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Caveat emptor

It never fails.

Less than a minute after I place an order for merchandise, I’m always stricken by buyer’s remorse. This is usually driven by an irrational feeling my purchased item is going to suffer from some horrible soul-crushing flaw.

It doesn’t help matters that I always read support forums before making a purchase. These forums are always filled tales of horror, disappointment and anger so it’s understandably easy to get a distorted idea of a product’s quality after reading them.

(To give one example, I was expecting my PSP would be filled dead pixels, have a faulty square button and would fling UMDs across the room violently. It was a relief when the device manifested none of the problems others reported.)

I had that familiar feeling of uneasiness once I submitted my order for the Dell 2007WFP and the reading I’ve done since then has not made me feel any better.

Big fight!! S-IPS versus S-PVA

I mentioned earlier the 2007WFP model has been known to use two different panels: the S-IPS panel and the S-PVA panel. This wouldn’t matter if the two panels produced similar output but they’re based on two different technologies and going by message board posts alone, the consensus is S-IPS panels are superior.

(See this site for a more even-handed view of S-IPS versus S-PVA panel issue.)

It would appear Dell shipped the first batches of 2007WFP with S-IPS panels before switching over to S-PVA panels. One has to wonder about Dell’s motives for doing this. One could speculate but one rather not in case Dell’s legal department is feeling bored.

Regardless of the reasons, users are unhappy about this. Dell could score PR points by simply disclosing any changes in panel type but for some reason, it is reluctant to discuss the issue and simply maintains that a 2007WFP is a 2007WFP regardless of panel type.

There doesn’t appear to be any way of determining which panel type you’ll get before purchase resulting in a situation described as a “panel lottery.”

It isn’t easy to determine what panel type you have in your 2007WFP even after purchase. Users will first have to access the service menu and this involves some complicated input worthy of Tekken multi-hit combo.

I have my doubts whether I could actually differentiate between a S-IPS and a S-PVA display. After all, I’m currently using a cheap 17-inch CRT and I suspect I’d be happy with either panel type. I do feel rather uneasy about the way Dell is handling this, though.

Posted in Hardware.

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