The Philips 221S3UCB might not have a flashy name, but it’s understated sleek black design packs an array of features you usually expect from more expensive high-end monitors.
Part of the S-line, Philips took their tag-line – sense and simplicity – really seriously with this USB monitor. It does not require power or video adapters as it connects directly to two of your USB 2.0 ports, there’s no buttons, menus and settings to configure – it just works straight out of the box.
At 21.5 inches and boasting 1080p Full HD, it has 70mm height, tilt and swivel adjustment; eco-friendly display panel (no mercury), low power consumption during normal operation and zero power consumption in off (standby) mode. This makes it a perfect companion for the office PC as well as people who use an business laptop as a primary PC; you can simply plug it in and get to work – without having to deal with adapters and power cords.
If you’re not impressed so far, have a peek at the specs: 16:9 aspect ratio;1920×1080@60Hz resolution; 5ms response time, 150cd/meter squared luminosity, 1000:1 typical contrast ratio, Kensington lock and VESA mount.
It’s not all good news; although the specification sheet for this model quotes support for both Windows7/Vista/XP and Mac OS X it would not actually work with my up-to-date Mac OS X Lion system. Looking at the support page for this particular model under FAQ, we find out that Mac and Linux compatibility is not implemented at the moment.
EDIT: There is an alpha driver available for Mac OS X. It’s a bit sluggish though, it drops frames even when watching YouTube videos.
We’ve tested this monitor with a Windows Server 2008 (equivalent to the consumer-oriented Windows Vista) and successfully ran Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with all the textures at High and 2x antialiasing, although a bit sluggish (because the monitor has to use the CPU (central processing unit) to render the image instead of getting the video feed straight from the GPU (graphical processing unit).
Considering the features, the sleek black design and a good panel quality (bright and vivid colors, sRGB compatible), and the fact that Philips has been making displays for decades, it’s a must have for the Windows-based enterprise market.