capsule review

Dell UltraSharp 2007WFP 20-Inch Wide-Screen LCD Monitor

At a Glance
  • Dell UltraSharp 2007WFP

    PCWorld Rating

    Desirable extras can't make up for this monitor's sluggish performance.

Dell's full-featured UltraSharp 2007WFP ($399 as of December 10, 2007) has a fully adjustable stand, multiple video ports, and USB ports to boot, but image quality--although not bad--is almost the worst among our batch of currently tested 20-inch wide-screen LCDs.

Interestingly, the UltraSharp 2007WFP did extremely well in our grayscale tests, something that many monitors trip over. But results of text tests were inconsistent, with Excel spreadsheets looking very readable but font tests showing average sharpness. Points for graphics scores, including those for color saturation and skin tones, were uniformly middling.

It's really too bad about the test scores, because the display offers a raft of features normally found in larger premium monitors. The panel tilts, swivels, pivots (rotates 90 degrees to portrait orientation), and has one of the smoothest height adjustment mechanisms I've seen. There was no bundled software for the pivoting panel, leaving the user with the sometimes awkward task of adjusting the panel and then the software to a portrait position. This is done from the Display Properties section of your operating system. (If your OS lacks such an option, you can usually download the software from your graphics card vendor.) The rectangular hole on the stand itself is a clever (if unoriginal) implementation of a cable management system. Two USB ports on the right side and two underneath the monitor, next to the video connectors, are useful for plugging in peripherals and flash drives. Additional video ports for VGA, composite, and S-Video are useful for the monitor's picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture capabilities.

The monitor's on-screen display (OSD) menu, which lets you make a plethora of image and color tweaks, sports a newer interface that works well, because it's so easy to grasp. It includes brightness presets for different display modes, such as gaming, documents, and video.

In a screening of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, this monitor proved a capable movie display. The colors on costumes and background scenes seemed deep and balanced, though I found illuminated and extremely dark scenes bordering on grainy.

The Dell UltraSharp 2007WFP would suit those looking for an ergonomic or multimedia display if not for its relatively underwhelming image quality, which is particularly disappointing given its high price for the category.

--Roy Santos

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Desirable extras can't make up for this monitor's sluggish performance.

    Pros

    • Full physical adjustments
    • Integrated USB hub

    Cons

    • Sluggish performance
    • No software for pivot mechanism
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