Philips 230C1 review

18 Sep 2009
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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A 23in monitor with Full HD resolution, superb picture quality and a smart, practical design, all for well under £200. It's a brilliant choice.


23in screen size, 1,920x1,080 resolution, DVI: yes, VGA: yes, HDMI:

The 230C1 is towards the top-end of what you'd expect to pay for a 23in monitor, but Philips has put a lot of effort into making an impressive display.

With its full HD 1,920x1,080 resolution and DVI, VGA and HDMI inputs, it's designed for entertainment as much as for PC use.

Picture quality was top-notch, and this monitor produced some of the best images we've seen. Contrast was superb, and colours were deep and vibrant. The gamma control, which many monitors lack, was particularly useful for tweaking the contrast levels, and we found that stepping it down to 2.0 from the default 2.2 helped to brighten the image a bit.

The menu controls are placed conveniently on the side of the monitor and are easy to work out. One button gives access to four preset modes: Office Work and Economy simply dim the screen slightly, but are useful if you want to save energy. The Image Viewing and Entertainment modes ramped up colour and sharpness levels too high, making the picture far too brash.

The SmartContrast mode provides stunning dynamic contrast ratios, greatly improving detail in dark scenes and bringing out the best in almost all source material.

The single-port USB hub is useful for a mouse or USB flash drive. There's a small plastic ring that you can plug into the rear of the stand to act as a basic cable guide. There's no VESA mount, however, so you won't be able to mount the monitor on a wall.

We don't usually think much of speakers that are built into monitors, but the 230C1's aren't bad. While some monitors hide their speakers on the rear, the 230C1's are front-mounted, which makes them clearer. They're surprisingly loud for 2W units, although they still lack bass.

Its excellent image quality, choice of inputs, decent speakers and full HD resolution make the 230C1 a fantastic choice of display. If you're on a tighter budget, BenQ's G2220HD is a good buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****


Viewable size 23 in
Native resolution 1,920x1,080
Contrast ratio 1,000:1 (12,000:1 dynamic)
Brightness 300cd/m²
Horizontal viewing angle 170°
Response time 2ms
Response time type grey-to-grey
Screen depth 62mm
Base (WxD) 225x200mm
Screen elevation 131mm


Portrait mode no
Wall mount option no
Height adjustable no
Internal speakers yes (2x 2W)
Detachable cables yes
USB hub 1-port USB
Integrated power supply yes
Kensington lock lug yes
Display extras none
VGA input yes
DVI input yes
S-video input no
Component input no
Composite input no
HDCP support yes
Audio inputs 3.5mm line in


Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 41W

Buying Information

Price £173
Warranty three years onsite