New LCD screen: Dell 2407WFP

Ecran LCD wide - Dell 2407WFP

Other notable characteristics:

  • Integrated flash memory card reader.
  • Multiple video inputs (DVI-D/HDCP, S-Vidéo, Composite, Component).
  • Integrated USB concentrator.

I finally cracked and bought a new screen to replace my main working display. I chose a Dell 2407WFP to have a large work surface (1920 x 1200 in 24″), a wide form factor (useful to push the Photoshop tool bars to the side -they use up a tremendous space on a 4/3 screen), a display quality famous for photography as well as video games (for this, I will certianly be limited by my current ATI 9800pro AGP graphics card that is not really up to the task of 3D display on such a large screen resolution).

Delivery was -as expected- done under 10 days (despite the presence of bank holidays in the delay, the LCD display even arrived three days before the deadline). There is no doubt that Dell has considerable expertise in shipping and delivering computer products and this is easy to perceive here (including the fact that they do not overestimate their possibilities by announcing an optimistic 24h delivery time like so many others).

Unpacking was trivially obvious. I was even positively surprised by the quality of the unpacking instructions (color photos, clear explanations, etc.) and by the light weight of the screen (even knowing that LCD displays are lighter than CRT screens…)

Curiously, nearly simultaneously, I saw press releases about new screens in this interesting size: an ACER screen, the X241wd which should reach 500€ or 550€; the first 24″ with a 2ms LCD from Iiyama (ultra-fast, if you believe the manufacturer specification).

My first impressions are very positive. Obviously, the work space has grown from OK (on the old Hyundai ImageQuest Q17 17″ LCD) to really vast and confortable (on the new Dell 2407WFP). This is real luxury and I think that I will grow the habit of not keeping windows fully maximized but stacked in the screen real estate. For the time being, I am even keeping the 17″ as a secondary along with the Dell 2407WFP. It allows to keep a few utility programs always available.

The first feeling comes from the nice black of the screen (even though there is a very slight glow on the right side when displaying a fully black image, which is not perceptible as soon as the display is lighter). But my first reflex has been to push the brightness down to the minimum (As for many LCD displays, the backlight feels too powerful for me and a use in a moderately lit room).

Color quality seems good right out of the box, but I did not do any serious check. Let’s wait for the results of a complete color calibration later this week.

As I spend a lot of time and energy playing with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Shadow of Chernobyl (a Doom-like FPS video game for the PC), I immediately started to check its behaviour on such a large screen. The first constraint is that I need to play with a lower screen resolution (my old ATI 9800 pro AGP graphics card is not able to handle a 1900×1200 resolution – I need to go down in quality to ensure that the frame rate is not too low). The comfort of a huge visual field (24″ is big!) is easy to appreciate. But I will wait a little more until I climb up the graphics performance ladder with a graphics card more in line with the needs of such a screen (probably either an AMD Radeon HD2900 XT or an nVidia GeForce 8800 GT/GTS).

Summary: A darn nice screen.