Dell's New 2xx7WFP Range
Changes, Improvements and Issues
Simon Baker, Updated 2 Sept 2006
 

Introduction

A Look at the Old 2xx5FPW Range

            - Dell 2005FPW

            - Dell 2405FPW

 

What’s Changed

            - Design and Pictures
            - Responsiveness and Gaming
            - HDCP Support

 

The New 2407WFP – Issues?

- Text fuzziness

- Colour Banding

- Input Lag

 

How to Find the Firmware and Panel

A New Firmware to Correct the Problems?
Dell Acknowledges The Issues
The A01 Version
A02 Version Shipped
A03 Revision Released (updated 2/9/06)
Firmware and Panel Evolution
   (updated 2/9/06)

 

Good Points and Other Areas

User Opinions and Comments 

Related Links and Further Reading

 

 

 
 

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The launch of new Dell monitors is always surrounded by a large degree of anticipation and excitement. Dell have established themselves as one of the top providers of TFT screens over the last couple of years with some of the most popular models in the market being provided by them. They’ve managed to satisfy the performance enthusiasts and reviewers alike with some top end panels, while also offering ergonomically pleasing designs and multi function performance from their displays. Two of the most popular screens in the last two years have been the Dell 2005FPW and Dell 2405FPW. These have been huge sellers and rightfully so. Dell have now launched their new Dell 2xx7WFP range which offers new designs, updated specs and hopefully, an improvement to the already well established screens before them. This article will focus on the new 2407WFP in particular. 


A Look at the Old 2xx5FPW Range 

 

Dell 2005FPW

20”WS

1680 x 1050 resolution

16ms LG.Philips S-IPS panel (LM201W01)

600:1 contrast ratio

300 cd/m2 brightness

176 / 176 viewing angles

DVI and VGA

pivot / rotate / tilt / height adjustments

S-video / composite inputs

 Dell’s 20”WS offering has been popular, offering very good all round performance from its LG.Philips S-IPS panel. Responsiveness has proved suitable for many users, and movies and office work have been enjoyable thanks to the WS format. This was one of the first 20”WS TFT’s in the market, and before the recent influx of other 20”WS models like the Viewsonic VX2025WM and NEC LCD20WGX2 for example, this was king. Dell did a good job with providing an excellent panel (LG.Philips S-IPS LM201W01, also used in the Apple Cinema 20”WS Display) and some top notch functionality from its screen. However, the 2005FPW was not without its problems... 

The main issue with the 2005FPW has always been its questionable build quality. Severe backlight bleed is not uncommon and has plagued the 2005FPW since its release. This was the main problem with this model, something which the 2007WFP will hopefully fix (note: see this article for info on how to fix this!). Responsiveness is not on par with more recent 20”WS models and the panel is actually reasonably old, certainly before the time of overdrive, Dell had the time to utilise a newer, faster panel in their 2007WFP if they chose to. 

 

Dell 2405FPW

24”WS

1920 x 1200 resolution

16ms (12ms G2G) Samsung PVA panel (LTM240M1-L01)

1000:1 contrast ratio

500 cd/m2 brightness

178 / 178 viewing angles

DVI and VGA

pivot / rotate / tilt / height adjustments

S-video / composite / component inputs

9 in 1 card reader

The 24” version was even more popular, being the first affordable large screen in the main stream market. Again, Dell did a good job of fusing a top panel technology (Samsung’s LTM240M1-L01 PVA panel) with versatile functionality and ergonomics. The screen offers very good all round performance and a massive resolution ideal for work and play. Responsiveness proved adequate for many people and the PVA technology offered wide viewing angles, deep black depth and good colour reproduction. 

Like the 2005FPW, the screen was not without its issues, although none as severe as the backlight bleed of its 20" brother. The characteristics of the PVA panel lead to some minor contrast and colour shift anomalies with only a slight adjustment in the users field of view. This is not really a major problem, and more a ‘feature’ of PVA / MVA panels accentuated due to the 2405’s large horizontal size. It might prove an issue to photo enthusiasts and graphics designers, but viewing angles are generally considered good and this 'issue' is rarely even noticed by most users. 'Input lag' proved to be an issue for some gamers and while this does not seem to be covered in reviews, it became a common topic in online forums threads.

