We don’t see many new models when it comes to touch screen monitors these days, but Philips is still plugging away at improving this underrated technology with it’s latest release, the Philips 242B9T.
The name isn’t particularly imaginative, but it is informative if you can decipher the code: it’s a 24-inch monitor in Philips B-line series of touch screen monitors. At first glance, it looks pretty similar in specifications to the best touch screen monitors that we’ve seen for years, but there has been a lot of work in the ergonomics, convenience and styling departments to bring this technology up to modern standards.
Philips is touting it’s SmoothTouch scratch resistant display which should make the 242B9T feel nicer to touch, while also making it more resistant to damage over time. It’s also got an anti-glare coating and a bunch of soft light reading modes that make it kinder to your eyes, and it’s both water and dust resistant to keep it safe from home and workplace mishaps.
But does this HD monitor bring enough to the table? Stick with us as we run it through its paces in our Philips 242B9T review.
Philips 242B9T review: Design
At first glance, the Philips 242B9T would be easy enough to mistake for a regular monitor. Sure, it has some fairly chunky black bezels around the outside of the screen, but beyond that it will easily fit into a home office setup without telegraphing its presence.
Controls are mounted on the bottom of the screen via soft, rubberized buttons with symbols denoting their function on the screen bezel above them. This includes the usual suspects - power on/off, brightness adjustment, input selection, and a quick select menu of different preset viewing modes.
The screen itself is mounted on an upright stand with a double hinge that lets you adjust both the height and angle of the screen. The primary hinge which controls the height of the screen has a tilt angle of between 5-90 degrees, meaning it can be moved from bolt upright to almost lying flat. You can use this in combination with the second hinge to angle the screen flat in front of you, if you’d prefer to work that way. Be careful though, as the screen won’t be touching the desk, meaning it’s still just supported by the stand and won’t be able to take your weight if you absent mindedly lean on it while doodling.
We were impressed with the flexibility that this seemingly quite rigid stand offers, but it can feel a little stiff and awkward to move to and from some positions.
Philips 242B9T review: Display
The Philips 242B9T is a full HD touch screen monitor, which means a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. As the name suggests, it’s a 24 inch screen although there is also a 17-inch version, the Philips 172B9T, if you want a slightly smaller screen. Other than their size, these two monitors are basically identical.
For the screen technology itself, the Philips 242B9T is an LCD capacitive 10-point touch screen monitor, which means the screen can register up to ten separate points of contact simultaneously. This is more than enough for a touch screen, as most people only have ten digits and even then, you’re not going to be using them all at once when you’re browsing the web or sketching up a masterpiece.
The screen has a scratch resistant glass overlay which also has an anti-glare coating, meaning that the screen shouldn’t reflect light back at you during the day. Having used the screen in our home office which is perpetually under attack by the rising sun, we’re impressed by and thankful for the anti-glare tech.
On that front, there are also a bunch of modes and settings to help ease eye strain and fatigue when using the Philips 242B9T. There is a LowBlue Mode which reduces blue light output from the display (Blue light is shorter wavelength light, and therefore more energetic which means it damages your eyes more). It also uses Flicker-Free technology, which changes the way the LED backlighting works to eliminate screen flickering.
Low blue light modes take some getting used to, and they do mess with the color gamut that you’ll see from your monitor, but they are very handy for heavy screen users. We’ve been working with the Philips 242B9T for over a week and we’ve had no discomfort or eye strain, so it gets a thumbs up from us.
It’s also water resistant, which means you don’t have to worry about splashing coffee onto the screen in a morning haze, though we wouldn’t recommend taking it for a bath. The Philips 242B9T is dust resistant too, so the insides shouldn’t get clogged up and overheat.
Philips 242B9T review: Usability
The Philips 242B9T is very easy to set up, coming already attached to its stand in the box. This means you just need to put it on your desk and attach a few cables. There is a power cable, HDMI cable, and an audio port if you want to use the in-built speakers. There are also a host of other ports to use in place of the HDMI, including a VGA, DVI-D, and DisplayPort 1.2 which is useful, especially for people with older computers.
All these ports are tucked away nicely in the back of the monitor, facing downwards. Some other touch screen monitors, like the ViewSonic TD2230, have terrible port placement so it’s nice to see Philips put some thought into this. It means the Philips 242B9T looks sleek and professional as part of your office set up. Philips actually aims these devices at small business owners, as they make excellent till/cashier screens, but we think they have plenty of use at home too.
Once it’s set up, the Philips 242B9T works instantly without the need for software installation. We found that the Philips 242B9T is a flexible and comfortable touch screen monitor to use. While the screen has noticeable bezels, they’re under the glass cover. This means you don’t have to worry about banging your fingers into any raised bezels when you’re touching the edge of the display, which is a common annoyance on some touch screen monitors.
As we mentioned, this is quite a heavy piece of kit, both in terms of overall weight and when you’re trying to move the screen around. This is a common factor across touch screen monitors, but it’s still worth noting that moving the screen to a new position can feel a little arduous. With that said, the Philips 242B9T has a great range of movement and can be upright, laying flat, or anywhere in between. This means you’ll always be able to find a comfortable working position when you’re using it.
Philips 242B9T review: Price
The Philips 242B9T touch screen monitor costs $280/£369. This price is on the higher end of what we’d expect for a touch screen monitor, but they’re still well within the reasonable price range, especially when you consider the build quality and excellent performance that they offer.
One extra advantage of the business focus that Philips has put on this monitor is that it comes with an exceptional four-year warranty, so you can be sure that you’re going to get support, repairs, and replacements well into the lifetime of this screen.
Should you buy the Philips 242B9T?
If you’re in the market for a high quality touch screen monitor, then the Philips 242B9T is the best option in town for our money. There aren’t many companies making new models of touch screen monitors, so getting a shiny new model complete with the latest technology and ergonomic features is a real boon to this often overlooked piece of technology.
The screen looks great, it feels good to use and has a great degree of flexibility when it comes to angle and screen height, so it’s comfortable too. It also has some nifty features including a low blue light mode and anti-glare screen that make it ideal for work use, where you’ll be looking at the screen for a long time.