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Review: Philips 221S3UCB USB monitor

by Tarinder Sandhu on 16 November 2012, 09:00 3.0

Tags: Philips (AMS:PHIA)

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The Ā£125 Philips 221S3UCB is designed to enable users to add a 21.5in, full-HD monitor to any system that sports USB connectivity. Driven by DisplayLink technology and working just fine as an enabler of extra real estate or as a larger-screen presentation tool when allied to a laptop, it's not a screen for everyone - gaming and high-definition video playback aren't in the same league as a regular monitor.

Technical prowess and ease of use don't mask the fact that the monitor is very much a niche product, primarily useful for increasing the desktop real estate for notebook computers. We'd like to see subsequent versions use DisplayLink's USB 3.0 technology that, ideally, is packaged into a display which is lighter and therefore more portable.

Bottom line: Philips needs to play heavily on the portability and ease-of-use themes if it's succeed in this market.

The Good

No external power
Super-easy to setup
Handy for increasing notebook real estate

The Bad

Fast-paced gaming and 1080p video playback is problematic
Pricing brings regular IPS monitors into play
Power-draw and compression can reduce battery life by 50 per cent

HEXUS Rating

Philips 221S3UCB USB monitor

HEXUS Where2Buy

The reviewed monitor is available here.

HEXUS Right2Reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.

HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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Definitely very interesting. If you want a quick and easy way to add a second monitor, this seems like a decent alternative. Especially if you don't have any spare DVI/VGA ports or whatever.

Still, would like to see what's possible with USB3.
Interesting, I would have assumed they'd have bundled a usb graphics card but I guess that would cost too much. A good product a few years ago maybe but as you say Kushan, a USB3 one would be interesting!
A boon to mobile types I'm thinking. I might even invest in one myself for when I'm holidaying and want a better than 15" display.
I would be more interested in a monitor without a video cable than one without a power cable. I could then put my base unit in my spare room and not be worried about fan noise. I already have a cordless keyboard and mouse, wi-fi printer and wi-fi router. Therefore the only reason for having my base unit near me when I use my computer is the video cable. However, as far as I am aware there are no wi-fi or radio enabled monitors. Given that movies can be streamed to a TV why can't video output be streamed to a monitor?