Dell's top-end LCD recently made headlines when it disappeared from the Dell website. There has been no official recall of 3008 LCDs already shipped, which leaves some users wondering if they might get stuck owning a $2000 v1.0 lemon. We first heard about the 3008WFP in late 2007, and quite a few were on display at the Dell CES 2008 booth. We've had a standing request in with Dell to get a review sample as soon as possible, but we're still waiting on that. We asked our Dell contacts about the status of the 3008WFP in order to get some clarification. Here's the official word:

"The Dell 3008 monitor has been well received since launch and has been very popular with customers. In February we experienced a small technical issue with the product that has been long resolved. Currently the monitors are on extended lead times and in order to manage demand, the 3008 is not available on We are managing orders on a prioritized basis and hope to have the product available to all customers in the near future. The Dell 3007 and 2707 monitors, also very popular with customers, are available at"

Dell wouldn't go into additional details other than to state that the technical issue is resolved and they are currently playing catch up to fulfill the large demand for the 3008WFP. That is why they are managing orders on a prioritized basis and have (temporarily) removed it from their website. The older 3007WFP remains available, of course.

So what could have caused the problems and who does this affect? We'd love to know more about what may or may not be wrong with the earlier revisions; it could be that any technical issues were corrected before end customers actually started receiving product. [Ed: Speculation Alert! Take the following with a grain of salt.] The most likely culprit for problems would be with the new technologies incorporated into the 3008WFP. For starters, this is the first Dell 2560x1600 LCD to include a hardware scaler. That allows it to support multiple input options, rather than being limited to dual-link DVI. The hardware scaler may also introduce some input lag - something we will be sure to test when we receive our review sample. We do know that of the LCDs we've tested so far, the lowest input lag so far comes on the 30" LCDs we have.

The other new technology is DisplayPort, yet another digital video standard that takes the place of DVI/HDMI. Whether or not DisplayPort is actually necessary is something that can be debated, but as a long-term solution it does offer benefits over DVI. The current standard offers better bandwidth, with support for up to 10.2 Gb/s; that matches HDMI 1.3, and exceeds single-link DVI (3.96 Gb/s) and dual-link DVI (7.92 Gb/s) by a substantial amount. DisplayPort is a packetized protocol, which means it is much easier to increase the bandwidth and capabilities in the future. Perhaps most important is that it is a license-free and royalty-free standard, unlike HDMI, and it still supports audio, unlike DVI. The drawback, of course, is that as a new standard it will require new displays and graphics cards and will likely introduce a short-term price premium relative in devices that support the technology.

All that talk of DisplayPort being a potential cause for the delays does have some other circumstantial evidence to back it up. We received a Dell 2408WFP for review about two months ago - another LCD that supports DisplayPort. Before we could complete the review, however, Dell requested that we send the sample back as it was a pre-production model and the retail versions were not identical. Was this another "technical issue" causing delays? Dell would not confirm; all we know is that the pre-production display performance was "slightly different than what is shipping to customers". However, it did take two months before we received an updated 2408WFP for review. We are happy to report that we now have the 2408WFP and several other 24" LCDs, and we are hard at work on a 24" LCD roundup. [Ed: /speculation]

While we're here talking about Dell's 3008WFP, it's probably a good idea to give our overall take on the 30" LCD market. While the added flexibility of multiple inputs may be useful to some people, if you only plan to connect a 30" LCD to a single PC you're probably best off saving money and buying one of the currently shipping 30" offerings. Unfortunately, we have yet to receive review samples of many of the 30" LCD offerings. However, our favorite so far - in terms of price and features - is the HP LP3065, since you get three dual-link DVI inputs for a reasonable price of $1200-$1300. That's a slight price premium relative to the Dell 3007WFP-HC ($1150-$1200), or you could opt for the more expensive ($1700) Gateway XHD3000 with support for multiple video inputs, similar to the 3008WFP. The Dell and HP LCDs are S-IPS, which we feel puts them at the top of the totem pole in terms of overall quality. However, the Gateway uses an S-PVA panel, and since we haven't used it in person we'll withhold judgment for now.

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  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    First we need to see where the CE camp heads. If HDMI continues to ship with the old 1.2 standard where the maximum resolution is essentially 1080p, we need a standard that will accommodate future resolutions (and current resolutions) that are much higher than that. How many HDMI 1.3 products are on the market - any?

    HDMI can be extended - just as the 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 versions indicate. The question is, can DisplayPort extend the standard without requiring new hardware? The packetized data in theory allows you improve without new hardware. I'll believe it when I see it.

    You're basically coming out on the conspiracy theory side of things, and I don't see that. I would think if there was a conspiracy, it would be to keep users locked into something like HDMI rather than letting newer, better technologies evolve. DP may or may not be such a technology, but I don't think the purpose of DP is to segment the market into CE and PC devices.
  • Visual - Monday, April 21, 2008 - link

    How many TVs with a resolution above 1080p are on the market?
    Why would you want higher res input if it can't be displayed? Just to get scaled down? That's quite useless, especially considering that pretty much the only source of such signal can be a PC, which is perfectly capable of scaling the output down itself.
    And how do you expect HDMI/DP to be extended "without requiring new hardware"? The same thing again, your 2560x1600 display to start accepting 5120x3200 signal and scale it down? I don't see a reason to want this at all, and even less a chance of it happening, with either standard.

    OK, I'll not talk to you about conspiracies any more - but the fact remains, that DP is just another alternative of what we already have... with no advantages that I can see yet. Another useless "format war".
  • BubbaJoe TBoneMalone - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - link

    Where's Dell's Ultrasharp?">


  • Deusfaux - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - link

    #1. the Gateway is an S-PVA panel, not IPS based.

    #2. The Gateway being the only one with a scaler I tested, also had horrendous input lag, rendering games like Guitar Hero unplayable.

    #3. Enthusiast speculation on the 3008's issues would lead me to hope the fix concerns the 2 greatest problems with the monitor

    A. it's pretty bad backlight bleed on monitors delivered to customers thus far.

    B. the also horrendous input lag introduced with the inclusion of a scaler. Apparently it doesn't matter what resolution you're playing at, or with what input (say, 2560x1600 using dvi from your GPU) you'll have nasty lag.

    Personally I find this an unacceptable downgrade from their previous 30" models, and I'll be holding onto my WFP 3007-HC until I can upgrade to something that's not significantly worse in a given area.
  • B3an - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    I have a 3008 for my graphic design work and the colour is really great. I've read reviews saying otherwise, but have always found these morons have not configured the display beforehand. They have just dumped it on some pre-set.

    It's really disappointing because the colours are top quality. Anyone who reviews before configuring it is a complete retard, and should not be reviewing monitors in the first place.
  • MGSsancho - Monday, April 21, 2008 - link

    the realita and reon (gateways uses the top of the line realita) take 6 seconds to work on the signal once it gets going. remember these scalers work on the image pixel by pixel. they also store some image history in them. normally this isnt a problem for televisions
  • erikejw - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - link

    What I have heard and read in reviews is that the colors are abysmal and uniformity bad and there is backbleeding too. Some smaller Dells and the 3007 seems to be much better implemented.

    Anyone heard anything about the new Samsung 305T that should be available this quarter?

    You should review the Daewoo 30" the sells for 900 Euro. it has an S-IPS panel and is very minimalistic when it comes to functions and anything but it is a dirt cheap 30". Might be good for those who don't need professional quality.

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