capsule review

Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW

At a Glance
  • Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW

    PCWorld Rating

    Well-designed 24-inch model includes fluid physical adjustments and an easily accessible 9-in-1 media card reader.

Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

At its native resolution of 1920 by 1200 pixels, the $1199 Dell 2405FPW showed remarkable color and clarity. On test screens, text looked sharp, and images looked crisp and saturated. The 24-inch wide screen performed particularly well on our Web page test screen, displaying highly legible text and subtle distinctions in shading. On the other hand, the brightness--specified by the vendor at 500 nits (units of luminance)--seemed excessive at the monitor's default settings, causing our test screen of a brilliantly colored fruit to look a little washed out.

Dell sensibly placed two of the monitor's four USB 2.0 ports on the left side of the bezel, where they're readily accessible. The 2405FPW's nine-in-one media-card reader, situated next to the bezel-mounted ports, would be a boon for a digital photographer.

The 2405FPW includes height, pivot, swivel, and tilt adjustments for comfortable viewing. It lacks pivoting software, however.

The Dell's numerous inputs should endear it to entertainment-minded buyers. The 2405FPW accepts not only analog and digital output from a PC, but also composite, component, and S-Video from consumer electronic devices such as DVD players and camcorders. Each input is clearly labeled and numbered on the back, and the corresponding numbers on the front bezel light up as you select the input.

The existence of inputs does not translate into excellent output, however. When we played our test DVD movie through our PC's digital output, the 2405FPW showed fuzzy images and somewhat dull colors. When we connected a high-quality DVD player to the monitor via its component inputs, the colors improved, but the image still lacked crispness. Details did look impressive in dark areas, though, particularly in the highlights on a black velvet cloak.

Dell rates the 2405FPW's response time at 12 milliseconds, which is its intergray (or gray-to-gray) response time; its rise-and-fall (or black-to-white) response time is 16 milliseconds. These match the response time specs of the ViewSonic VP231wb.

Overall, moving images looked best when played at small size in a picture-in-picture window. Despite this 24-inch wide-screen monitor appeal when used for office tasks, it won't replace a TV for full-screen DVD viewing.

The Dell 2405PCW includes great still-image quality and several entertainment inputs at a category-busting price.

Laura Blackwell

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Well-designed 24-inch model includes fluid physical adjustments and an easily accessible 9-in-1 media card reader.

    Pros

    • Fluid physical adjustments
    • Accessible 9-in-1 media card reader
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