Introduction

We've taken a look at several high-end 30" LCDs recently, like the HP LP3065 and the Dell 3007WFP. While these are undoubtedly nice monitors, many people have a few concerns with them. One of the major problems is that they require a dual-link DVI connection, so they essentially require a higher end graphics card than what many people have. Hooking them up to a notebook is also generally out of the question, with a few exceptions. They are also quite large, but with their 2560x1600 native resolution they still have a very fine pixel pitch. Some will think that's a good thing, while those who are more visually challenged [Ed: raises hand] might prefer a slightly lower native resolution.

Furthermore, while nearly everyone will agree that running your LCD at its native resolution is the best solution, gaming on a 30" LCD at 2560x1600 requires some serious graphics horsepower. Then there's the lack of input options on the 30" LCDs; due to a lack of any scaler ICs that can handle the native resolution, the displays only support dual-link DVI connections (or single-link with a very limiting 1280x800 resolution, with a few caveats).

This is not to say that 30" LCDs are bad; merely that they are not a solution that all find ideal. Enter the 27" LCD panel.

There are definitely people that would like something slightly larger than a 24" LCD, but they don't want to deal with some of the aforementioned problems with 30" LCDs. These people basically have a few options. First, they could always look at some of the 1080p HDTV solutions, which are currently available in 32", 37", 42", and several larger sizes. If resolution isn't a concern, there are plenty of other HDTV solutions out there, but those are less than ideal for computer work. The other option, and the one we'll be looking at today, is to get something like Dell's 27" 2707WFP.


We've already looked at Dell's 2407WFP and 3007WFP, so we refer back to the earlier review for anyone interested in additional information about Dell's other LCDs, warranty, and support policies. Our primary focus here is going to be on how the 2707WFP compares to both the slightly larger and slightly smaller offerings on the market.

One of the factors that many people are going to be interested in is the pixel pitch of the various LCD offerings. We've compiled a list of typical pixel pitch sizes for a variety of LCD panels and resolutions. Some people feel a smaller pixel pitch is always more desirable, and while that might be true for some uses, reading text on an extremely fine pixel pitch can at times be difficult for some of us. If you've used a 15" laptop with a 1920x1200 resolution, you will hopefully understand. We know plenty of other users that find the typical 17" LCDs are not comfortable to use at the native 1280x1024 resolution, which is why many people prefer 19" LCDs. (Modifying the DPI setting of Windows can help in some areas, but there are quirks to changing the DPI from the default 96dpi setting.)

LCD Pixel Pitch vs. Display Size and Resolution
Panel Size Resolution Pixel Pitch
15" 1024x768 0.297mm
17" 1280x1024 0.264mm
17" WS 1440x900 0.255mm
19" 1280x1024 0.294mm
19" WS 1440x900 0.285mm
20" 1400x1050 0.292mm
20" 1600x1200 0.255mm
20" WS 1680x1050 0.258mm
22" WS 1680x1050 0.282mm
24" WS 1920x1200 0.270mm
26" WS 1920x1200 0.287mm
27" WS 1920x1200 0.303mm
30" WS 2560x1600 0.250mm
32" WS 1920x1080 0.370mm
37" WS 1920x1080 0.427mm
42" WS 1920x1080 0.484mm

As you can see from the above table, the 27" LCDs currently boast the largest pixel pitch outside of HDTV offerings. However, the difference between a 15" or 19" pixel pitch and that of the 2707WFP is really quite small. If you're one of those that feel a slightly larger pixel pitch is preferable - for whatever reason - the 2707WFP doesn't disappoint. Dell has made some other changes relative to their other current LCD offerings, however, so let's take a closer look at this latest entrant into the crowded LCD market.

Features and Specifications
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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - link

    A perfect example of stuff that doesn't look right with a higher DPI setting is anything that uses a bitmap. All of the icons at 120dpi tend to look like crud in XP. There are just far too many areas of Windows and the applications that run on it that are built around pixel sizes, so changing DPI settings only sort of affects them.

    Anyway, the point isn't whether or not higher DPI is good or bad. You like it, others don't. That's the main idea behind that introduction: an explanation of why higher pixel pitch can be a good thing. I really do have poor vision (an irregular astigmatism that can't be corrected without a retina transplant, so I live with slight double vision). I find many of the high DPI screens to be undesirable, although I do like higher resolutions for image work.
    Reply
  • kalrith - Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - link

    Since we're discussing pixel pitch and poor eyesight, I thought I'd mention that one of my coworkers has such poor vision that he's using a 21" LCD at 800x600 resolution and thinks it's "just right".

    Also, out of the 10 19" LCDs we have, only one person runs hers at the native res. Everyone else uses 1024x768.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link

    This is one reason why I "downgraded" (the rest of the specs are similar, other than that I also shaved 2 pounds of weight) from a laptop with a 15" 1600x1200 UXGA display to a 14" 1024x768 XGA display. At 15", picture detail was incredible, but text for web browsing was giving me sore eyes and headaches. I wouldn't mind having 1280x1024 at 14" or 15", but since I'm not paying for it, beggars can't be choosers.

    It's also why I returned my Dell 2007WFP and exchanged it for a 2407WFP. Higher resolution, but larger pixel pitch as well.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - link

    I'm another person who likes big pixels. Work tried to give me a 17" LCD, but I would have none of that. I then tried a 21" Samsung at 1600 x 1200, but it was still too small. Now I have a 20" LCD running native at 1400 x 1050 and its really nice. I have a laptop with small pixels that I use when I travel, but I'm much more productive when I can see everything clearly.

    I would love to have this display, but it really needs to come down in price.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - link

    my vision is awful uncorrected - way beyond not being able to see the big "E". But since I'm always wearing glasses or contacts anyway I like high-DPI displays. Love my thinkpad with the SXGA 15" display. The UXGA 15" would probably be hard to read though.

    My boss has a ~20" CRT that he runs at either 800x600 or 1024x768.
    Reply
  • jc44 - Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - link

    OK - I admit it - I'm stunned. With the exception of your colleague with the poor eyesight I find it hard to conceive how anyone would prefer (presumably) a slightly fuzzy (due to scaling artifacts) 1024x768 to a sharp 1280x1024 on a 19" LCD. I could simply not put enough information on the screen to be able to do my job at that resolution without resorting to a lot of printouts.

    Well horses for courses I guess - thanks

    JC
    Reply
  • xsilver - Friday, April 06, 2007 - link

    lol - the amount of people that have their lcd monitors set to non native resolutions is insanely funny.
    but even more insanely funny is how many people say they cant see anything wrong with the scaling artifacts and fuzziness.

    I haven't done much (any) testing on this in gaming though - is the distortion just as bad in gaming when running a non native res? getting a 20" lcd or above these days has pretty much required a high end graphics card to be purchased if any gaming wants to be done if you want to run native res.

    still prefer crt atm myself but I realize it will be inevitable that i'll have to make the switch and need to figure out some options.
    Reply
  • mitchell123 - Thursday, December 03, 2009 - link

    hello Friends
    Thios is a nice article.......for everyone...........
    ==============
    Mitchell
    Reply
  • Tommyguns - Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - link

    19" Viewsonic lcd here. you guessed it. 1024x768 and it suits me just fine. not that i have bad eyes at age 22 or anything, i just like being able to clearly see everything. I game hard as well and it works out just fine. i do have it in clone mode going to an aux 17inch crt thats about 20 feet away. higher res. is nice, but i prefer big letters, with out the squints sometimes.

    it would be nice to know what is around average in terms of gpu's, to be able to use these larger lcd's. average wasnt always a super highend 8xxx series card.
    Reply

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