Bottom Line: Don’t let the bargain basement pricing fool you, Dell’s large-screen flat panel is a quality piece of hardware.
When selecting a computer, many people spend much of their time poring over specification such as processor speed, RAM, hard disk space, etc.. While these are all important factors, it is the monitor that we spend much of our time interacting with. A large, high quality monitor can make everything we do on the computer seem faster and easier. Most new monitor purchases are targeted at LCD displays, and with good reason. Modern LCDs are bright, easier to use for long periods of time, and have a rich color palette. The downside of LCDs, until recently, has been the relatively high premium paid for large sizes.
The Dell 2405FPW was one of the first displays to break that pattern. Like its less expensive cousin, the 2005FPW, this 24-inch display brought large, high quality wide-screen excitement into the realm of affordibility. With frequent discounts available on websites like SlickDeals, these monitors frequently drop into the sub-$800 price range.
Can a new monitor really change your life? Yes. Do you really need a 24-inch display? Of course you do. This display offers a 1920×1200 resolution, which is better than the highest-quality HDTV. At 24 inches, multitasking becomes a reality. You can have two full web pages open simultaneously, or easily use two different programs at the same time. As you can see from the image above, this monitor is not restricted for use on Dell computers, or even PCs in general. The optimal input is DVI (Dell includes the cable), but VGA, composite, S-video, and component video inputs are all available. You can even connect a device to each input and switch between them with the push of a button.
Dell adds to the convenience by allowing the monitor to act as a USB 2.0 “hub”; the mointor connects to a USB port on your computer and provides 4 addition USB ports for connecting keyboards, mice, digital cameras or other accessories (particularly convenient if you want to place your computer out of the way). In addition, the monitor is equipped with a built-in multi-card reader for many common digital camera media types including SD, CF, and others. This makes loading digital pictures into your computer extremely convenient; no longer do you need to search for the obscure cable you’ve left some place to get those wonderful pictures you just took into the computer. Just pop the media out of your camera and side it into the side of the monitor.
The monitor is bright (some would say too bright), but easily adjusted with the on-screen controls. My unit had no dead or stuck pixels, a problem in some lines with less stringent quality control. The only downside appeared to be a large silver Dell logo in the bottom border, but this is easily solved with a piece of black electrical tape, which perfectly matches the color of the display.
Since Tech Recs this monitor, a newer model, the 2007FPW has been released, with what appear to be largely cosmetic changes. The 2005FPW may be available at even better pricing as a result, which makes this gem a true bargain.
Verdict: Highly Recommended