Our review model, the Philips 234E5QDAB/00 is finished in black and includes optional multimedia capabilities, and white versions are also available with and without multimedia support. See all display reviews.
Externally the display is built to a very high quality, with a premium look and feel, featuring brushed metal-style plastic details although has a much less plasticky appearance than some competing products.
It sits atop a short stand with a round base, and also features a VESA 100 mount for alternative mounting options. It's powered by an external power supply which enables the monitor to keep its slim figure despite the inclusion of a pair of stereo speakers. These can be driven via the HDMI/MHL port or analogue PC audio input. Other input options include classic analogue VGA and a standard DVI-D port.
The Philips is operated by physical push button controls tucked away under the front bezel. In addition to the standard monitor controls you'll find options in the menu such as Philip's automatic SmartImage image enhancement function. All options are clearly labelled and easy to access.
The IPS panel in the 234E5 is the key to its commendable image quality, featuring characteristically wide viewing angles and faithful colour reproduction. Our tests revealed its image to be highly accurate and very close to the stellar performance of the AOC i2369Vm – perhaps unsurprising as they were made by the same company. Unfortunately, the Philips display fell down somewhat when it came to its brightness and contrast figures which were poor enough to be considered disappointing.
The two monitors are also very close in price, so whether or not you prefer the Philips over the AOC will come down to style-based decisions and whether you'd prefer DVI over a second HDMI connector and DisplayPort.
The Philips 235E5 is a promising monitor let down by poor contrast performance. Otherwise, it's a very smart-looking display with excellent colour reproduction and great connectivity options made available at a very competitive price.