A Close Look at the Dell 2707WFP
Simon Baker, 10 Feb 2007

 
 

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Following on from our recent focus on the BenQ FP241W, it seemed a good time to take a look at another exciting new model which has just been released. Following in the footsteps of other popular models in their range, Dell have now launched a 27" diagonal screen offering some impressive features and specifications. There has been a lot of talk about Dell models since the 2001FP was released some years ago, and models like the 2005FPW, 2405FPW, 2007WFP and 2407WFP have all been massively popular and mostly well regarded.

The 27" diagonal is something new in the market of desktop TFT screens, and Dell have bravely been the first to launch a model of this size. Samsung are also releasing a 27" model, the SM275T offering a comparable product, but Dell have been first to venture into this sector. This is not a first hand review of the screen (although we hope to feature that soon), more of an advanced look at the screen and it's features as well as an insight into its performance in a similar style to previous articles we have run.
 

Specifications

 Screen Size   27"

Resolution

1920 x 1200

Response Time

6ms G2G / 16ms ISO

Contrast Ratio

1000:1

Brightness

400 cd/m2

Colour Depth

16.7 million colours, 8-bit. 92% Colour gamut

Viewing Angles

178 /178

Connections

D-Sub/DVI-D (HDCP)
S-Video /Composite/ Component /USB /Card Reader

Panel

Samsung S-PVA (LTM270M1)

Functionality

PiP, 1:1 pixel mapping
Height, Tilt, Pivot

Full Specification on Dell's Site


 


Features and Functions

  • Too Low a Resolution?: Immediately you may notice the most obvious feature of this screen, that is the resolution remains comparable to smaller screens including the 23 and 24" models already available. As such, the screen offers a large pixel pitch of 0.303mm, being larger than even 19" (0.294mm) and 22" (0.282mm) models. Some potential buyers are put off by this, thinking image sharpness may be lost and pixels may appear too big. In practice, a larger pixel pitch can make text look bigger and so this can be to some peoples liking. Others are more comfortable with smaller text and a 'tighter' pixel pitch, but this is very much down to personal taste. While the screen only offers the same 1920 x 1200 res of smaller models, it does offer more in the way of screen size, making it potentially a more immersive screen for gaming, and a better screen for movie watching. In effect, the 2707WFP is crossing that bridge into the realms of HDTV's and offering an interim diagonal for those wanting a little more than 24", but without the leap to a 32" LCD TV. I think it is important to consider that the extra screen size can lend itself well to multimedia application, but it may not be as suited to office work as a smaller model. At least limiting the screen to a 1920 x 1200 resolution means you can use a single link DVI connection to power the screen, so it is more widely usable than the dual-link 3007WFP screen.
     

  • 92% Colour Gamut: Seperating it from other models, the Dell 2707WFP utilises new advanced CCFL backlight lamps and can offer a colour gamut covering 92% of the NTSC colour space. There is an interesting article about colour gamut available from x-bit labs which is well worth a read. This offers a gamut range which exceeds the sRGB space and can help improve colour range and depth.
     

  • Connectivity Options: As is common with a lot of Dell's models, the 2707WFP features a wealth of connections as detailed above. The component connections are attractive for those wanting to hook up games consoles to their screen (e.g. Xbox 360), and the USB 2.0 ports (x4) and 9 in 2 card reader are always handy. The screen also offers a full range of ergonomic adjustments which are certainly useful with a screen this size. Dell don't spare any expense when it comes to features and ergonomics, and the 2707WFP is no exception. The only thing perhaps missing compared with other models emerging (BenQ FP241W for example) is an HDMI connection.
     

  • Aspect Ratio Control / 1:1 Pixel Mapping: One thing which was widely discussed after the BenQ coverage was that the FP241W did not feature hardware based control over aspect ratios of source resolutions. As such, external devices would commonly lead to stretching of the image, with the screen offering no way of controling the aspect ratio (4:3, 5:4, 16:9 etc) and no way to force a 1:1 pixel scaling. Fortunately, BenQ have addressed this, but it has become a hot topic when it comes to looking for a new widescreen format monitor. Fortunately for everyone, the Dell 2707WFP features options for "aspect", "1:1" and "fill" as with their other models, and so there is no concern here.
     


