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

  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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?
  • 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!
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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!

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