Cable Management, Pivot, Stand

Cable management is very important to us, and Apple’s cable management might only be second to Samsung’s SyncMaster 193P or SyncMaster 172T. In fact, if you don’t mind the power brick, Apple might even excel past Samsung with this regard. Power, USB, Firewire and DVI signal are all transmitted via a single (proprietary) cable from the panel. The result is a very clean, no nonsense look that really complements the all aluminum bezel in only the best way possible.

Click to enlarge.

Dell takes the utilitarian approach to cable management and design on the 2005FPW. Although the result is still impressive, USB, D-sub, DVI, power, S-Video and composite cables all enter the unit separately. The 2005FPW does utilize several additional inputs when compared to the Apple Cinema 20”, but comparing one display against the other clearly puts Apple near the front. For those non-Mac users out there, don’t be scared by the strange DVI looking cable; this cable is backwards compatible with any PC DVI video card.

Click to enlarge.

During our Dell 1905FP review from a few months ago, we took some flak for claiming that we were impressed by the USB inputs on the sides of the display. In fact, we do need to give credit to Apple for putting USB inputs on their original Cinema displays from several years ago. Dell deserves nearly as much credit for adding the convenience on one of the first widespread LCDs on the PC desktop, the Dell 2001FP. Dell offers two USB 2.0 inputs, which are now located on the right side of the display. The UltraSharp 2001FP and UltraSharp 19505FP had both inputs located on the left.

Apple takes a more subtle approach by locating their Firewire 400 and USB 2.0 inputs behind the bottom right of the panel. This was slightly awkward at first, and we actually ended up using a separate USB hub, since the hubs were very difficult to attach and detach easily. On the other hand, Apple gets points for including a Firewire 400 input, something that we were accustomed to quite quickly. Below, you can see the input set of the Dell 2005FPW.

In our lab, both the Dell 2005FPW and Apple Cinema 20” displays were able to power high power USB devices – in our case, external Maxtor USB hard drives. This is very important because several USB hubs and device pass-throughs are actually only capable of lower power devices.

Dell might not stack up to Apple as far as cable management goes, but how important is cable management compared to monitor flexibility? Flexibility is a term that we’ve had to coin over the last few display reviews for lack of a better word to describe how we can manipulate a monitor. Dell, in fact, allows us to rotate to 90 degrees counterclockwise, pivot to 90 degrees in either direction and tilt 45 degrees vertically. Several degrees of freedom are not something that we particularly lust for in a display, but they certainly have their functionality to some. ATI and NVIDIA both include pivot drivers in their latest driver packages, so pivoting can be enabled via the desktop control panel. For everybody else, Dell includes their own pivot drivers as well, although we had some difficulty getting these to work correctly on multiple display setups.

If looks could kill Internals


View All Comments

  • graphicsgal - Friday, April 28, 2006 - link

    Our ad agency is trying to decide which of these monitors to purchase for our print staff. Is there any info on any differences in printed pieces? Reply
  • tmanXX - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Does anyone know what revisions of the 2005FPW to stay away from?

  • jchor - Thursday, April 06, 2006 - link

    Did anybody figure out the power saving mode problem? Reply
  • cybrsamurai - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    I have purchased four 2005FPWs with out a single dead pixel or problem. I even dropped one right on its corner from about 4 feet up still works fine. Dont be afraid embrace the good cheap monitor. Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    Dell make good LCDs if you discount all the people who have had to return them for backlight issues and/or dead pixels. I'll stick with Sony after owning one that has not a single stuck or dead pixel and just a slightly brighter bottom backlight. Let me know when Dell ups the quality enough that I can be certain to get one without dead pixels (or let me know when they start selling these panels at b&m stores so I can return it right away if it has issues). Reply
  • Ranger8P - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    Did you guys have the model A01 or the model A02? I didn't see that mentioned in the article. I recently bought a 2005 and it has the same manufacturing date as the one in your review. It's an A01 Reply
  • pucerian - Saturday, May 21, 2005 - link

    great place to get high resolution widescreen wallpapers for these monitors is InterfaceLIFT

  • LorenAmelang - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Great Review - Thank You!

