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Starting off with backlighting performance, there is moderate bleed from all bezel edges, but it is still among the best I have seen on a 24in panel. Lighting is quite even across the panel (stronger towards the left corners), although this seems somewhat subjective: while viewing angles on PVA screens are generally good, they can suffer from contrast shift, and this is definitely a problem with the Dell. It's a shame, as it means people who do colour intensive work, such as graphics professionals, will want to look elsewhere (IPS is still the superior panel technology in this respect). But keep in mind that for the average user, the 2408WFP's viewing angles are more than adequate - certainly better than almost all TNs.
Nor is colour accuracy particularly good out of the box, though some extensive tweaking will remedy this to an extent. Once adjusted, the Dell's colour performance is in line with other PVA monitors - which is a pity, as I expected more from the enhanced wide gamut. Still, the 2408WFP managed to resolve our greyscale tests with ease, showing deep blacks and pure whites simultaneously (marred only by the previously mentioned contrast shift). Colour gradations are also good, though there is some slight banding in darker tones.
For movies and multimedia, the 2408WFP is first rate, though no monitor yet can match the processing and quality of the better LCD TVs. It does not feature a glossy coating, but neither is it as matte as some, and there may be distracting reflections in dark scenes. However, the movie preset is effectively calibrated, and dynamic contrast works well enough that you'll want to turn it on for film material. It is by no means the revolutionary system seen in the recently reviewed LG Flatron L206WU, but despite mainly just darkening the picture, it still makes movies more 'film-like' - especially by muting slightly over-saturated skin tones. Furthermore, black levels are excellent throughout, bearing out the 1000:1 native contrast figure.
Gaming displays some barely noticeable tearing, but is otherwise a pleasant and vivid experience. Casual gamers especially will love the 2408WFP - also thanks to some decent interpolation allowing you to play at resolutions below native. Hooking up an Xbox 360 over component showed off just how pretty Ninja Gaiden 2 is, thanks to a clean and vibrant 1:1 signal.
For office use, meanwhile, Dell's 2408WFP is largely ideal. There is only one minor caveat, which is that smaller text is less legible than on most 24in models, and we noted red aberrations showing up in white text against a black background at anything below 10 pixels. Also, annoyingly, the dynamic contrast function is not profile specific, so you have to remember to turn it off for anything but entertainment.
In conclusion, we have a monitor that's not suitable for graphics professionals, but most other people ought to be well pleased. The 2408WFP still has the same excellent ergonomics as its predecessor, offers reasonable image quality and more inputs than any other 24in monitor on the market. Especially as an entertianment device, Dell's display earns good marks, and it's all wrapped up in a stylish yet robust design. If Dell can sort out some of the issues with its A01 revision, due soon, this might even become the monitor that may come close to finally toppling the BenQ FP241W from its top spot.
Scores In Detail
- Image Quality