Introduction

Originally founded in 1984, Dell is one of the largest computer electronics companies in the world, currently ranking a strong #2 to HP in terms of computer systems shipped. When you sell that many computers, it's not at all surprising that you also sell quite a few displays. A large portion of Dell's sales come from the business sector, and businesses were one of the first areas that really pushed for the more compact LCDs. One of the goals with any successful business is to try and reduce your costs and increase your profit margins, and one way to accomplish that is by bringing manufacturing in-house. Back in the days of CRTs, many large OEMs would simply take a proven display and brand it with their own name, but with LCDs they've taken that a step further. What started as merely one component to be sold with any new computer system has grown into a sizable market all its own, and nearly every large OEM now has a line of LCDs that they manufacture and sell with their systems.

Apple was one of the first companies to come out with very large LCDs with their Cinema Display line, catering to the multimedia enthusiasts that have often appreciated Apple's systems. Dell followed their lead when they launched the 24" 2405FPW several years ago, except that with their larger volumes they were able to offer competing displays at much more attractive prices. In short order, the 800 pound gorilla of business desktops and servers was able to occupy the same role in the LCD market. Of course, while many enthusiasts wouldn't be caught running a Dell system, the most recent Dell LCDs have been received very favorably by all types of users -- business, multimedia, and even gaming demands feel right at home on a Dell LCD. Does that mean that Dell LCDs are the best in the world? Certainly not, but given their price and ready worldwide availability, they have set the standard by which most other LCDs are judged.

In 2006, Dell launched their new 30" LCD, matching Apple's 30" Cinema Display for the largest commonly available computer LCD on the market. Dell also updated most of their other LCD sizes with the xx07 models, which brought improved specifications and features. These displays have all been available for a while now, but we haven't had a chance to provide reviews of them until now. As we renew our LCD and display coverage on AnandTech, and given the number of users that are already familiar with the Dell LCDs, we felt it was important to take a closer look at some of these Dell LCDs in order to help establish our baseline for future display reviews.

We recently looked at the Gateway FPD2485W as our first LCD review in some time, and we compared it with the original Dell 24" LCD, the 2405FPW. In response to some comments and suggestions, we have further refined our LCD reviewing process and will be revisiting aspects of both of the previously tested displays. However, our primary focus is going to be on Dell's current 24" and 30" models, the 2407WFP and 3007WFP. How well do these LCDs perform, where do they excel, and where is there room for improvement? We aim to provide answers to those questions.

Features and Specifications
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  • Zebo - Friday, March 02, 2007 - link

    The HC is still IPS and even better this time covering 93% of adobe color gamet vs 72% past model and it's more overdriven making it faster. Inputs are still lame with DVI only.

    Right now only corp customers can get the HC.

    There is a non technical review floating around the net with nice pics..hot hardware I think.
    Reply
  • acivick - Friday, March 02, 2007 - link

    As nice as these monitors are, it seems to be that no one is really releasing any new 4:3 or 5:4 monitors anymore. Everything is widescreen. Sure, I think it's great when you're watching movies, but that's why I have a widescreen TV.

    I primarily use my PC for office work and games, neither of which really lend themselves to widescreen very well. Maybe a lot of newer games are coming out with widescreen support, but a good number don't offer it, at least officially.

    Maybe I'm just a minority now, since every company seems to be focusing on it. Anyone else with similar opinions?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 02, 2007 - link

    I definitely prefer WS displays, even outside of gaming. The ability to easily put two full pages of text next to each other is nice, and it's one of the reasons I don't find portrait mode on larger WS LCDs to be useful. I just wish more games were properly (i.e. natively with proper aspect ratio) supporting widescreen modes. On smaller displays, however, I'm not as big a fan of WS - I'd prefer a 19/20" standard AR over a 19/20" WS display. Basically, if you can't get at least 1680x1050 I'd just as soon stick with a normal AR. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, March 02, 2007 - link

    Personally, I think it would be good to include power usage of LCD monitors you're testing. I know you guys have the equipment already, and this is one of a few reasons why people use LCD vs CRT. Is this information in the article aready ? IF so, I missed it . . . Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Saturday, March 03, 2007 - link

    Lower power consumption with LCDs is mostly a myth nowadays when you're moving up to the bigger and/or brighter monitors. As you can see with the specs here, both these monitors eat as much as (in the case of the 24") and more power than (in the case of the 30") a 21-22" CRT (most commonly ~125 W). The few business-oriented CRTs that are still available usually draw around 75-85 W, which many LCDs do as well.

    So that "benefit with LCD monitors" is also questionable...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 02, 2007 - link

    It's listed on the specs tables, although those are manufacturer figures. They're generally accurate, however, with a pure white output using more power than a black output. I'll see about adding a quick test of min/max/avg power use on future reviews, though - thanks for the suggestion. Reply
  • tmok2007 - Friday, March 02, 2007 - link

    Sorry, the 3007WFP is selling for $1,350. Where can I find a 37" or 42" 1080p LCD TV for less than this?
    Reply
  • timmiser - Friday, March 02, 2007 - link

    The Westinghouse 37" model is available at Newegg for $999. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 02, 2007 - link

    Check Google/Froogle: Westinghouse makes a 1080p 42" that starts at around $1300, and the 37" is slightly less IIRC. Reply
  • exdeath - Friday, March 02, 2007 - link

    Could we add the 2707WFP in there?

    Its a 27" compromise between the wider range of capabilities of the 30" and the smaller size of the 24"

    Single link 1920x1200 with a built in scaler (and thus multiple inputs) but larger than the 24". 1920x1200 is also more manageable for gaming, as even with 8800 SLI some games just can't run fast and smooth enough at 2560x1600.

    As for the .303mm pixel pitch, keep in mind that a 19" 4:3 1280x1024 screen that I would wager is the most common LCD in use right now is like .295mm and I never heard anyone complaining about the 19" displays... I think breaking the .3xx barrier is more of a psychological effect of seeing a "3" in the dot pitch spec more than anyone being truly disturbed by perceived graininess. Also, the 37" and 42" screens people love for their HDTVs are like .85mm pitch...

    Anyone, could you maybe update later with the 2707WFP as well? I'm considering getting one, and the metal and glass trim would go well with my ATC111 and glass desk :)
    Reply

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