capsule review

Dell UltraSharp 1707FP

At a Glance
  • Dell UltraSharp 1707FP

    PCWorld Rating

    This thoughtfully designed display with easy swivel and pivot mechanisms also has easy-to-reach USB 2.0 ports on its side.

Dell UltraSharp 1707FP
Artwork: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

Dell's versatile UltraSharp 1707FP is a nicely designed, easy-to-use display that comes with several extra features. The 17-inch unit costs an affordable $299 (as of 2/16/06); however, its image quality falls a bit short of that offered by other better-performing units.

I enjoyed the Dell's clean design--the display, with its thin black bezel, sits atop a sturdy, silvery-pronged foot that prevents wobbling. In addition to smooth tilt, pivot, and height mechanisms, the monitor swivels. But unlike other models that allow just the panel to swivel, this one swivels at its base, making the movements much more stable. A cable holder at the back of the stand enables you to thread cables easily through a small opening.

Four USB 2.0 ports--two downstream ports on the back as well as two upstream ports on the side--let you easily connect USB devices. I found the monitor's on-screen controls--located on the front--to be fairly easy to use, and the simple interface helped me navigate the adjustments.

While the Dell's design won raves from our judges, its image quality failed to impress them. Text on our test screen of a Microsoft Word document was easy to read, but colors in our test image of a fruit tart looked muted. Nevertheless, the unit is sufficient for displaying most basic documents and images.

The 1707FP comes with a thorough, easy-to-follow CD-based manual. A quick setup guide helps you handle basic issues, such as how to set up and position the display.

Kalpana Ettenson

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This thoughtfully designed display with easy swivel and pivot mechanisms also has easy-to-reach USB 2.0 ports on its side.

    Pros

    • Pivots and rotates easily.
    • Two USB ports on the side are a useful e
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