Review: Dell 24" HD

gabt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2005
8
0
Hi,

I don't know if this is the place to post reviews, but here it goes....

Just unpacked the Dell 24" HD screen from the box. From receiving the package to turning on the computer takes about 10 minutes (including the time it takes to explain to confused roomates why the h-ll a Dell product is coming into a Mac home).


I've gotta say that I had been racking my brain about which screen to buy. I must have made a dozen trips to the Apple store comparing the 20" to the 23", deciding if High Definition was worth it, deciding if 3 extra inches was worth $750 (CDN).

While scouring boards and reviews, I noticed this Dell LCD -- an inch bigger than Apple's; every kind of input you can imagine (S-Video, RCA, Component, VGA, and, DVI, 9 media card slots, 4 USBs [no firewires]); a tilt and swivel stand; height control (which works AMAZINGLY, it's SO fluid); landscape AND portrait mode; Picture-in-Picture -- all for $1,400 (CDN, incl. tax and ship). All things considered, it's almost $500 less than Apple's 23" HD. Still -- not an Apple, so the decision was tough. But that was it. I bought this screen blind. I had never seen it before, nor did I know anyone who had one.

Now that I'm in front of it: 100% right decision. It's terrific. The frame is minimal, stirdy, unobtrusive. The controls are easy to adjust. The picture is phenomenal. Right out of the box, it's compatible with my Power Mac G5. System Preferences even recognizes it as a Dell 2405 display and the calibrator runs perfectly.

First stop: HD trailers in the QuickTime gallery. Batman Begins. Flawless image -- I would even say better than the ACDs (not a side by side test, but I had spent hours scrutinizing them in Apple stores, so I think I remember the image quality). Crisp. Bright. Stunning.

Final Cut Pro. This display was bought primarily to complement FCP Studio. The timeline spans the entire screen. Enormous. So much room. With DV video, the viewer and canvas are 99% of their size (FCP users know what I'm talking about). Almost a full frame size. Desktop previewing is great, too. When working with 4:3 video, the aspect ratio is preserved, even though it is a 16:10 display (i.e. black bars on the left and right). In Arrange > Standard mode, a full 10 tracks are viewable (timeline track height on it's third notch). This makes for a superb work space.

DVDs. Like the Apple 23", DVDs are OK but not great. The resolution on these monitors seem to be too high for DVDs. The image is not crisp and sharp. I'm sure when HD DVDs hit the market, they'll use the screens to their full potential.

That's all so far. Only thing is that it does produce a fair bit of heat. Perhaps a little bit more than the ACDs.

For those on the fence, I give this Display a solid "BUY" rating. I was skeptic up until I hit the power button.

In my humble opinion (and I'm sure many will disagree with me), an aluminum bezel and an Apple logo do not justify sacrificing wonderfully useful extra features, more screen real estate, and -- to boot - spending an extra 500 bucks.
 

ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
1,670
60
San Jose, CA
Thanks for the review. I have the Dell 2005FPW and love it. There are 20-25% off coupons floating out there for the 24" model, which makes it even more tempting. Now if only they would introduce a 30" model at a similar groundbreaking price...
 

taeclee99

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2002
823
1
Anywhere but here
If you guys want the 2405FPW, this deal at Dell Small Business is just too good!!!!! Dell is giving this monitor away for free with their Dimension 9100.

Dell Small Business has the new Dimension 9100 Desktop with 945P chipset and BTX form factor technology - Pentium 4 630 3Ghz 512MB DDR2-533/40GB Serial ATA HD, 48x CD, Free 24in 2405FPW digital LCD, 128MB ATI Radeon X300SE PCI Express video card, 7.1 Audio, 1yr warranty, Word Perfect, XP Home $1199 after $100 rebate.

http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/outrageous_desktops?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd
 

cwright

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2004
573
0
Missouri
Thanks for the review! I'm buying one too as soon as they go on sale for $800 again. It seems that once a month they can be had for $800 shipped free... which is an excellent price.

I'm buying it as a multifunction display for college... for my G5's monitor, a TV (through a tuner on the computer), playing DVDs, editing in Final Cut Studio, etc.

I know you mentioned that the DVD playback wasnt all that crisp because the resolution of the movies are so low, but is it acceptable for watching from 5-6 feet back? DVDs look just fine on our 17" iMac from a few feet back... but i was just curious if it makes much of a difference on a 24" display.
 

Bob Dobbs

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
116
0
California
just got mine... INSANE.... it is great. I am also using it for Final Cut.

My 1 question (so far) is how can I adjust the contrast? the brightnes is easily selected, but the contrast is 'greyed out'
 

cwright

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2004
573
0
Missouri
Stop it!! You're making me want to place my order right now :(

Anyway as far as I know you have to control contrast and everything else through the OS X interface, since brightness is the only thing you can control when the display is connected via DVI.

Of course, someone please correct me if this is incorrect :)
 

gabriel_uk

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2005
100
0
England
If you read the user reviews of the 23-in ACD on CNET you'll definitely think twice about buying one - however sleek it looks. (Sorry, but I don't consider computer hardware to ever be "sexy"!)

I've been using my new 24-in Dell display for 2 weeks now, and I have to give it 10 out of 10. However, to be fair to the ACD, the Dell has a slightly larger dot pitch, so in the final analysis it gets 9/10.

However, compared to the Dell, the 23-in ACD has a much lower Contrast Ratio, much lower Brightness, slower Pixel Response, far fewer inputs, and cannot be turned to portrait position or even raised! It scored 7/10 by CNET users.

