The Philips 200WS8FS TFT monitor measures 20 inches on the diagonal with a 1680 x 1050-pixel resolution.

The brightness rating is 300nits, while the contrast ratio of 800:1 looks low, especially compared with the dynamic figures used by other companies.

Philips clearly feels no need to gild the lily when it comes to the response time of its TFT, as it uses a simple figure of 5ms as a typical response instead of a more impressive grey-to-grey time of 2ms.

Added to that, the Philips doesn't include integrated speakers with this model and the only inputs are VGA and DVI-D, not that you get a digital cable in the package. We're talking about a model that is stripped to the basics, so it's just as well that Philips has delivered a display with a narrow bezel that
has plain yet stylish looks.

Crisper pictures

There's no denying the inherent quality of this display, as image quality is good when you use the analogue VGA connection. It's slightly better when you switch to DVI, as the picture becomes clearer and crisper. You can improve the analogue image by using the Philips FPadjust utility to work on the user-defined settings, but it's pretty good out of the box.

The price of the Philips is steep when you consider the basic specification and relatively small screen size, as well as the fact that the build quality and styling of this screen can only be described as neat and tidy.

There are two specific issues that cause us concern. When you tilt the display the movement levers part of the base out of place in an alarming fashion and, added to this, we could hear a peculiar buzzing noise from our rather second-hand review sample.

Overall, the Philips 200WS8FS is a decent machine, but it's simply outclassed by its rivals.