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Philips Notebook Docking Display 

The Philips 231P4 Notebook Docking Display is an ideal complement to users who wants to use their laptops back at base as well as on the move. With its inbuilt docking station, it is only the work of a few moments to make a single USB connection and then be up and running with this 23inch monitor.

Philips 231P4UPES 23 inch IPS LED P Line Display
click image to enlarge

This 23 inch 1920 x 1080 pixel LED monitor with its silver bezel is mounted on a stand which provides a useful range of movements. It can be rotated laterally through 130 degrees; has a spring-counterbalance that makes it easy to raise/lower through about 12cm and has a reasonable amount of "tilt". When removed from its stand it can also be attached to a standard VESA mount.

The connections are sensibly grouped with the USB 3.0 input and the two 3.0 and one 2.0 outputs are on the LH side. Power, audio, Ethernet and the VGA D-sub connections are on the underside and the on/off switch is on the RH side. The touch controls for the on-screen display, the two 1.5W loudspeakers, and the two infrared PowerSensor "windows" which detect the presence of the user are on the lower edge of the bezel. When one moves away from being in front of the monitor, after a few minutes this will cut in and blank the screen and go into a power-save mode which reduces power consumption from around 15W to less than 5W.

Having installed the DisplayLink software it is then accessed via the "show hidden icons" on the taskbar. It gives the choice of "mirror" image or extended display as well as a choice of display orientation i.e. landscape or portrait. In fact, although I found no actual use for the portrait mode, rotating the display on its stand provides convenient access to the connections on the underside of the monitor.

In practice, when the screen was not in use, it was very convenient to leave everything ready for use with the Ethernet connection in place and a full-size keyboard connected to the USB 2.0 port (while still using the mouse that I regularly used with the laptop). This left the USB 3.0 ports free for hard disc backups etc. It then it only took a few moments to connect the single USB 3.0 cable from the laptop and start working.

I found that the most convenient way of working was to use the extended screen mode with Word or Excel on the main screen, using its native 1920 x 1280 resolution, and my email client on the smaller laptop screen. This gave a full "in-the-office" effective way of working.

Furthermore, the SmartImage presets in the on-screen settings provide a user-friendly way of automatically adjusting, brightness, contrast and colour to suit the particular usage between Office/Photo/Movie/Game

However, although its main selling feature is that it offers a laptop docking facility, it has both VGA and USB connectivity. Consequently, it could well be used most the time as the prime monitor on one's desktop machine. Under these circumstances, at a MRSP of £227.99 incl. VAT (but available on Amazon for £195.95) becomes easier to justify the additional cost over that of a more basic monitor especially if one factors in the price of a separate laptop docking station.

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Comment by siarad, 24 Jan 2015 11:22

Hi,
interesting article but I've been looking at this: http://www.idealworld.tv/Hannspree_23_inch_Touchscreen_Smart_PC-333996.aspx?p=1
Apparently apart from including an Android PC it can connect via HDMI to any device, further via USB it will become touch compatible with Windows 8, I've not found out if this is Android touch compatible via USB.
I think you did a similar article a while back but this new version may be suitable for a retry.

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OverallPhilips Notebook Docking Display rated 80 out of 100

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