakness: peak brightness. With a top luminance of 213cd/m, you'll struggle to use the Philips monitor in situations where it's sitting in bright ambient light - next to a window that catches the sun, for instance. If we were being picky we'd also criticise the uniformity of its brightness, which we measured at 15% variance at its weakest point (bottom corners of the monitor). This isn't as bad as it might seem, as most consumer-grade monitors that cost under 200 are far worse.

The monitor isn't aimed at gamers, but we nonetheless tested the panel's response time and input lag. We're pleased to say that the panel can be used for gaming, too. The panel responds surprisingly well when set to the Fastest mode within the SmartResponse settings. Inverse ghosting is kept to a minimum and its input lag is surprisingly low. So, if you're looking to play the odd game its 60Hz panel works valiantly.

Philips 241B7QPJKEB: Verdict

For under 200, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more complete IPS monitor. Its colour accuracy and contrast ratio make it perfect for watching movies or browsing the web, while that plethora of features and stunning design immediately mark it from the crowd. Coupled with its surprising gaming performance, the Philips 241B7QPJKEB is simply the most versatile 200 IPS monitor you can buy.

Verdict

For under £200, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more complete IPS monitor. Its colour accuracy and contrast ratio make it perfect for watching movies or browsing the web, while that plethora of features and stunning design immediately mark it from the crowd. The Philips 241B7QPJKEB is simply the most versatile £200 IPS monitor you can buy.

23.8in 1,920 x 1,080 IPS panel 60Hz 5ms response time DisplayPort 1.2 VGA HDMI 1.4 1 x USB 3 -5 to 20-degree tilt 541 x 257 x 492mm (WDH) 1yr RTB warranty

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