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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  • jediknight - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Only thing I really don't like about Dell is their dead pixel policy. They will only replace a monitor (so I've been told) if it has 6 dead pixels.

    Personally, ONE dead pixel is too many!
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Dell's brand is called "UltraSharp", not "UltraSync" as the review states. NEC's brand is called MultiSync, maybe that got confused? Reply
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Here are the final prices (retail not education of both of these monitors).

    Apple $799
    Dell $486.85

    Apple just today reduced the price of their LCD panels. Also, it should be noted that the Dell LCD is listed as $749 but a 35% discount lowers the price.

    This is a perfect example of how hardware costs the same between PC and Mac but volume shipments allow a distributor to lower the cost considerably.

    Apple is selling a lot less of these than Dell therefore their prices are higher. Both panels still cost about the same before volume shipments are factored in. If the whole world buys Apple, then Apple would sell the LCD for $499 and Dell would increase the price to $749.

    Gotta love capitalism!
    Reply
  • DCstewieG - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    #17 How did you get that $799 price? I followed the link and the session was expired but then I went back to the store and sure enough...$799. Even with my educational discount it's $899.

    Though even @ $799, my point stands.
    Reply
  • JNo - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Superb...

    Agree that other connections (s-vid, composite) should be tested via eg xbox... shame no component...

    Am really tempted to get widescreen now that games are beginning to support it or can be made to support it. More elegant than dual monitor and better for movies/games too. Really impressed that the Dell 'out-functioned' the Apple with similar/better performance too.

    On the Dell 2405 (1920x1200), does anyone know what panel it uses? LG Philips too?
    Also anyone know if
    a) it supports 1:1 pixel scaling?
    b) it can be bought in UK (does not appear on dell uk website) - and how much?
    c) it can also rotate to portrait mode?

    Thks
    Reply
  • smn198 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    #21
    12ms typical (Grey to Grey) / 16ms typical (Black to White)
    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/monitors/200...

    Guess Dell are slightly schizophrenic
    Reply
  • sandys - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Quite a few games that don't support widescreen natively can be modified to do so, check out http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/ for details, I have a 2405 and run all my games in widescreen with the correct aspect ratio.

    Cheers
    Reply
  • blwest - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Nice article. I bought two of these in Feb and absolutely agree with everything in this article. I do think that WOW supports 16:10 though. I'm not 100% certain until I get home but I've been playing it and nothing is deformed. In soviet russia, the monitor watches you. Reply
  • segagenesis - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Impressive display but I personally dont like the fact its 16:10... why not 16:9? Did I miss the memo on how LCDs are manufacturered? Having a Trinitron CRT im still hard pressed to want to move to LCD especially for games. Reply
  • toyota - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Dell does NOT claim 12ms response time!! I am looking at their catalog that i got a few weeks ago and it lists 16ms for response time for the 2005FPW!! Reply

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