 
Dell 2405FPW (left) stood next to the Dell 2005FPW (right)


What’s Changed 

Dell 2007WFP – The design, updated spec of LG.Philips S-IPS panel (LTM201W01) with 800:1 contrast ratio and 300 cd/m2 brightness. However, no change to response time quoted (16ms). 

Dell 2407WFP – The design, updated S-PVA panel from Samsung (LTM240M2), 6ms G2G response time now instead of 12ms G2G, HDCP support over DVI connection. 

Note: You can find all other models including the Samsung 244T, ACER AL2416W and Eizo S2410W which use the LTM240M2 panel by using the panel search tool 


Design and Pictures 

 

Dell 2007WFP

20”WS

1680 x 1050 resolution

16ms LG.Philips S-IPS panel (LM201W01)

600:1 contrast ratio

300 cd/m2 brightness

176 / 176 viewing angles

DVI and VGA

pivot / rotate / tilt / height adjustments

S-video / composite inputs

 

 

Dell 2407WFP

24”WS

 

1920 x 1200 resolution

6ms G2G Samsung S-PVA panel (LTM240M2)

1000:1 contrast ratio

450 cd/m2 brightness

178 / 178 viewing angles

DVI and VGA

pivot / rotate / tilt / height adjustments

S-video / composite / component inputs

9 in 1 card reader

DHCP support over DVI

  

   

Like the 3007WFP, Dell have opted to update the design of their 2xx7 range. They have ditched the semi circular plastic support base, and have opted now for a V-shaped metal leg and support stand as shown above. This is a fair bit thinner than the 2xx5 range but still offers the ergonomic adjustments that their predecessors did. Apart from that, the design remains quite similar. Here are some user pictures to wet your appetite: 

 


Responsiveness and Gaming 

This is perhaps one the most interesting areas with the new screens. The 2007WFP remained unchanged in this area, still being quoted with a response time (ISO standard measurement) of 16ms. However, the 2405’s 12ms G2G response time has been boosted to 6ms G2G thanks to a heavier dose of Samsung’s MagicSpeed RTC application. 

BeHardware reviewed the Acer AL2416W back in October 2005 in their article here, which features the same 6ms G2G S-PVA panel as the 2407WFP (LTM240M2). Their analysis helps give an indication of its performance in games and whether there has been an improvement since the 2405FPW. In their review they compared the Acer AL2416W against Samsung’s 242MP which uses the 16ms PVA panel from the 2405FPW: 

PixPerAn Image from Samsung 242MP (same panel as the Dell 2405FPW)
 

PixPerAn Image from Acer AL2416W (same panel as the Dell 2407WFP) 
 

The pictures above show the responsiveness test from both screens based on BeHardware’s analysis. Please note that these were taken from the Acer AL2416W (same panel as the 2407WFP) and the Samsung 242MP (same panel as the 2405FPW). As you can see, there has been some obvious improvement in the panels response time, and not just on paper specification. BeHardware state: 

“The worst image for the Acer corresponds more or less to the best one for the Samsung. In clone mode, our impressions are reinforced by the photo results; one is good for games, the other isn’t. We feel, just as we wrote about the 770P, that there is a real difference from Samsung’s previous panels. On the one hand there are the PVA 6 ms panels and on the other all the 8ms and above which have never left us convinced for fast games. They are good enough for Civilization or WarCraft, but not Quake. 6ms PVA panels are faster but there is still some progress to be made to reach the fastest TN reaction times and CRTs”

More recently (July 2006), BeHardware have reviewed the 2407WFP itself and look at its responsiveness here:


PixPerAn Image from Dell 2407WFP

"This test shows the progresses made by the new Samsung panel. You have to count the afterglow image to see it. The new Dell and Samsung produce the same result. For the 16ms panel (Dell 2405FPW), the afterglow is very strong and bothersome. For the 6ms, it has considerably diminished to come back to a much more reasonable level"

 


HDCP Support (updated 29/7/06) 

The addition of HDCP to the 2407WFP has been welcomed by many users with the recent promotion of HD content on LCD TV's as well as its introduction to UK broadcasts in the very near future from Sky and Telewest TV. With the arrival of HDCP protected content in the future (Blu-Ray, HD-DVD etc) it will be necessary to have a monitor which can accept the signal over the digital interface, which is certified to allow the content to display correctly. The HDCP support is available over DVI on the 2407WFP. There is an interesting article about HD over at BeHardware here.

