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Back in May 2005 I reviewed the Dell 2405FPW that at the time, was nothing short of a revelation. It was a 24in widescreen panel with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200. Others had got there first but no one had been able to touch Dell’s fantastic launch price of £860. Though the bizarre mystical world of Dell’s supply chain and demand meant that the price went up and down like a yo-yo, it was available consistently and for less at Overclockers. Some brave souls were even able to pick it up off eBay brand new for around £500 – a real bargain.
The ground breaking display was followed by a disappointing effort from Acer, while the Samsung SyncMaster SM244T proved to be rather more impressive.
The changes from the 2405FPW are thus: the new panel is based on S-PVA technology rather than PVA and is the same panel used in the Samsung 244T, so I was expecting to be equally impressed by the Dell as we were by the Samsung. The upshot of this which is that response time is down from 12ms grey-to-grey to only 6ms. The black to white time is the same however, which indicates a more aggressive overdrive mode on the new panel to reach the lower figure. The other change is the addition of HDCP support over DVI, which is important if the technology is employed in HD-DVD and Blu-ray, and if Sky chooses to use it on its HD box.
The quoted 1000:1 contrast ratio figure is the same, while the brightness is actually down at 450cd/m rather than 500cd/m. There’s a built-in card reader containing slots for Compact Flash, Smart Media, SD, MMC and Memory Stick and there are also two USB 2.0 ports. The connectivity is also the same, with DVI, VGA, composite, S-Video and component. Very usefully Dell has very clearly labelled each input with a diagram, making it easy to find the relevant connections.
The main differences then are visual. The styling has been updated to match that of the Dell 30in 3007, a thinner bezel on a triangular silver stand. It rotates easily on the base and as with the previous model is height adjustable and can also rotate 90 degrees to portrait mode, just by pushing down gently on the right hand side. Dell has also improved the design by making it far easier to set up – the stand clicks on more easily than it did on the 2405.