A nicely-priced 19" monitor, but don't expect high-end performance.
If your desk hasn't enough room for a standard 17" display, then go for a Philips 19". Impossible? Not with the 109B10. The overall dimensions, utilising XtraSpace Design, are actually less than a normal 17", which saves on desk space. And, since monitor prices have fallen dramatically in the last two years, a 19-incher is now within reach.
As part of Philips' new range, the 109B10 sits pretty much in the middle of things. The B stands for Business, with the high-end range called Brilliance and the low end, SoHo. With a top resolution of 1600 x 1200 at a refresh rate of 75Hz, the 109B10 should be suitable for many applications. The On Screen Display (OSD) has been redesigned: natural language is now incorporated, and navigation is via five logically laid out buttons.
To make adjustments even easier, the OSD can be controlled via a USB cable using the CustoMax software supplied. The OSD itself is well organised, but isn't as comprehensive as on other monitors.
There is a moirÚ control, however. We tested it to the limit using 25 of the toughest images a monitor will ever have to display in the obstacle course that is Displaymate for Windows. Off to a bad start, we noticed that the anti-reflection coating seemed to be under-performing - reflections of other objects were clearly visible. But the anti-glare coating was definitely working, and the plain grey test image showed good colour uniformity. Focus was generally good, but patterns with vertical lines looked quite fuzzy.
Geometry is probably the 109B10's strongest point, with only slight distortion noticeable in the corners. Generally, moirÚ wasn't too bad, and can mostly be corrected using the reduction option in the OSD.
As usual with shadow mask CRTs the colour registration wasn't perfect, but not bad enough to notice in normal use. The overall score was 76.8 per cent, which was put into better perspective considering this monitor only costs a little over £500.