    

It has been reported on some forums that people looking forward to watching Full HD movies, hooking up Playstation 3 or HD DVD / BlueRay players to the 2407 using a DVI-HDMI cable will be disappointed. From all information available now it seems the 2407 can't display a 1080i picture, but only a 480p and 720p picture.

Recently, ChrisM on the Dell forums reported about the HD support over DVI and component. Read the thread here about it. With people keen to understand whether the monitor supports HD content of varying resolutions as well as the monitor's HDCP capabilities, the situation boiled down to the following which he stated:

Does the 2407WFP support 1080i/p picture through DVI? - No.
Does the 2407WFP support 1080p picture through component? - No.
Does the 2407WFP support 1080i picture through component? - Yes.
 

From what he has said on the forums, this means that the HD support through DVI will only run at 720p and nothing higher! This seems very strange since the display can certainly handle a 1920 x 1200 resolution over DVI from a PC input, perhaps there is some confusion from him about this. Here is a summary of each connection with the details available so far:

DVI 1080i - The support of a 1080i (interlaced) signal over DVI is clear. The 2407WFP cannot support it, regardless of whether it is HDCP flagged or not. This is down to the Genesis controller chip used for this model. The 2407WFP uses the FLI5962H chip and apparently no HDTV interlaced image can be de-interlaced by this. A reader of this site has had contact with high level Dell technical support in Texas who has confirmed that while a 1080 signal can be accepted, it will NOT be displayed in 1080 HD resolution be the monitor. The image will instead be scaled down to a lower resolution be the controller chip.

DVI 1080p - It is uncertain why ChrisM stated that "2407 does not support 1080p over DVI". Perhaps they have a source to test it with? As far as we can tell from the FLI5962 controller spec it simply cannot properly de-interlace a digital signal. 1080p, like 720p and 480p which both work, is not interlaced however. Perhaps they have the means to test a 1080p signal but sources of 1080p are rare and expensive at the moment. This is one are where there might well be some confusion, since it would seem odd that the screen cannot support 1080p since it can certainly support a high enough resolution over DVI. Some people have speculated that the screen should have no problem with 1080p signals through DVI from PS3, as well as input from a PC running HD content (HD-DVD, OTA HDTV PC cards etc), regardless of whether it is HDCP flagged or not. Hopefully running HD content at 1080 from a PC will be fine as long as it is a 1080p signal and not 1080i. This remains to be seen however

DVI 720p - There should be no issue with this. The chip can't handle interlaced signals, but 720p is not interlaced. Channel output from HDTV sources are this setting should be fine.

Component 1080i - ChrisM says it can support this signal through component input.

 


The New 2407WFP – Issues?

I am sure many people have heard the reports of issues on the Dell 2407WFP since it's initial release in Japan. There is some concern about text clarity, and more notably about colour banding. I will try to summarise the history of these issues below including what the problems are which you may have heard about, and what has been done to rectify these problems.

Text fuzziness

Since it's initial release in Japan there has been some user reports of blurriness and fuzziness of the text displayed on the 2407WFP. This was based on the very early stock and the A00 revision of the screen, see below for improvements with the A02 and A02 revisions. This isn't something which effected the 2405, but seems to have been noticeable to some users of the new screen. This is characterised by a slight blur / shadow above text which can be off putting to some users. This seems to be evident on both VGA and DVI connections. The image below summarises what people are seeing from the new screens:

Text Blur summary


A text picture from the 2405FPW for comparison

I think consumers need to be wary of these reports a bit. Please remember before panicking about this that these reports have come from very early releases in Japan with the A00 revision only, and UK stock is more recent than this (early shipped models being A01 revision). This is the kind of thing which only the very fussy users are likely to pick up and the average user would probably not even notice it. There may well have been a problem, but don't let it put you off a screen for something as minor as this. Please also see the details further down about this situation.

