Dell TN Panels...Are they really that bad?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gazfocus, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. gazfocus macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    Jan 3, 2008
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    Liverpool, UK
    #1
    Ok, I know I'm likely to get shot down here but here goes...

    I currently use a 23" Apple Cinema Display but I want 2 displays and can't afford another ACD. So...I've been looking at cheaper options and I've come across the Dell TrueColor E248WFP and the Dell S2309W.

    While the E248WFP specs openly state that the panel type is TN, the S2309W is cheaper so I'm assuming that too is TN? Also, does anyone know why the 23" is almost £100 cheaper than the 24"?

    I don't do any mega colour critical work but I do tend to be very picky about quality and I'm worried that being use to an ACD, I will have problems using the TN panels.

    Do any of you use the cheaper Dell screens? What do you think about them? I know I can google for plenty of reviews but I want peoples 'real life' experiences.
     
  2. rdowty macrumors 6502a

    rdowty

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    Oct 5, 2008
    #2
    I had the Dell 22" and hated it. The text looked horrible. Pictures and video looked great though.
     
  3. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #3
    The Dell Ultrasharp LCDs are pretty good. Any of the lower end (non-Ultrasharp) LCDs are typically garbage.
     
  4. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    #4
    Problem is, the Ultrasharp LCDs are ridiculously expensive (£550 for a 24" and £573 for a 27"), so it wouldn't be worth me going from an ACD for one of those.
     
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #5
    What's your budget for displays? Are you planning on selling your ACD to fund two new displays?
     
  6. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    #6
    Yeah, that's the plan. I can add a bit to what I get for my ACD if I need to. I'm guessing around £400-£600 for the 2 new displays.
     
  7. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #7
    Yes, the Dell TNs are rotten. Agree on the Ultrasharp/Non-ultrasharp... I had the Dell 22" briefly at work and it was abysmal. I couldn't get anywhere close to color accuracy, the color reproduction and banding made me want to vomit. I gave it to one of the developers and "acquired" a 20" ACD from someone else. But for myself I personally always buy Dell Ultrasharps -- I think I've owned 6 of them now over the years -- and I like them a lot. They're a little bit less than the ACDs, and you get a lot more features. I've got a 2407wfp and 2007wfp at home right now, both are great.
     
  8. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #8
    If I were in your situation I'd probably try and get a used 23" ACD from eBay for around £350.
     
  9. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    #9
    They seem to be going for more than that though now that they are not available from Apple anymore, especially since I'd only buy one thats less than a year old. I really can't afford £350+ for a 2nd display. I was hoping to sell mine then put the money from my ACD and spend a total of £600 (inclusive) absolute max on the 2 screens.
     
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #10
    Take a look here: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/productlist.php?groupid=17&catid=510

    Not always the cheapest price (try scan.co.uk and ebuyer too) but it gives you an idea of your options.
     
  11. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    #11
    Just wondering if anyone has any real world experience using these displays or any other displays priced around £250 - £300 ($350 - $500)
     
  12. Cory5412 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona
    #12
    I have a Dell UltraSharp 1908w and I really like it, I believe (based on the 1909 specs) that this is a TN panel too, and I really think it's fine. I don't know what pricing is like [not in the USA] but here in the USA you can almost get two of Dell's UltraSharps for the same price as an Apple Cinema Display of the same size.

    To my knowledge, you can plop a calibration device like an i1Display or a Spyder on top of any LCD, so if color accuracy is the big question, any of Dell's displays should work just fine.
     
  13. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    #13
    Thanks, yeah the pricing is a bit naff here to be honest. The 24" Ultrasharp is £550, the 27" Ultrasharp is £573 but the 23" ACD's were £699 but can be bought now for about £550 so about the same price as the 24" Ultrasharp.

    However, the ultrasharps now have superior panels to the lower end. I'm not sure what panels they are but they're not TN anymore.
     
  14. dal20402 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2006
    #14
    I'd rather use one 23" ACD than two 23" TN displays.

    The trouble with TN is the lousy viewing angle. Color is totally inconsistent if you move your head even a few inches, either horizontally or vertically. If you don't care about color, then maybe you won't mind the TN.

