Few would argue that Dell paved the way for affordable, large, widescreen monitors. Dell’s original 24in 2405FPW really set the cat among the pigeons back in 2005, offering a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution at an affordable price. Not long after that, Dell released a 30in monitor to compete with Apple’s 30in Cinema Display. Not only was Dell’s 30in offering far cheaper than Apple’s, but it also offered more features, making it the choice of many professionals and consumers who needed (or just wanted) a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution.
Things have moved on a lot since then though and the 30in monitor market is far livelier. Apple is no longer the only competition in this sector, with Dell now having to compete with the likes of Samsung’s superb SyncMaster 305T as well as the HP LP3065 (a full review of which will follow soon after this one). It therefore comes as no surprise that Dell has launched a new version of its 30in display, which represents the third generation of the product. But how does it stack up to the stiff competition?
Design wise, this new 30in Dell looks pretty much identical to its predecessors. There’s a matte black bezel surrounding the screen, but the sliver strips that run along the top and bottom kind of spoil the effect. That said, it’s not as unpleasant as the brushed silver bezel on the 27in Dell 2707WFP, although Benny seemed to like that for some reason. Apart from the large Dell logo below the screen, the bezel is clean. At the bottom right is the power button and brightness controls – these are the only adjustments that the monitor has, all other adjustments need to be made via your graphics card driver.
When Dell launched its first 30in screen, the big advantage it had over Apple’s Cinema Display was that it had height adjustment. With the Apple screen it was just too high for completely comfortable viewing, whereas the stand on the Dell allowed the base of the screen to almost touch the desk.
The 3007WFP-HC uses the same matte silver stand as the previous incarnations, which is no bad thing. The gas dampened height adjustment works brilliantly, allowing you to move the screen up or down with the pressure from a single finger – pretty good for a screen this size. The stand also allows the screen to pan from side to side very smoothly, which is handy if you want to show something to a colleague. There’s no pivot function, but then I wouldn’t want to position a 30in display in portrait anyway.