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Philips 243B9H review: A cracking 24in 1080p monitor with a built-in webcam

Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
285
inc VAT

The Philips 243B9H has more features than its price tag ought to allow - and that’s fine by us

Pros 
Great panel
Plenty of ports, including USB-C
Versatile stand
Cons 
Terrible speakers
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The Philips 243B9H is remarkable. It’s a rare example of a reasonably cheap monitor that refuses to make any significant sacrifices, marrying a decent panel with a good selection of ports, a built-in webcam and a versatile stand.

It might not be the last word in style or performance, but if you’re short on space and low on funds there’s practically nothing better for under £300.

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Philips 243B9H review: What do you get for the money?

The Philips 243B9H costs £285 and for that you’re getting a 1080p monitor with an IPS panel that measures 24in across the diagonal. It refreshes at 75Hz with a response time of 4ms G2G and it supports AMD FreeSync, meaning it can manage a bit of post-work gaming.

It’s attached to a stand that can pivot 90 degrees, rise and sink 150mm, tilt 30 degrees backwards and swivel 180 degrees. On the rear, you’ll find single HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 and VGA inputs, one upstream USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port and three USB-A 3.2 ports (downstream) plus headphone output and 3.5mm audio input jacks. Two USB-A ports - one of which supports fast charging - are positioned on the rear, while the other is mounted on the side of the monitor for easy access.

This monitor has two 2W speakers and pressing down on the top of the monitor reveals a built-in 2MP (1080p) Windows Hello webcam with built-in mic that can record video at 30 frames per second. Pleasingly, you’ll find HDMI, DisplayPort and USB to USB-A/C cables in the box.

READ NEXT: The best budget monitors you can buy

Philips 243B9H review: What do we like about it?

First things first: that features list is a good one. Many cheap monitors forgo adjustable stands or luxuries such as USB-C, but not the Philips 243B9H.

And, by the way, that USB-C connectivity is one of the monitor’s most desirable characteristics. Not only does it allow the monitor to function as a USB hub, making connecting devices such as keyboards and mice more convenient, but it also supports video transmission via USB-C and USB Power Delivery.

That’s great news if you’re working on a modern laptop with minimal ports like an Apple MacBook Air or a Dell XPS 13, or you simply prefer to keep cabling to a minimum.

The stand is another desirable trait. The 243B9H offers the four main types of adjustment – swivel, pivot, tilt and height – without any one of them feeling half-baked; I particularly love the way the entire stand base sits on a second, hidden base that enables you to swivel the monitor left and right smoothly.

It’s a fairly smart-looking monitor, too. It isn’t a patch on the cheaper AOC Q27V4EA but the top, left and right edges are slim and the matte black finish is suitably serious. At 5.4kg it’s light enough to lug from kitchen table to home office and back without issue.

Then there’s the 1080p webcam. Although it’s only really good for a Zoom call in a well-lit room, it’s certainly better than other integrated webcams I’ve tested. The Asus BE24EQK is similarly equipped but its camera struggles much more with movement and lighting changes. The fact that it tucks away when not in use is undoubtedly a boon both for privacy and for portability, and after a bit of fiddling I managed to get it working with Windows Hello, granting my PC the ability to sign me in via facial recognition.

The cherry on the cake is the panel itself. Viewing angles are great, as you’d expect of an IPS panel and the Philips 243B9H also performed admirably in our other tests. All you need to do to achieve the best result is make sure the colour temperature is set to Native, rather than 6500K; bafflingly, the latter produced a temperature closer to 7100K, giving onscreen images a blue-ish hue. Similarly, the dedicated sRGB mode inexplicably worsened overall coverage results.

Colour temperature corrected, however, the Philips 243B9H covered 90% of the sRGB colour gamut in testing with an average Delta E of 2.09, indicating that, while colour reproduction isn’t totally flawless, it’s not noticeably iffy. Reds and greens were the least accurately reproduced colours here.

In Native mode, the Philips 243B9H hit an almost perfect colour temperature of 6600K. The contrast ratio was a decent 1,230:1 and even luminance reached a higher peak than Philips’ quoted 250cd/m² – almost 320cd/m² in Native mode.

What this jargon means is that, by cheap monitor standards, the Philips 243B9H is very impressive. Colours are reproduced accurately and the panel is more than bright enough for most indoor environments. And if you decide to take advantage of the refresh rate, input lag and FreeSync support, rest assured that games will look good, too.

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Philips 243B9H review: What could be better?

There’s very little wrong with the 243B9H. Obviously, the webcam is nothing to write home about, so if you need a high-quality video capture device I’d recommend buying a dedicated model to mount atop a monitor instead. I also had trouble getting the webcam to work with Windows Hello when connected to a laptop with a built-in camera; Windows failed to switch from the laptop’s own webcam to the one built into the 243B9H, even after the laptop webcam was completely disabled. This might not be an issue with the monitor, but it’s worth noting nonetheless.

The speakers, however, should only be used in an emergency. Audio sounds incredibly thin through them and the maximum volume is underwhelming at best. Even the cheaper Asus BE24EQK produced a less embarrassing sound. You’ll need to make full use of the 3.5mm jack and plug your headphones or a pair of PC speakers in.

READ NEXT: These are our favourite PC speakers

I initially had trouble with the on-screen display, too. In my mind, “navigate up” buttons should be to the left of “navigate down” buttons but Philips has them reversed on the OSD control panel along the bottom-right of the monitor. The OSD itself is a bit enigmatic as well – see my notes above on colour settings – but it’s not hard to get to grips with and you’ll get used to the button placement over time as well.

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Philips 243B9H review: Should you buy it?

Absolutely. This relatively inexpensive monitor easily scoops our Best Buy award, clearing hurdles most other cheap monitors fall at along the way. It’s astonishing that Philips has managed to cram this much into a monitor costing less than £300.

As long as you don’t mind the tinny speakers, there’s little else out there that offers bang for your buck like the Philips 243B9H.

Philips 243B9H - Specifications
Panel size23.8in
Panel resolution1,920 x 1,080
Panel refresh rate75Hz
Panel response time4ms (G2G)
Panel typeIPS
Adaptive sync supportAMD FreeSync
HDR supportN/A
Ports1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DP 1.4, 1 x VGA, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, 3 x USB-A 3.2, 1 x 3.5mm, 1 x audio in 
Other features1080p 2MP Windows Hello webcam & microphone, 2 x 2W speakers
Stand ergonomics90° pivot, 30° tilt, 180° swivel, 150mm height adjustment
Dimensions (with stand)372 x 541 x 216mm (HWD)
Weight (with stand)5.44kg