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Old Mar 18, 2005, 04:28 PM   #1
supergod
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DELL 2005fpw Impressions

I ordered the 2005fpw monitor from Dell last week. The display is a 20" widescreen. This afternoon I got the order (almost a full week before the expected shipping date!) and am very pleased with it so far. I only payed $599 CAD shipped for the monitor with two one day coupons so the monitor cost me about half of what the Apple 20" does.
The box was fairly big: it came with the stand, the monitor, the DVI and VGA cables and a USB cable. I set up the monitor fairly quickly, snapping the panel onto the stand and plugging it in. Hooking up my USB devices like my keyboards to the back however took some time, mostly due to a poor design on Dells part. The USB plugs are obscured amongst plastic and are hard to make out. Anyways after a lot of frustration getting everything together I booted up.
The size of the display was startling compared to my old Flat Screen 17" Apple Studio Display CRT. The wide aspect ratio is amazing and is going to be very helpful in just about every program, along with looking beatiful. I messed around a little bit by hooking up an xBox through the S-video connectors and playing a little bit of racing. One nice feature of the monitor is a fairly well done picture in picture: I was able to play the game while maintaining a very small window in the corner just large enough to have my iTunes so I could control my music while I played.
I've done a quick color calibration of the monitor and contrast and brightness are quite nice, if even a bit too bright. There were no dead/stuck pixels on the display. The color saturation of blues is off right now so I need to spend some more time with the settings.
The stand is supposed to be quite adjustable but in action it works quite poorly. Possibly due to some defect, I have a lot of trouble raising and tilting the display. This is especially annoying as the design is supposed to permit for you to rotate the display into portrait mode to plug in cables (as is shown on the manual that came with the display) but this is nigh impossible. On the back neck of the display is a little rubber "doohickey" that acts to gather up all loose cables. This makes the monitor look very nice and uncluttered, but the strain that the cords imput onto the display makes it hard to turn.
Overall, I would find it hard not to recommend this monitor: the value speaks for itself. For Apple diehards and style fanatics Dell is, of course, not even an option, but for those who are willing to suffer, the Dell is an amazing option. It is still quite sleek even if it's color scheme looks a bit dated. The image quality is excellent and the ability to input through Svideo and composite (along with the picture in picture) make it a far better all around monitor than the Apple.
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 04:32 PM   #2
edesignuk
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You know about the little button at the base on the back of the stand you need to press to release it, so that you can adjust the height right? Only reason I mention it is that mine is very easy to adjust, just not sure why else you'd be having problems like that.
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 04:43 PM   #3
debroglie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supergod
. Hooking up my USB devices like my keyboards to the back however took some time, mostly due to a poor design on Dells part. The USB plugs are obscured amongst plastic and are hard to make out. Anyways after a lot of frustration getting everything together I booted up.
...
One nice feature of the monitor is a fairly well done picture in picture: I was able to play the game while maintaining a very small window in the corner just large enough to have my iTunes so I could control my music while I played...

I've done a quick color calibration of the monitor and contrast and brightness are quite nice, if even a bit too bright. There were no dead/stuck pixels on the display. The color saturation of blues is off right now so I need to spend some more time with the settings...

The stand is supposed to be quite adjustable but in action it works quite poorly. Possibly due to some defect, I have a lot of trouble raising and tilting the display. This is especially annoying as the design is supposed to permit for you to rotate the display into portrait mode to plug in cables (as is shown on the manual that came with the display) but this is nigh impossible.
I also just set up my 2005fpw. I thought I'd react to a couple of your comments.

First of all, the USB plugs underneath are very poorly designed. They just need something to guide the plug in better. The ports on the side are much better, yet uglier.

The picture in picture is INCREDIBLE. As I am writing this, I am watching EPSN in the lower right corner. The picture of the composite and s-video ins is actually very suprisingly great! The picture-by-picture is great too.

As far as color calibration, first of all it was waaaayyyy sharper than my 12" powerbook right out of the box, and then once I used supercal on it, WOW!!! It looks great. The colors seem vibrant and accurate.

There may be something wrong with your stand. Mine moves effortlessly in each direction. Right now I have it extended all the way up, above my powerbook.

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Old Mar 18, 2005, 05:23 PM   #4
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Sounds good to me. I'm planing on getting one next time there on sale.

