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 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


View All Comments

  • nels0360 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    I have a Dell 2005FPW and I love it. One thing though. The brightness setting on it (and all others) is worthless. It's either bright or really bright! Not a big problem for me but it does lead to eye fatigue if used in a dark room (like for gaming).
  • IceWindius - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    After days of research, I got the Hyundai L90D+ and I couldn't be happier. Dell just isn't one for quality assurance. Reply
  • Ahkorishaan - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Page 8, there is a typo at the end of the Matrix spiel,

    "Since the Apple 2005FPW has a (very) slight lower measured contrast ratio, this didn’t surprise us during out testing."

    Otherwise, great review.
  • ArtOfWar - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    That Acer display looks pretty good too... maybe you could add it to the review... suince in looks (aesthetics) it's better than both these display IMO (thou both of these look awesome)

    Anywyas great review... Wish I could afford one of those
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    kini62: Thanks for the update; I've corrected that.

  • kini62 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    You said that NO games use 1680x1050. Half Life 2 and Far Cry both support that resolution. Reply
  • Anemone - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Rats wish you would also put the 2405 under the microscope too :)

    Loved every page of the article even still.

  • Novaoblivion - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    I have a 2005FPW as does my brother and we both love them they work great :) Reply
  • Zerhyn - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    "We were very surprised to learn that the Apple Cinema 20” display only comes with a one-year limited warranty, if you do not purchase the display with a PowerBook or PowerMac. Dell displays all come with a three-year limited warranty."

    In the spec charts it says the apple has a 3 year warrenty and the dell only a one year....
  • MekkelRichards - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    I bought this monitor when it came out in 2005 for $422, and I am still using it in 2020.

    That's 15 years of usage!

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