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


View All Comments

  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • JNo - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link


    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?

  • smn198 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    12ms typical (Grey to Grey) / 16ms typical (Black to White)

    Guess Dell are slightly schizophrenic
  • 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.

  • 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

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now