I hope I don't have to wait to long for it to come on sale again.
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 07:22 PM   #5
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I love mine, it's tits! although i am drooling over the 2405FPW for $859....
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 09:56 PM   #6
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I just got my 2005FPW today too, at the same one-day sale for $599 CAD. Wow. What a monitor.

I pretty much agree with the previous posters -- the unit is not that pretty (although a lot better looking in person than I thought it would be, or seemed from the pictures). There is a LOT more room to work on my desktop now... 1680x1050 resolution is fantastic.

Very bright picture, no backlight problems, no dead pixels that I can see (which is more than I can say for the panel on my 12" Powerbook, which came with one pixel stuck on red...) If there's any complaint I have about this screen is that it makes my 12" Powerbook screen look positively washed out beside it!

I have no trouble with tilting, swivelling, or pivoting my monitor. It's a little stiff trying to adjust the height - a lot like the headrest in my car - but I'd want it to be, so the weight of the monitor itself doesn't slowly make it sink.

Overall looks very good. Now I need to get a DVD player for my desk so I can have something to hook up to the s-video port

I wish I had the money for an Apple aluminum display but this was half the price and had tons more usable features. Definitely recommemded.
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 11:17 PM   #7
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I'm beginning to appreciate this monitor more and more: the fact that Dell does not advertise it as a real competition is insane. The multimedia functions of the monitor are very nicely implemented. I would have never realized how great picture in picture could be, especially merging computing and films, until I used this monitor. It is truly eye opening for me. After using a display like this, I could never go back to a straightforward monitor or TV because with a perfect size this monitor does the job of both very well.
I unplugged the monitor and yanked like hell for a while until it loosened up and now it's adjustability is much better. Just needed a little bit of a beating *hehe*.
I've turned the brightness on the monitor way down so it is bearable to look at for my CRT accustomed eyes. I wanted to know if any of you have any particularly effective color software or techniques? you can recommend. Tomorrow I'm going to software overclock my Radeon 9600 and see how I can run some games in widescreen: first I'm going to try UT 2k4 and then I'll try out a little Doom 3.
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 12:03 AM   #8
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I bought mine a few weeks ago for $486 and am loving it. The DVI input from my 12" PB is super-sweet. Having a PC hooked to the VGA port, so I can switch back and forth with a press of a button, is also super-sweet. It did come with one dead pixel in the lower-left, but that's the only negative.
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 12:16 AM   #9
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Aww.. I ordered mine the same day as you guys and I'm still waiting... Well, Monday maybe. It'll be interesting to see if it is as sharp as my very good Sharp LCD. I'm going to be doing a Mac/PC dual machine setup with it.

Thanks
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 01:49 AM   #10
65505201
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Received mine today as well. All I have to say....loading up the display 'hack' just made my day. 1600x1080 w/ an iBook! WOOT!

Of course, now I'll have to pick up a USB keyboard so I'm not twisting to my side as I'm writing.
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 08:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65505201
Received mine today as well. All I have to say....loading up the display 'hack' just made my day. 1600x1080 w/ an iBook! WOOT!

Of course, now I'll have to pick up a USB keyboard so I'm not twisting to my side as I'm writing.
Where do you guys get these deals from? Looking to buy one when I'm in the US next week...

Cheers,
Adam
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 09:28 AM   #12
supergod
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Forums pop up on this site every time there's a good Dell coupon. Someone posted a forum last week saying there was a one day sale for the Canadian Dell store. I was not considering getting this monitor until then but wow: the price was right. Just keep checking these forums and you'll find a deal eventually.
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 09:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty77
Where do you guys get these deals from? Looking to buy one when I'm in the US next week...

Cheers,
Adam
check here or here every day
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 03:36 PM   #14
65505201
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Arg. I'm having a problem w/ the keyboard here.

I got a ps/2 to usb connector and plugged my old external keyboard into the monitor. The LEDs for the Num lock, etc. flashed when I plugged it in....but I can't input anything with it.

Help?

And yes, the USB cable is connected to the iBook. My USB mouse is connected to the monitor and it works fine.
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 03:52 PM   #15
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okay okay.... no need to rub it in guys....

i still can't believe i missed that deal last week! it must've been the one day i didn't go to the dell site, OR this forum.. and i find out the day after!!!
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 04:11 PM   #16
debroglie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65505201
Arg. I'm having a problem w/ the keyboard here.

I got a ps/2 to usb connector and plugged my old external keyboard into the monitor. The LEDs for the Num lock, etc. flashed when I plugged it in....but I can't input anything with it.

