Dell W1700LCD TV/Monitor - Dell W1700LCD

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Remote control design is where a lot of consumer electronics companies have problems and often an otherwise beautifully designed product can be spoiled by a poor remote control. I am however glad to say that Dell hasn’t fallen foul of this problem as the remote control supplied with the W1700LCD is every bit as well designed and stylish as the screen itself. The remote is small enough to sit comfortably in the hand and has rubber edges to ensure a solid grip. The fascia is finished in brushed aluminum which complements the screen well. From the remote it’s simple to access and navigate the OSD, and when in TV mode you have every control you could want at your fingertips.


Connection options are very well catered for. At the rear you’ll find an RF input for a TV aerial, S-Video, composite video, stereo audio and, most importantly, component video input. There’s also composite video and stereo audio phono outputs. For the simplest connection method that will appeal to the majority of home users, Dell has been smart enough to include a SCART connector as well. PC connection is taken care of by a DVI port and a D-SUB connector. There’s also a mini-jack port for your PC sound output and a headphone socket to the left of the panel.


The only thing more impressive than the connections on the W1700LCD is the amount of cables that Dell bundles. In the box you’ll find cables for DVI, D-SUB, stereo audio, composite video, S-Video, component video and of course, mains power. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a screen that comes with such a wide selection of cabling.


The picture-in-picture function is great and gives you the ability to have a TV or video input image superimposed onto the corner of your PC desktop. You can choose which corner you want it to reside in and how large you want the window to be. The picture-in-picture is simple to control from the remote control and gives you the option of keeping an eye on the news, or even the England v Portugal game while you’re working. The TV tuner also has Teletext functionality which can again be controlled with ease from the remote.


So, what you have here is a beautifully designed display unit that’s packed with features. Although there were some issues when testing under DisplayMate, in use the W1700LCD produces a very acceptable image under a Windows environment. The performance when watching video however is quite simply superb and the integrated TV tuner will give you a picture every bit as good as a dedicated television, assuming you have a decent aerial of course. If there’s one weakness in the W1700LCD’s AV arsenal it’s the rather weak sounding speakers. But since this is more of a personal viewing screen than home entertainment monitor, I can live with that.


At £549 including VAT and delivery the W1700LCD is reasonably priced considering its host of features. If you’re looking for a PC display that can also be used as a personal TV and DVD monitor, you’d be hard pushed to find a better example than this.


Verdict


The W1700LCD isn’t perfect and DisplayMate highlighted some issues with image quality. However, in use this screen is a joy to behold and when watching video it’s even better. The design of the unit is first rate and the excellent stand makes it simple to position the screen to best effect. The price may be high, but considering what you’re getting for the money you won’t find a better PC/AV solution.

Score


Score in detail

  • Image Quality 8
  • Value 8