It's a little hard to believe that in another current post someone is trying to decide between the 24-in Dell and a 20-in ACD! :eek: :p

- From an otherwise big Apple fan. :)
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,325
379
Boston, MA
gabriel_uk said:
If you read the user reviews of the 23-in ACD on CNET you'll definitely think twice about buying one - however sleek it looks. (Sorry, but I don't consider computer hardware to ever be "sexy"!)

I've been using my new 24-in Dell display for 2 weeks now, and I have to give it 10 out of 10. However, to be fair to the ACD, the Dell has a slightly larger dot pitch, so in the final analysis it gets 9/10.

However, compared to the Dell, the 23-in ACD has a much lower Contrast Ratio, much lower Brightness, slower Pixel Response, far fewer inputs, and cannot be turned to portrait position or even raised! It scored 7/10 by CNET users.

It's a little hard to believe that in another current post someone is trying to decide between the 24-in Dell and a 20-in ACD! :eek: :p

- From an otherwise big Apple fan. :)
in response to your post:
we geeks of course think the ACD is "sexy" ;)

why is the larger dotpitch bad? doesn't it just make everything larger and easier to see?

can you change to portrait mode on the fly or do you have to reboot?

i noticed you have the dual PM 2.3. how long does it take to encode/write a 60 min dvd in idvd? is it noisy?

andi
 

ipacmm

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2003
1,304
0
Cincinnati, OH
taeclee99 said:
If you guys want the 2405FPW, this deal at Dell Small Business is just too good!!!!! Dell is giving this monitor away for free with their Dimension 9100.

Dell Small Business has the new Dimension 9100 Desktop with 945P chipset and BTX form factor technology - Pentium 4 630 3Ghz 512MB DDR2-533/40GB Serial ATA HD, 48x CD, Free 24in 2405FPW digital LCD, 128MB ATI Radeon X300SE PCI Express video card, 7.1 Audio, 1yr warranty, Word Perfect, XP Home $1199 after $100 rebate.

http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/outrageous_desktops?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd
That is a really good deal...I want to order it but I don't know what I will do with the computer...
 

punkbass25

macrumors member
May 16, 2005
90
0
andiwm2003 said:
in response to your post:
we geeks of course think the ACD is "sexy" ;)

why is the larger dotpitch bad? doesn't it just make everything larger and easier to see?

can you change to portrait mode on the fly or do you have to reboot?

i noticed you have the dual PM 2.3. how long does it take to encode/write a 60 min dvd in idvd? is it noisy?

andi
the smaller dpi is bad because it means you cant have a window spanning two screens if they dont watch, you cans till have two monitors, but its not liek jsut one big desktop anymore.

also no you do not need to restart to do portrait mode, HOWEVER portrait mode ONLY works if you have a GPU that supports it! many do not, hti is totally independant of OSX or your hardware other then graphics card.
 

gabt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2005
8
0
Protrait/Landscape

You can change from portrait to landscape mode on the fly. The setting is in the preferences pane. Just be sure to select it before you manually change the actual display. Using the mouse on an already rotated display is CONFUSING!
 

gabriel_uk

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2005
100
0
England
andiwm2003 said:
why is the larger dotpitch bad? doesn't it just make everything larger and easier to see?

i noticed you have the dual PM 2.3. how long does it take to encode/write a 60 min dvd in idvd? is it noisy?
Yes, a larger dotpitch is easier to see, but the resolution is less fine. Personally, I like that crisp fine look. But that's one of the few features where the ACD is actually better than the Dell display.

Sorry, but I haven't yet used iDVD... The 2.3 is darned fast, though. :D
 

tuartboy

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
750
13
gabt said:
You can change from portrait to landscape mode on the fly. The setting is in the preferences pane. Just be sure to select it before you manually change the actual display. Using the mouse on an already rotated display is CONFUSING!
considering this display has such a huge mac fan-base following, I think Dell should get a small driver that works with their rotation on OS X. Maybe this is more a video card vendor problem, but Dell could garner some support from us mac fanb0iz if they tried. I know I would show them a bit more respect... even though I would buy it anyway.
 

savar

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2003
1,954
0
District of Columbia
taeclee99 said:
If you guys want the 2405FPW, this deal at Dell Small Business is just too good!!!!! Dell is giving this monitor away for free with their Dimension 9100.
Wow! That really is too good to be true...I had to give everything a second look but still couldnt find any gotchas. If I had the money I would buy that bundle then resell the PC.
 

atari1356

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2004
1,586
32
savar said:
Wow! That really is too good to be true...I had to give everything a second look but still couldnt find any gotchas. If I had the money I would buy that bundle then resell the PC.
Yeah, that's a great deal. I'd buy one, but I don't think my wife would approve of that expense right now. ;)
 

cwright

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2004
573
0
Missouri
I know the computer+display deal is really good, but i don't really need the computer or know of anyone who would buy it.

But I just got today's dealmac newsletter and they have the 2405FPW for $900 shipped through tomorrow. That's $300 off... should I go for it? Or do you think it will come back down to around $800-$850 anytime soon?
 

cwright

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2004
573
0
Missouri
Yea it's HD. The Apple 23" and the Dell 24" both have the same resolution, so they both support High-Definition video.
 

cwright

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2004
573
0
Missouri
I just placed my order... can't wait!!
It ended up about $937 shipped after tax... i don't remember them charging tax when i ordered my camera from them before, but oh well. It's still a really good price.

Anyway I'll post my own review when i get it :D
 

cwright

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2004
573
0
Missouri
I won't find out the est. ship date until it actually ships, but it's 3-5 day shipping so I would expect it here by mid next week.