Performance

  • HD Resolution Support: Dell customer support have confirmed the support of HD content as follows:

     

    VGA

    DVI

    Component

    480i

    N

    Y

    Y

    480p

    N

    Y

    Y

    720i

    N

    Y

    Y

    720p

    N

    Y

    Y

    1080i

    N

    N

    Y

    1080p

    N

    Y

    N

    As you can see, it seems again Dell have opted for a DVI interface controller which does not support interlaced 1080i content, something which was also discussed with the 2407WFP model. Lack of 1080p support may also be off-putting to some users hoping to use component connections. HDCP is supported over the DVI interface for material protected in this way.

     

  • Responsiveness and Gaming: The Samsung S-PVA panel offers a 6ms G2G response time which on paper at least is very good. Samsung have used a heavy dose of their 'MagicSpeed' RTC technology to boost responsiveness across grey transitions and so gaming performance should be improved compared with non-overdriven S-PVA/PVA type panels, and those of previous generations like the Dell 2405FPW for example. Dell have not employed any further technologies though to aid in reducing perceived motion blur. While BenQ are exploring possibilities such as BFI, and Samsung are using their MPA technology to improve perceived responsiveness, the Dell 2707WFP does not use anything other than RTC technology to boost pixel response. As such, the 2707WFP may fall a little behind some modern screens such as the BenQ FP241WZ when it comes to pure FPS gaming performance.

    However, for most users, the screen should be perfectly adequate with modern RTC technologies being used, and with the screen offering a huge desktop real estate, the immersion should be excellent. Again, you can happily view the screen from a couple of metres away and still be comfortable, and the 2707WFP is a good cross breed of desktop LCD display and multimedia LCD TV.

    Extremetech commented in their review that "Overall, game content looked great as well. We moved around the lushly detailed world of Gothic 3 at the full 1920x1200 resolution. Other games looked pretty darned good as well." Greengoose at HardForum commented that "I've played BF2 for about three hours. Very immersive. No lag or ghosting. I came in first about four out of ten games (about par for me). I played Medieva 2: Total War most of today. Looks great and plays great."


     

  • Movie Viewing: Clearly the 2707WFP offers a large screen size making it ideal for movie viewing. The S-PVA panel technology used offers wide viewing angles (only a little behind those of S-IPS based panels) and so viewing the screen with several people is not a problem. The black depth offered by such a panel is also good which lends itself well to movies with dark scenes and when viewing in low light conditions. S-PVA technology, especially where overdrive technologies are excessively used, do not lend themselves well to movie playback in terms of noise and twinkling, but this should not prove an issue when viewing the screen from a sensible distance. Considering the 27" size of the screen, a comfortable distance for viewing is going to be a few metres away anyway, at which any noise is going to be pretty hard to spot.

    The 27" diagonal offers a larger screen size to the 24" models (same resolution) and so while office users might not appreciate the extra size and increased pixel pitch, movie users should benefit from the extra screen size.

    Extremetech commented in their review that "The dark value number makes this potentially a very good display for watching video content, including DVD and high definition movies. The 2707WFP's dark levels are also quite good for an LCD. Dark detail on video isn't quite up to CRT levels yet, but it's noticeably better than the older Dell 2405WFP from 2005." One user, Q-Q, at Whirlpool forums commented that there was "No ghosting detected. Colour reproduction is no doubt very impressive. Since this display is not 16:10 you get a bit of black bar on either end (just under 3cm each end) I guess its acceptable but would have been nice if the display is truly 16:9."

     

  • Black Depth: Being S-PVA based, the Dell 2707WFP should offer a decent black depth which rivals most LCD displays in the market. Extremetech recorded the black depth at 0.2cd/m2 in their review, and compared that with 0.29 cd/m2 measured on their own test of the 2407WFP. they commented in the review that "The dark value number makes this potentially a very good display for watching video content, including DVD and high definition movies. The 2707WFP's dark levels are also quite good for an LCD. Dark detail on video isn't quite up to CRT levels yet, but it's noticeably better than the older Dell 2405WFP from 2005."

 


Reviews and Further Reading:

BeHardware Review (March 2007)
Extremetech Review (Jan 2007)
Whirlpool Forums User Review (Jan 2007)
CNET Brief Review (Jan 2007)
PCWorld.com Brief Review (Jan 2007)

HardForum Discussion Thread

 

 

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