For the past month or so I've been looking around to replace my current dull 17" LCD monitor.
I was originally looking for a 20" widescreen, however during my research I found that a 20" monitor would not be capable of displaying HD content. I wanted to make sure that my purchase was going to last a lengthy amount of time, and didn't want to buy a monitor which would be outdated next year.
I eventually came across the Dell 2407WFP. This is a massive 24" widescreen with a staggering resolution of 1900x1200. This monitor is not the cheapest on the market, but is by far one of the best available, and best of all, the resolution is high enough to display HD content when it becomes available.
The High Definition support is provided by the DVI input. Various news sources suggest that graphics cards capable of supplying HD content will become available towards the end of 2006. So I have hopefully future proofed myself for many years to come!
I had the foresight to clear my desk before delivery took place. I did this Saturday morning thinking I would receive the monitor later this week. Literally 30 minutes after I prepared my desk, a TNT delivery van pulled up. Top marks given to Dell and delivery; I only placed my order with a Dell partner on Thursday and here it is in my possession on Saturday (at the time the Dell website was indicating lead times of 5-7 days).
To my surprise, after several minutes of the delivery guy knocking about in the back of this van, he came out with not just one box, but three! One box was clearly the monitor, but I had no idea what were in the two smaller boxes.
It took me several minutes to negotiate the stairs while trying to get the boxes up to my computer room, but once their I was able to put my mind to rest as to what was in the two smaller boxes they shipped me. Box one, a power lead. Box two, a user manual!
This seems a bit of a was of packing and shipping, and I have no idea why these items were not in the main box. After all, there was plenty of room for it all to go into one box, and I haven't read any reports elsewhere about Dell shipping the monitor like this. I suppose one reason behind it may be that all the monitors are produced in one country and boxed up, then depending on destination they ship the relevant power cord and user manual.
Here we go, the main box!
Upon opening the box, you are greeted with the standard polystyrene packaging. On top you have all the relevant bits and bobs, in this instance a DVI cable, USB cable, drive CD and a quick setup / install guide.
Removing the above packaging then gives you access to the monitor stand and monitor itself.
What's interesting about the monitor is that it comes with the VGA cable already attached. Again, I have no idea why Dell done this, as I would have thought the majority of people who go for this model would more than likely be using DVI for its superior quality. Still, only a 30 second job to disconnect the VGA and attach the DVI.
Once it was out the box and attached to the stand, I had to step back and take a deep breath. The monitor is huge, and I wondered what I had let myself in for!
With the shock over, I continued to set it up. Above I noted about a USB cable being included, this is because the monitor comes complete with a 4 port USB hub and card reader. As well as that and the aforementioned VGA and DVI, the monitor also comes complete with composite and S-Video. So this monitor can handle pretty much any connection you can throw at it.
Once everything was plugged in, it was time to power up.
The monitor is plug and play as standard and Windows XP had no problem supporting the resolution, USB hub and card reader out the box with no need to install the driver.
After an initial play around, I did install the driver found on the Dell disc supplied. I did this to see if there was any additional functionality of the monitor, but their wasn't! Now you may think what additional functions could a monitor provide, well, this monitor rotates from landscape to portrait. I later found with the help of Chris, that my ATI graphics drivers did all the hard work when it came to rotating.
Unfortunately, the display has not yet been configured to automatically adjust depending on orientation. But to be honest at the moment I don't see myself using it in portrait mode for anything.
While doing my initial research, I found that this monitor did have it's share of problems since it was launched back at the beginning of the year. Reported problems included colour banding issues and ghosting.
Dell have tried resolving these issues, but some are still apparent. The colour banding issues has been resolved on one of the monitors preset mode 'Desktop' (presets are desktop, entertainment and gaming). Again, I have no idea why they couldn't fix it on all three presets, but one mode seems enough for me as I couldn't see any advantage in switching to a different mode for different applications. (For those interested, i have the A02 revision)
The ghosting however, is still somewhat apparent. I have been successful in eliminating about 95% of it by reducing the screen brightness from the preset 50% to 30%. At this level, the ghosting is only apparent when dragging items over a white background. I don't do that on a regular basis, so I am not too bothered about it.
Game play and watching DVD's is excellent. A great 16ms response time (not the quickest on the market, but still fantastic for game play), everything is crisp and clear, and having the extra screen space is great (but I may need to upgrade my Radeon 9800XT as it struggles with resolutions greater that 1600x1200). Watching DVD's is a pleasure, crisp, clear and sharp. Although the monitors aspect ratio of 16:10 is not usually the standard, DVD's fill up the screen with the exception of two small black strips (top and bottom).
With the exception of the minimal ghosting issues, I am very satisfied with my purchase, and would recommend this monitor to anyone who is looking. Out the box it is plug and play and fully operational within 5-10 minutes. Having HD support is excellent, and the USB hub and card reader is additional thumbs up for Dell.
The one major downside for this monitor is the price. This monitor retails direct from dell at £824, while the smaller 20" is only £437. Lucky for me, I was able to find a Dell Business Partner who managed to supply me with the monitor for £588, this took the edge off, but it was still expensive.
Overall I will give this monitor a rating of 8.5 / 10.
A great monitor, shame that the ghosting lets it down a little, and the steep price.
2nd September 2006 - This review was kindly provided "as is" by Craig Faice from Windowsforum.org
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