The following user reports taken from Widescreengamingforum have been made about this early issue. Please note, this is for stock in Japan and Australia, and concerns the A00 revision:

  • FearTec:I have found that the DVI cable offers a slightly clearer image over the VGA. In the 2407's Menu "Display Settings" menu there is a "Phase" menu and the factory default value is "3", IMHO it should be set to '50' as '3' makes all test fuzzy. Text shadows are still there but IMHO it is not as noticeable with the 'Phase' set to '3'.”

  • Bandito: "One dot text blurring is present in both VGA and DVI, though they are pretty insignificant/hard to notice."


Colour Banding

Again, early reports from Japan and Australia discussed colour banding, and this is still one of the primary concerns about the 2407WFP. The screens showed some distinct colour banding in what should be smooth gradients. This is something which has been reported on the 2007WFP as well. The following pictures help show the problems being reported (Click for full size images):


Colour gradient on the 2405FPW

Colour gradient on the 2407WFP


Colour gradients on the 2405FPW (left) vs. the 2407WFP (right)

As you can see from the above gradients (click for full size images) the gradients on the 2405FPW were nice and smooth. However, some users have reported issues like that shown above for the 2407WFP. Colour banding is obvious, with blocks appearing where smooth transitions should occur. This actually seems to be a little worse on the DVI connection as the below pictures demonstrate:

It was initially unclear what was causing this banding, but it is suspected that it is caused by dodgy firmware and perhaps panel electronics. The S-PVA panel from Samsung certainly shouldn't show this issue, and it is not something which has been reported on the other TFT's using this same panel. Again it's likely to be something picked up by enthusiasts, and for an average user probably not a major issue. However, there appears to be some improvements made as detailed further on in this article.

The following user reports taken from Widescreengamingforum have been made about this issue (again, Japan and Australia A00 stock):

  • Bandito:My experience 2407wfp, banding was obvious through DVI and any graphic mode other the desktop setting (multimedia/gamming) is much worst- the gradient even shows flickering/rearranging/switching before settling down. I use the Checkmon software. Input through VGA makes gradient equivalent to what is shown by my 2405fpw."

  • Australian PC Authority Magazine: "Our only gripe is that the new model sports noticeable banding in the previously excellent colour-ramp technical tests. Only very high-end graphics professionals would complain though."


Input Lag

This anomaly has been discussed in depth on forums across the net, but has not been acknowledged in any main stream reviews. The 'input lag' discussion focuses around a delay which the Dell 2405FPW has in displaying it's image, which seems to be delayed after the signal is sent from the graphics card. Some users can 'feel' this in their use, and particularly in fast FPS games. This is an issue which has effected some high level gamers since their aim and shooting is often slightly off due to this delay between what the graphics card is outputting, and what the screen is actually showing. The lag is only minor, commonly around 40ms (milliseconds) and to most average users it is totally undetectable.

The most common way of testing this problem is using a software stopwatch application like Virtual Stopwatch Pro for instance. By cloning the display with a CRT (or another TFT for that matter), you can notice the input lag which the Dell TFT demonstrates in the discrepancy with the timers.

There are continuing arguments about whether this lag is present and to what degree, and many people cannot notice it at all. Others find it annoying. It's something to be wary of, but unless you are a serious gamer, then I don't think you need to worry about it at all. To be honest, if you're a serious gamer, there are better TFT's out there for that use than the 2405FPW anyway.

Some say that playing at a lower resolution than the native 1920 x 1200 can help the 'feel' in games, but lag is still there. There has been reports about whether it can be improved by forcing a windows refresh rate of 100Hz, and there are also common misconceptions that driver updates, v-sync toggling and mouse connections can make a difference. At the end of the day, there is a lot of proof that there is a delay, but it is so minute that many people cannot detect it at all!

