First Look: New 24-Inch LCDs from Dell and HP

If you're looking to go big with your next desktop LCD, neither HP's LP2465 nor Dell's UltraSharp 2407WFP will disappoint. Both 24-inch wide-screen monitors offer expansive 1920-by-1200-pixel resolution, highly adjustable stands, and fairly reasonable prices, but in this extremely close matchup, Dell wins, thanks to a few extra features.

The Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP
The 2407WFP lists at $879 (but Dell often sells it for about $800). Its sleek industrial design includes a thin black bezel and a silver stand that lets you tilt, pivot, and raise or lower the monitor.

The 2407WFP has a plethora of video connections (DVI, VGA, composite, component, and S-Video) plus support for HDCP (high-bandwidth digital copy protection). Future high-definition media such as Blu-Ray and HD DVD discs may require an HDCP-compliant monitor for optimal viewing of content. Also included are picture-in-picture functions, a 9-in-2 media card reader, and four USB 2.0 ports.

Among the adjustable settings on Dell's on-screen menu are three display modes: desktop, multimedia, and gaming. Earlier this year, Dell customers complained of image-quality issues when using the desktop mode on the 20-inch 2007WFP. Dell claims to have fixed the problem, and we didn't encounter such image-quality issues with our test unit.

The 2407WFP fared pretty well in PC World's Test Center, where our jury views and rates a series screen shots of text, graphics, and photo-based documents at the monitor's default factory settings. Voters awarded the Dell a text rating of 76, a graphics rating of 77, and an overall rating of 76 (all fall in the Good range). Jurors praised the Dell's crisp text and overall image quality, but also noted a faintly green cast to white screens.

HP Goes Big

The HP LP2465
The $869 HP LP2465 tested slightly higher with our jury than the Dell, posting a text score of 79 (Good) and a graphics score of 80 (Very Good), for an overall rating of 79 (Good). The display was particularly strong with photos and offered slightly better details and contrast than the Dell at default settings. This sharp-looking monitor has a thin silver bezel, and its sturdy black base lets you easily raise and lower, tilt, and pivot the screen. HP's intuitive on-screen menu includes a clever info screen that keeps a running total of the usage hours for the LCD.

The one place where the monitor falls down is connectivity. HP is clearly targeting business users with the LP2465, but that's no reason to limit the unit's video inputs to two DVI ports. There's no VGA (the display does come with a DVI-to-VGA adapter), no component, no S-Video, and no HDCP support.

As a result, the Dell edged past the HP in our overall ratings. If you need a giant-size display with lots of connectivity options, the Dell 2407WFP will serve you well; if you need only a monitor with basic DVI connections and want a little better default picture, consider HP's LP2465.

Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP

Highly adjustable unit features good image quality, numerous connectivity options, and support for HDCP.
List: $879
Current prices (if available)

HP LP2465

Excellent image quality and a highly adjustable stand, but unit lacks connectivity options.
List: $869
Current prices (if available)
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