At the bottom right of the screen are six buttons. The far right one is the power button while the left hand side one is for moving between the five inputs. The next one in from the left is for enabling the PIP (Picture In Picture) and PBP (Picture By Picture) option, so you can view multiple inputs at the same time.
The next three inputs are for controlling the slick looking OSD. Pressing the centre button brings up the translucent controls that appear along the bottom rather than the centre as is more common.
Navigation is helped by the use of large and clear icons, unlike the obscure symbols that so many OSD employ. One thing I noticed immediately is that there was a brightness control but no contrast. It turns out that a contrast option only appears when the display is connected via VGA cables – via DVI its brightness only.
There is a ‘Color Settings’ option but this doesn’t use colour temperatures, but has presets for making the image more red or blue and the effect on each of these is extreme – I’d leave it on Normal. You can also switch between PC and Mac modes, as these use different colour values. There are three image modes to choose from, ‘Desktop’, Multimedia and Gaming, which alter brightness and colour settings. Multimedia and Gaming also employ a Faroudja DCDi deinterlacing, which is turned off in Desktop mode.
It’s a win then for design and features but what of the all-important image quality? This display has been available in Japan the US already and the Internet has been full of reports of flaws, such as banding, text fuzziness and ‘input lag’.
The monitor I received for testing was the A00 revision, which was claimed by many to have serious banding and text fuzziness. However, checking in the service menu it seems the Firmware has been updated to the latest version as supplied in the A01 and A02 revisions. The issue then is not what version you receive but the Firmware on it.
Dell itself has actually acknowledged the problem on the early Firmware revisions and there’s a very good page documenting the issues here, which also tells you how to access the service menu to check the Firmware. Take great care not to change anything though as it could make any issues worse.