    I have one S-IPS (Dell 2007FP) and one TN (1907FP) display next to each other at work and the TN drives me bonkers. Unfortunately, it belongs to work, I can't change it, and I really, really need the screen real estate for what I do.

    I second the idea to get a used 23" ACD or other *-IPS display instead if you really want two displays.
     
  15. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    #15
    Hi dal20402,
    Thanks for your comments. Funnily enough, one thing I was contemplating this evening was keeping my 23" ACD and buying a TN display while I can't afford another ACD.

    My only concern with this is when I originally got my ACD, I had it set up next to my old 19" Samsung TV/Monitor before I sold it and on the ACD, the colours were amazing but on the Samsung, the whites were pale yellow and the blacks were brown, etc. I don't understand why this happened because each display worked perfectly if it was the only one plugged in, but not when they were plugged in together.

    Anyway, I digress...I know you said your TN panel at work drives you bonkers but may I ask why? For the time being, my 2nd display will be for running Windows in Parallels and/or having my email permanently open. However, eventually I would want to get 2 identical screens and maybe the 2nd ACD would become more difficult to buy in the future?
     
  16. dal20402 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Mostly because the narrow vertical viewing angle makes it impossible to sit in a position such that the colors are consistent between all parts of each screen.

    If I sit so the top of the screens are consistent, the bottom of the TN screen is washed out. If I sit so the bottom of the screens are consistent, the top of the TN screen is dark. The difference is only a few inches of vertical head position.

    Another problem is not strictly related to TN, but is likely to happen on cheap monitors; the color of the backlight in the 1907FP is horrendous, so that it's impossible to get a clean white from it. White looks great on the 2007FP but (depending on how I set the color) looks either brownish or bluish, never pure white, on the 1907FP.

    If you're not as sensitive to color as I am, and you're just using it for text-based work (which it sounds like you are), then the 1 TN/1 IPS plan might work for you. At least when you're looking at pictures or movies you'd have one good display to do that on.

    In the future, a perfect 23" ACD might be hard to find, but a 23" or 24" *-IPS panel that will look totally consistent with your ACD ought to be easy to find.
     
  17. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 28, 2007
    #17
    Is there a Dell UK Outlet store (on the website)? I know the US version the Ultrasharp (24" anyway) is about $100+ less than new. May be worth looking into. Also I believe there is a 22" Ultrasharp, but I don't know how much that differs from the 24". I seem to recall it was consierably less.
     
  18. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #18
    There is but they don't put monitors on it. You can get most Dell displays cheaper elsewhere in the UK anyway. Dell charge £550 (24"), £570 (27") and £1600 (30") and you can get those for £400, £470 and £1000 from other companies.
     
  19. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    May 27, 2006
    #19
    Dell don't make displays - they only make the plastic and metal that surrounds them.
     
  20. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #20
    Neither does Apple, if making displays requires that you make your own panel...
     
  21. itgoesbuzz macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    royal oak, mi
    #21
    I just received the 22" Ultrasharp (2208WFP), and I was also looking at the 21.5" (S2209W) for the higher resolution but my fiancee picked up the 22". So far this thing is perfect, I don't do any photo or video work though so I cant speak for that aspect of its use.
     
  22. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #22
    Goto this link and do a search on the monitors your thinking about and find out the panel type and go from there, thats what I am doing right now.

    As selling the current 23" ACD you have and buying 2 dells or others that are sub standard next to the ACD, I think you should save up and buy a used one or borrow. But to go from GREAT to So So for a monitor, up too you, its your ACD and your monitor.:D
     
  23. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #23
    where did she get it? I have been looking for one of those :eek: Kidding it has a TN panel
     
  24. bntz313 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    #24
    I recently bought a dell ultrasharp 20" monitor, I needed a monitor for my mac pro and didn't have the money for anything else(from buying the MP).

    I'm going to school for graphic design, and plan on getting a new monitor once I get the money
     
  25. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #25
    There is no such thing as a good TN panel, it doesnt matter what brand you get.
     

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