If looks could kill

Aesthetically, both of these displays are best of breed. Aside from the allure of a 20” flat panel display, both displays are less than two inches deep with thin bezels. Unlike your video card or motherboard, looks are important for a display. Why spend several hundred dollars on a display that you can’t stand looking at? We have several awkward displays with decent specifications in the past and needless to say, we were more than happy to send those displays back to the manufacturer as quickly as possible.

As the Apple fans continue to snicker with anticipation, we might as well just get it out there - the Apple Cinema 20” is a phenomenally beautiful monitor. Typically, we don’t even spend much time analyzing the look of a display, but Apple clearly deserves it here. The panel of the Cinema 20” display is encased in a brushed aluminum bezel with a brushed aluminum stand. Along the sides of the display, acrylic-on-white runners completely seal the display off from the outside world. We have criticized several display manufacturers in the past for allowing too much air and light into the housing of the panel and backlights. If the LCD panel can be passively cooled well enough, we always encourage manufacturers to seal the internal components of their displays. Less dust in the inside of the display is bound to prolong the life of the electronics inside.

Click to enlarge.

The all aluminum construction adds to the cost of the display undoubtly, but for some, the cost is surely justified. In Apple spirit, a pulsating white LED and two touch sensitive inputs are the only visible outcroppings from the glass and aluminum monolith. We can tell that the Cinema 20” was designed by someone who actually uses it; the LED turns off while the monitor is in use. Oddly, however, we were wildly distracted by the ultra-reflective aluminum Apple logo on the front of the display. Originally, our display was pitched in such a manner that the Apple logo seemed to only reflect a few square inches of the keyboard, and this drove us crazy.

However, many of our readers jump on us whenever we decide to comment on “what is art?” So, we will leave that to the reader. Below, you can also see a few images of the Dell 2005FPW. The stand is bulkier, but with reason, since the panel is flexible on all three axes. The UltraSharp 2005FPW stand can also be removed and replaced with a VESA compatible wall mount. Not unexpectedly, the Dell 2001FP, 1905FP and other stands are also interchangeable.

The inputs remain largely unchanged from the Dell 2001FP, with the exception of an additional menu interface button. The formula for monitor design seems to have been perfected at Dell, and not surprisingly, the UltraSharp 2005FPW looks nearly identical to any other Dell monitor manufactured since Q2’03. We are slightly concerned about the passive cooling vents in the rear of the display, as these will allow for dust particles to eventually enter the electronics of the panel. However, we did not see any light from the backlights seeping through these exhausts like we did on the Dell 1905FP.

After a few hours of operation, we recorded the air temperature near the exhausts of the Dell 2005FPW at 28 degrees Celsius with an ambient air temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. There are no exhausts on the Apple Cinema 20” display, so this test is not applicable for Apple.

Specifications Cable Management, Pivot, Stand


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  • 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 www.hdtvarcade.com

  • 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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