The £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.
No external power
Super-easy to setup
Handy for increasing notebook real estate
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
The reviewed monitor is available here.
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