    A couple of user comments asked about the S-Video & Composite video performance - here's the scoop:

    Before I ordered my 2005FPW, I tried to find out how it handled widescreen 16:9 vs. conventional 4:3 aspect ratios for the video inputs. I found no clue. But since video was not my main concern, I ordered it anyway - how bad could it be?

    Now I can tell you. It is unbelievably disastrous. It doesn't do any form of video correctly. First, it completely ignores the (anamorphic) widescreen control signals from my DV camera and DVD recorder. All video is mangled in the same way.

    Its manual aspect ratio choices are "Fill" which warps either 4:3 or 16:9 video to the full 16:10 screen format, or "1:1" and "Aspect" which warp all video to a different wrong aspect. This is not 4:3 (1.33 : 1), nor is it 16:9 (1.78 : 1), nor even 16:10 (1.60 : 1). It is 1.50 : 1, which is what you get if you take 4:3 standard 720x480 DV video and display the non-square video pixels as square display pixels.

    Of course you can't tell this by measuring the image boundary, because the video image is severely cropped (overscanned), particularly in the horizontal direction. In terms of a 640 pixel wide image, about 42 pixels are cut off each side. In "Fill" mode, a 4:3 picture is even more distorted than the 16:10 ratio would suggest. If you choose "Aspect" to get somewhat closer to 4:3, you end up with black bars along those edges in place of the missing 1/8th of your video, but what you do see is still too wide.

    When you use the picture-in-picture feature, you don't get the "1:1" and "Aspect" choices. All video is stretched to fill the 16:10 screen area of each of the available PiP or PbP sizes.

    Why would Dell bother to add the hardware for S-Video and composite video inputs, and get the software so wrong? I suspect the hardware was borrowed from a 4:3 (1600x1200) monitor, where the "Fill" choice would at least display conventional video more-or-less properly.

    But why the neglect of the rectangular video pixels versus square computer pixels issue? Can anyone with a Dell 2001FP 4:3 display enlighten us as to whether it has "1:1" and "Aspect" choices, and whether they produce too wide a picture when fed 4:3 video?

    So what does the video look like, other than distorted? Very bright and colorful, and fast, but when stretched to fill most of the screen it is blocky. The scaling algorithm is nowhere near as good as that in my (original) Apple Studio Display, or in a Sony WEGA (DRC) TV.

    Oh well, the 2005FPW is a beautiful computer monitor. And my tablet's Intel Graphics adapter (82830M), which gave no hint of supporting 1680x1050 before the monitor was here, suddenly made that resolution available when the 2005FPW was connected. (Windows didn't show it, but the Intel control panel did.)

    One more thing... If you buy a Dell monitor alone, without a Dell CPU on the same invoice, you do not get a Dell "System Tag". Without a system tag, you can not access any of Dell's online support or chat support options. You simply do not exist.

    The telephone support people will talk to you if you give them a serial number or order number, but there is no support department dedicated to displays. I ended up being transferred to the Dell TV support people, and spent literally hours on the phone. Even sent them photos of test patterns to illustrate the aspect problems. I'm not sure I was even able to make them understand, let alone solve the problem.

    Best to just forget the 2005FPW has those S-Video and analog video inputs. Unless you have a thing for short, fat people...

  • stevlevin - Saturday, May 14, 2005 - link

    Excellent review! It's way over my non-tech head, but I surely appreciate that these are both great monitors.

    Here's my problem. I bought the Dell 2005 and found with a DVI interface that it is so bright that it hurts my eyes, as #9 comment said. Apparently the contrast control is disabled with DVI, and the range of brightness control is very limited - extremely bright to very bright. I had to return it just on that basis.

    When I went to the Apple store, it appeared to me that the 20" Cinema display may have a greater range of brightness. Have others had this problem or found a solution? Am I missing something that might have allowed me to lower the brightness or adjust the contrast of the Dell monitor?

    Thanks for all comments.
  • wrack - Thursday, May 05, 2005 - link

    So can I assume that any graphics card of ATI like, 9800, X300, X600, X700, X800 will support the resolution in question. Reply

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