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El See Dee

The recent situation with my 17-inch CRT has convinced me that it’s high time to try a new high resolution display. I think it would be a good investment considering the amount of time I spend in front of the PC.

There are a couple of compelling reasons to make the move from a CRT to a LCD display but the main reason I’m doing so is to save my eyes.

When I first got my CRT, I had to reduce the brightness dramatically to reduce eyestrain. This alleviated the problem but caused another one. Photos that were actually okay looked too dark on my monitor after I reduced its brightness and this led me to make adjustments when editing to compensate. The final result was photos which looked all right on my darkened monitor but were in reality too bright with the colours looking washed out.

The simple solution to this problem was to increase the monitor’s brightness but this meant the back of my eyeballs felt like they were melting once again. I’m no ophthalmologist but this can hardly be a good thing.

Hence the need for a flicker-free LCD display.

I’m also keen on making the move to a widescreen display after using a standard 4:3 ratio 1024×768 display for a decade. Widescreen displays are said to improve productivity and I can definitely envision how having multiple windows visible simultaneously would aid office workers in that regard.

(There doesn’t appear to be any research on whether a widescreen display would allow you to goof off in a more efficient manner, however.)

LCD displays are also lighter and take up less space compared to CRT monitors but I’m not about to lug my LCD display around and I don’t live in a closet-sized Tokyo apartment so neither of those advantages seem especially beneficial. Still, bonus.

Dell or no Dell

I’ve been checking out products in my price range over the past few weeks. ViewSonic, Samsung, BenQ and Acer all have appealing widescreen displays but Dell’s widescreen displays have my favour.

Dell’s UltraSharp models may not have the best speed rating compared to models by other manufacturers (and indeed, Dell itself has faster models) but I’m not a high-ranked competitive gamer so I don’t think a difference measured in milliseconds is going to be an issue for me. (It is, however, a noticeable problem.) Regardless, I was drawn to the UltraSharps primarily because they’re said to have good image quality.

(Of course it’s not as clearcut as that. Dell is known to use two different LCD panels for the same model. The Dell 2007WFP, for instance, uses either the S-IPS or S-PVA panel. I haven’t seen any comparisons between the two Dell 2007WFP panels but it would seem the S-IPS panel is the more desirable of the two. Unfortunately, Dell doesn’t allow customers to specify a panel preference.)

Aside from display quality, the UltraSharp displays also have some useful features. The 2007WFP can be used in either portrait or landscape mode. I could see how this could be desirable when reading a long document or an ebook but I have my doubts whether it’s something I would actually do in practice. We’ll see.

There’s also a 4-port USB hub. It’s not essential but it’s nice to have USB ports that don’t require you to reach around to the back of the systems casing.

There are a couple of potential problems to look out including dead pixels and colour banding but this is a random roll of the QC dice rather than flaws inherent in the design. Dell does provide a Next Business Day Advanced Exchange Warranty programme but hopefully, I won’t have to take advantage of it.

Dell’s usual price for the 2007WFP is RM1999 but the company gives discounts of around 40 per cent seemingly on a regular basis. The model is currently available for RM1399 so I placed my order.

We’ll see how it goes.

Posted in Hardware.

2 Responses

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  1. Tan Lee Seng says

    One word….. “ENVY !!!”….lol. You can say it’s a trade off for shaper images Vs. faster response time. But then again it also depends on what you use it for. I would suggest picking the one with faster response time as it reduces the ghosting effect not only in games but in other applications such as movies and animations (serves a more general purpose) unless you insist on better quality graphics. Anyway….congrats on your new haul….(you lucky “bleep”….LOL)

  2. Gobi says

    I was concerned about the 2007WFP’s response time after I read one owner’s report of blurring in Half-Life 2 but after reading ExtremeTech’s excellent review which covers DVD playback and games like Unreal Tournament 2004, I’m reasonably optimistic any problems with ghosting will be tolerable.

    (Incidentally, the review is by Loyd Case, a tech reviewer whose work I’ve held in high esteem since his time at Computer Gaming World over a decade ago.)

    As for being lucky, we’ll see just how lucky I am when I get the LCD. If I’m really lucky, I’ll get a S-IPS panel with zero dead pixels.

    Anyway, I’ve placed my order and made my payment so it’s now just a matter of waiting and hoping.

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