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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  • intellon - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Oh why oh why did you leave out a small paragraph of comment on the composite input or the s-video one... If you can update the review by connecting xbox to it and playing halo on the xbox, and commenting on the playability in just one itsy bitsy paragraph that would make this head to head review complete...

    Lots of students with cramped space dream about using computer monitor as a display for their consoles.
    Reply
  • jasonsRX7 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Lots of Mac users love the Dell widescreen displays, they're great for the money. I'm a Mac user and I thought a lot about getting a Dell widescreen but ended up with a 30" Apple Cinema display instead. There are tons of people in the Mac forums I visit that use the Dell 20" and 24" monitors, though. Reply
  • Chuckles - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Hey #11: Try $799.
    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/A...

    #13:
    As long as your video card has the S-Video Port between the DVI ports, two connectors will fit. If they are crammed next to each other, they won't.
    Reply
  • xsilver - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    "The largest mistake that we see people make when they buy a new LCD is to put their new, bright LCD in a dim, dark room (and then turn the LCD down to 25% brightness). Not only is this terrible for your eyes,"


    can you clarify this? why is this so bad? you mention colour offset, but if this is changed accordingly, what is different?
    Reply
  • lebe0024 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    This has nothing to do with MAC vs. PC. This is a display manufactured by Apple, which has nothing to do with Apple's "Macintosh" computer line, other than the fact that they're sold together. Reply
  • MIDIman - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    An absolutely superb real down to earth mac vs. pc comparison.

    Reminds me of the millions of times I've been confronted by mac-lovers saying that the Apple Cinema Display is the only good LCD on the market and is "worth" the extra cost. Nowadays, I just send them to anandtech!
    Reply
  • hirschma - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    A couple of quick comments:

    * I have two OLD Apple DVI monitors hooked to my PC. While they work great, there is no software for the PC to control anything except the backlight controls, like the model reviewed here. I'm guessing that the new model still doesn't come with anything in that regard.

    * The Apple DVI cable head looks too "fat" to use with Dual DVI cards - looks like one port will be partially blocked. Is that accurate?

    I'd like to have heard more about the Apple monitor's suitability for use with Windows.

    JH
    Reply
  • cHodAXUK - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Dell UK are charging nearly £600 for the 2005, thats $1000 the cheeky mofos. Looks like Dell are another company exploiting the ripoff Britian mentality. Reply
  • DCstewieG - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    I'm surprised the price of the Apple display is never mentioned. If the Dell is $486 at the outlet store online you figure the Apple name will cost maybe $100 or so more? So about $600.

    Try $999.

    Geez, I think that thing is as sexy as anyone else, but holy crap is that a premium. And without the possibility of analog! $350 for the Dell on the right day makes a hell of a lot more sense to me, even if roles were reversed and it had been rated slightly worse than the Apple.
    Reply
  • DeanO - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Good review Kristopher :)

    Personally, I've seen photos that show some serious backlight leakage on these things, so I'm still a little hesitant, though it's reassuring that you guys haven't had this problem.

    Hope the upcoming reviews of bigger screens include the Dell 2405FPW. That screen looks fantastic!
    Reply

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