Help?

And yes, the USB cable is connected to the iBook. My USB mouse is connected to the monitor and it works fine.
Have you tried plugging the keyboard with the connector right into your computer? I have a keyboard plugged into my screen, and it works great.

It could be a shoddy connecter
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 04:45 PM   #17
Chip NoVaMac
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I have the 2001FP, and can say that it is a great monitor. I had ordered the 2005FP, but got the 2001FP instead, and I happy that I got the extra pixel height that the 2001FP offers.

I have not had any issue with the height adjustment button. It may have to do with your setup and the ability to reach behind the monitor.

Yes, the bottom USB ports could have had better spacing. But then I use the monitor USB ports for my USB Hubs.
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 07:29 PM   #18
----Bowie----
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Originally Posted by hpeezy
okay okay.... no need to rub it in guys....

i still can't believe i missed that deal last week! it must've been the one day i didn't go to the dell site, OR this forum.. and i find out the day after!!!

i found out about it at around 12:30am the day after the sale.
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 08:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ----Bowie----
i found out about it at around 12:30am the day after the sale.
Ouch. Sorry guys. It'll come around again, I'm sure. I was marvelling at how much things have changed in the past year; around this time in 2004 I paid $750 for a 17" DVI/VGA BenQ LCD and I thought I was getting a great deal.

Actually, I found out about this one totally by chance, my friend on MSN sent me a message saying "Hey, Dell's going insane" and I responded "Yeah? Let me know if they ever have a good deal on their 20" widescreen LCD". My message was cross-sent with his next one, which said "20" monitor for $599!". You could see the pause and comprehension coming from both ends before I finally said something like "What???" and went to visit the Dell website...
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 09:07 PM   #20
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Wink Dell....really pretty cool

Like to agree with everyone. I got a Dell 1901FP a bit ago when I got my G5. These monitors are awesome! Not to mention the deal you can get going through the Dell Small Business site. As I recall I got mine for about $455(???, pretty inexpensive) shipped to my door. Oh yeah, no tax either . Gosh, for the same price I could have the newest stuff with PIP. Aw man . Guess that's just the way it goes. Enjoy your Dell. Function (and price) rules. BTW, my G5 gets along with the Dell just fine. As long as the "brain" is a Mac. Have you seen the Dell 42" Plasma???? Function and price. Oh my. Cheers.
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 11:00 PM   #21
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Anyone have any recommendations for color calibration programs above and beyond the Apple system preferences. Just wanted to make sure that the color on my monitor was perfect.
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 11:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zagato27
Like to agree with everyone. I got a Dell 1901FP a bit ago when I got my G5. These monitors are awesome! Not to mention the deal you can get going through the Dell Small Business site. As I recall I got mine for about $455(???, pretty inexpensive) shipped to my door. Oh yeah, no tax either . Gosh, for the same price I could have the newest stuff with PIP. Aw man . Guess that's just the way it goes. Enjoy your Dell. Function (and price) rules. BTW, my G5 gets along with the Dell just fine. As long as the "brain" is a Mac. Have you seen the Dell 42" Plasma???? Function and price. Oh my. Cheers.
Yep have the 1901FP too, got an awesome deal here at MacRumors. Best. Monitor. Ever. (Well, maybe not compared to the 24", but it's one frickin' great monitor).
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 11:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by supergod
Anyone have any recommendations for color calibration programs above and beyond the Apple system preferences. Just wanted to make sure that the color on my monitor was perfect.
I used SuperCal and it worked wonders (especially for my PB screen!)
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 01:39 AM   #24
Chip NoVaMac
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Originally Posted by Raven VII
Yep have the 1901FP too, got an awesome deal here at MacRumors. Best. Monitor. Ever. (Well, maybe not compared to the 24", but it's one frickin' great monitor).
Haven't gotten into the calibration stuff, but have heard good things about the Monaco stuff....
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 04:44 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Raven VII
Yep have the 1901FP too, got an awesome deal here at MacRumors. Best. Monitor. Ever. (Well, maybe not compared to the 24", but it's one frickin' great monitor).
There are other TFT screens besides Apple and Dell you know. Dell doesnt manufacture their own screens (LG/Philips do) so I wonder why everybody is so lyrical about an average screen that's half the price of the Apple. With the apple you pay for an incredible finish so boosting your cheap Dell as half the price of the Apple is like boosting your dell computer is half the price of a powermac.
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