The Philips 200WS8 leans towards the functional and rather unexciting end of the scale.

Unlike some rival 20-inch displays, however, the Philips display doesn't do a particularly good job of masking its low price. Matte-grey plastic is the order of the day with a similarly uninspiring stand.

Coming across as a hasty afterthought rather than deliberate design, some indented lines near the logo fail to add to the external appearance. The display's budget roots even manage to show through when navigating the menus with the somewhat clunky feeling buttons.

Buzzing backlight

So it won't be winning any design awards in the near future, but the Philips does go some way to redeeming itself with a thin bezel that helps to exaggerate the panel's size.

Designed with office use in mind, the 200WS8's specifications are a little lacklustre with an 800:1 contrast ratio and 5ms response time.

Slightly troublingly, our test unit's backlight buzzed loudly for about ten minutes after being switched on when not set at 100 per cent.

This made attempts to find an optimum picture quality with the brightness not set to full somewhat of a double-edged sword, with the prospect of a mosquito-esque sound if successful.

Vibrant colours

Our colour tests revealed the 200WS8 to perform somewhat better than we had expected.

Despite this, it didn't quite match up to monitors with snappy trademarked names for their display technology.

While the falling prices of 22-inch widescreens make them worthy of strong consideration, the 200WS8 is a solid 20-inch monitor, although there's little in the way of luxury on offer here.