Final Words

Today, we analyzed two of the highest quality LCDs on the consumer market. Specifications on both monitors were excellent; response time, brightness, color correctness and real world applications all proved their worth.

The Apple Cinema 20" display is also an incredible unit. In fact, if both monitors cost the same, it would be very difficult to choose either display; Apple clearly has the aesthetic edge over its Dell counterpart and cable management is second to none. The Cinema display had no problem producing extraordinary results in all of our benchmarks. We also just got word from Apple at the time of publication that the Cinema 20" price tag has dropped to $799 (and with an educational discount you can even get the display fro $699). However, we did look at two displays today and although the Apple Cinema display brings new features to the display like Firewire 400 pass through, Dell is the 800lbs gorilla when it comes to displays.

The Dell 2005FPW won us over not only as an improvement on the Dell 2001FP, but also as a standard that all other monitors must adhere to for excellent ratings in our future reviews. 20" widescreen display, with split screen over four separate inputs on a 1680x1050 resolution, all for under $500! The only way that this monitor could have been better was if LG.Philips LCD had managed to squeeze a true 1920x1080 resolution into the panel. Dell usually charges $750 for this display, but when we last checked (April 27 th, 2005), the base price on the Dell.com outlet was $486.50. The UltraSharp 2005FPW is the display that we have been waiting for. We do feel that Dell may have slightly exaggerated some of the specifications on the display, but that doesn't mean that the display is any less of a recommendation.

For those who read our forums fairly regularly, there is a thread with Dell coupon codes that enabled you to buy the UltraSharp 2005FPW for under $350 shipped. If you keep your ear to the ground, you can get a high performance display for half what they normally cost.

We had a bit of apprehension about the 2005FPW when we first approached this review, given some of the negative opinions that we had heard from various sources. While it is clear that Dell probably sent a high quality sample for the review, the fact that a store-bought LCD that we purchased (with a January build date) carried the exact same qualities down to the component numbers confirms to us that no major build differences exist between the models. If there were any manufacturing problems that produced poor displays, they certainly didn't come from a January or March batch, which we found to be identical. On the other hand, we only had the opportunity to look at two samples out of the entire production; the likelihood that we received two excellent samples may be just as high as the likelihood that somebody else received two defective samples. As always, we will keep an update on this still emerging topic in future reviews and guides.

We hinted at truly 1080i/p capable LCD displays earlier and with good reason. We have a few preliminary samples from other manufacturers of 23" and 30" displays based on the larger LG.Philips LCD panels - and we are impressed. Native, unscaled HD 1080i and 1080p signals are really a sight for sore eyes! Stay tuned for more display reviews in the next few weeks!

Concerning the 2005FPW Image Quality
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  • cnlsilva - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    Thanks for the article - I have an LG/Phillips 1680x1050 display on my laptop and it is great. The only display I can see that could beat it would be tthe 1920x1200 display now on the Dell XPS Gen2 laptop. A review on that display would be nice.
    Two questions:
    1. Anyone have any information on the 17" 1680x1050 display as separate units - I have DVI out so it would be nice to dual monitor - although that is a VERY wide dual display - too wide perhaps.

    Loved the article - a few errors(please edit this and remove this statement):
    page 10 "Unlike analogy" -> analog
    page 10 "uses much simplier" -> simpler
    Reply
  • Pastuch - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    Fantastic article.

    RE: Widescreen Gaming
    I too found the Widescreengamingforum and was shocked that with simple registry changes you can adjust most games to the native resolution you desire. I play Halflife 2 (CS Source), Farcry, Warcraft 3:FT (DOTA), Doom 3, and Everquest 2 on my 2005fpw without any stretching issues.

    This forum thread has over 90 pages of responces from Dell 2005fpw owners. The thread is actually a review. http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=24...
    Reply
  • stukafox - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    Has anyone been able to purchase this monitor at the listed price of $486.85 from the Dealtime link? I click on the 'BUY IT' and am directed to Dell's site, which lists the monitor at $749, less a 25% discount of $187.25, for a total of $561.75. This is far from the $486.85 listed at Deal Time.

    Any idea what's going on?
    Reply
  • Ibrin - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    I run the website that was mentioned earlier (WSGF), http://www.widescreengamingforum.com

    I posted an article over on the AnandTech forums about this article. The author is quite mistaken, and most new games do support widescreen. If you'd like a bit more detail on some of the games that do support widescreen, you can hit the forum topic here:

    http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid...

    If you'd like detailed info, including on to hack/mod some of your favorite games to run in widescreen, head on over to the WSGF
    Reply
  • golemite - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    few things...

    1) world of warcraft does support 1680x1050 natively, surprised you didnt see this in the resolution settings

    for other games check out widescreengamingforum.com

    2) 16:10 is usually used for computer/laptop monitors because it is felt that 16:9 doesnt give u an adequate workspace. it is suppose to be the recommended aspect ratio for Longhorn as well

    3) dell will actually replace your LCD for any reason, even down to 1 pixel or backlighting problems within 21 days or so of purchase as part of their total satisfaction guarentee (or similarily named policy) many early adopters have apparently done this successfully
    Reply
  • JNo - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    oh yeah - thanks Sandys (#37 & 39) - that rocks! really helpful and saved me a lot of time...
    got a modded xbox with monster component, so it's getting even more tempting... just need to find a friend willing to contribute to getting the two at the discount...
    Reply
  • JNo - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Also, I am guessing that the panel in the Dell 2405 may be the same one as in Sony's P-234/B (23" 1920x1200 widescreen, 16ms response time) reviewed here:
    http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=son...

    Can anyone confirm?
    Reply
  • djbkim - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    My guess is that Dell LCDs are compatible with Macs. Dell's website has only PC compatibility listed. Reply
  • djbkim - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • MJA - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    at one time the dell 2005FPW was selling for $386 (techbargains.com codes)I got mine for $486 Reply

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