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 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


View All Comments

  • sandys - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Oh yeah and as for panel manufacturer it can only be Samsung, not seen anyone else doing one. probably the ltm240w1

    pure guesswork of course :p
  • Gatak - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    #36, It is about contrast. The eyes are strained if you have a bright light in just a part of the field of view. The strain comes from having to both adjust for the bright light _and_ at the same time allow enough light to come from the darker areas. In other words it is difficult for the eyes to properly acclimate to the lighting situation. Reply
  • sandys - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Hi JNo,

    The 2405 can be bought in the UK, for some reason it is not showing on Dells site but you can still phone them and buy it so answers to questions

    a) yes it supports 1:1 pixel mapping
    b) it can be bought but price varies depending on offer at the time, I bought two and got one half price plus 20% off bring each to £540 which was a bargain, others have got around 600-693 for a single unit.
    c) yes it can.

    The 2405 also has component and I run my PS2 and xbox off of it, unfortunately we get stiffed a bit in the UK and box Sony and MS remove the useful progressive resolutions in place of interlaced so the only way to get a quality output on Xbox is to mod it and switch it to NTSC and for the PS2 buy US games or live with 576i :(

    look here

  • xsilver - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    obviously to "fix" a dark room you just turn on the light... but I wanted to know more about the principles behind it.... what makes the monitor so different when its used in a dark room?
    why is it so bad to turn down the brightness?
    why does it hurt your eyes? (cause it doesnt hurt mine)
  • Zak - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Doom3 and Trainz configs can also be edited to support 1680x1050.

  • ir0nw0lf - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Don't forget that World of Warcraft natively supports 1680x1050!! Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    I won't buy a LCD either, yet. I do have a Viewsonic VP201b (supposedly the same panel as the Dell 2001FP) and it was VERY good playing UT2004 and Doom 3. I'll wait for two more generations of LCD AND then I'll some more for those to come down into the $300 range for a 19 or 20".
  • DestruyaUR - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Will these new 23 and 30" samples you speak of have HDCP circuitry so they could actually be used as TVs? Reply
  • Gatak - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    #9: Easy to fix. Increase ambient light in the room. It is usually never good to work in a dark room. The "White" on the screen should also be the same color temperature as the ambient light. Reply
  • TinyTeeth - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Great review, but you really should use a better camera... :X Reply

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