August 28th, 2005, 22:08
A quickie review of the Dell 2005FPW. I upgraded from a Dell 17" (passed it along to my wife for her new Mac Mini) and I've been playing with this display now for a few days. Overall impression: pretty nice display, but a touch pricey for what you get.

I previously wrote about the Dell 1704 LCD here, ( and this flat panel display is from the same line so it shares many of the smaller panel's physical attributes (eg all-black, ergonomic stand; 4 USB ports). It's also similarly bright (300 nits) and has good contrast (600:1). It has a much faster response time of 12 mS.

The most noticeable difference is the 16:10 aspect ratio: this is a wide display. It's 1680 x 1050 pixels, and in video/movie terms is known as an anamorphic display. It's perfect for watching movies and DVDs naturally in a wide format (ie not letter-boxed).

And that leads to the next major difference from the smaller 17" display (or indeed most LCD panels!): it has 4 inputs (and numbered LED indicators), two of which are the usual VGA and DVI-D, but in addition it has two TV/video inputs: S-Video and Composite analog. I've tested all but the composite input so far. I watched an hour of DVDs the other night by hooking the display up directly to my DVD player via the S-Video socket. Very crisp video indeed!

The VGA input handles my Windows PC and FreeBSD boxen fine, providing the ability to view the input in exact natural pixels or scaling it up to the full screen size (either in "preserve aspect ratio" or "stretch" modes).

The DVI-D input is driven nicely from my 12" PowerBook. For Mac owners, this LCD uses the exact same LCD guts (LG/Philips) as the Apple 20" Cinema display, but costs a few hundred bucks less and gives you the TV video inputs. Doesn't look as sexy as the Cinema though. :-)

One last feature I haven't played with yet is Picture in Picture. The TV inputs can be superimposed on top of the VGA or DVI display, your choice of corners, or side-by-side. Cute but mostly useless for me I think.

So: I sure appreciate the extra screen real-estate over the 1280x1024 of the 17" display. But in real practical terms, this display doesn't give anywhere near the bang for the buck that the 17" 1704 models do. But this display will stand-in for a TV for me, so it's way more versatile. I like it, it's cool, they'll get cheaper over time.

August 28th, 2005, 23:36
I've been hearing nothing but good about Dell LCDs. Buddy of mine is using a 23" widescreen by them, and does nothing but praise it. Nothing bad so far at all. If only the $1200 price was lower...... Of course if the Apple 30" Cinema wasn't $3000.......

August 30th, 2005, 09:51
I recently purchased one of the 2005FPW's with a 30% off coupon (one of the deal sites). I had no more than 4 bad pixels on it when I first checked. It doesn't seem to have gotten any worse.

It's a beautiful display with the only drawback being when the background is black the backlight seems to show on the corners and edges. For me, the backlight is too bright mainly on the right side and top right corner, but only when the screen is black.

Dell has recently dropped the price on this monitor and hopefully will continue to do so. Currently, my girlfriend stole it so that she can work dual view with her new 15" powerbook. She recently ordered one so I should be getting mine back soon :smile:

I like that it can be raised, lowered, and even rotated 90 degrees for a "portrait" view.