It's not just the 2405FPW which has this input lag either. It has been reported to a larger degree on the Samsung 244T (55 - 65ms), and also on models like the Samsung 204B (35 - 40ms). There is often mention that PVA panels seem to show this more than others, but only speculation as to why.


Above: Input lag of Dell 2405FPW compared with a CRT


Above: Input lag of Samsung 244T compared with a CRT

 

User comments about the input lag from Widescreengamingforum users:

mikephotos: "I just received my 2405fpw a few days ago. Do not notice any lag whatsoever. USB MX-310 (I know, will be upgrading soon). Playing mostly FEAR and BF2 right now, plays great at 1920x1200. I highly recommend the 2405"

neoWidescreen: "I have play mostly FPS's, and I was super critical when first playing fast games like UT2004 and Q4... but the 2405 was flawless. The only problem I initially had was my mouse sensitivity. I also had a buddy come around who is obsessively critical about stuff like this, and he was surprised by the 2405's performance. He could perceive no lag."
 

So Does the 2407WFP Have the Same Problem?

It appears from early reports that the 2407WFP does suffer from some input lag, but it is less than that on the 2405FPW. Again, I would like to reiterate that this lag is so minor that the majority of users would never notice it in real use and in gaming. Some hard core gamers and those looking for the lag will notice it perhaps, but it is not something most people need worry about.


Above:

bandito: "Tested mine by splitting VGA signal between 2405FPW and 2407WFP. 2405 was lagging 40 to 50 ms to a ViewSonic LCD... while 20 to 30ms against 2407WFP. The lag of 2407WFP is therefore reduced to a minimal.. 10 to 20ms."
 

Further reading on this subject:

Widescreengaming forum discussion
Hardforum Testing and Discussion
Hardforum Discussion thread


How to Find the Firmware and Panel 

As a reminder, Dell screens allow you to access the hidden ‘factory’ OSD menu to find out some additional information about your screen. Here is how to do it, it will become important later on… 

1- Turn off your screen
2- Press simultaneously the 'Menu' and '+' button of the screen.
3- While holding the 2 buttons, press now the 'Power' button.
4- Once the screen in ON, unpress the 3 buttons.
5- Just press '-' button.


 A New Firmware to Correct the Problems? 

It seems that issues reported in Japan have resulted in a new firmware being released for the 2407WFP with some customers receiving the new version of the firmware/panel in the interim between A00 and A01 (see roughly translated article here). The original firmware V1B11 has been upgraded to V1B15 and perhaps more interestingly the panel is also listed differently as the LTM240ML2 instead of the LTM240M2. You can access the screens ‘factory’ menu to identify firmware version as directed above. This was a promising development and there were a few users receiving the "A00+ interim model" before the release of the newer revision. 


OSD Factory Menu showing LTM240ML2 panel and V1B15 firmware 


Gradients on 2407WFP with V1B15 firmware

Click for larger image

 


Text on V1B15 firmware showing no noticeable "fuzziness" as reported by some 2407WFP users

As you can see from the pictures above, the new firmware / panel seems to have fixed reported problems with the text blurriness and also offers much better colour gradients. It might well be only early release models affected by the text and gradient problems.


Dell Acknowledges The Issues

A user of widescreengamingforum based in Japan arranged to return his 2407WFP due to the banding and text issues which he was experiencing. He had been promised a new version with no issues and so decided to call the Dell technicians to find out what was happening and ask a few questions. Please note this was paraphrased from his conversation, and don't take it for gospel:

sillymrman: "Q) So, about the gradient issues... A) Yes, we have been working on the gradient issues and blurry text. Those will be fixed in the upcoming Revision. Q) I've read online that some people are having problems with the component inputs on their monitors and also High Definition signals through their DVI inputs. Have these been fixed? A) Component video? Unfortunately we haven't received any official complaints about these issues. But, please give the next Revision a try. Q) So there's no word on anything else getting updated for Rev A01? A) Unfortunately I can't give you the specifics on what's been done. We've essentially revised the monitor....Personally, I came out of that conversation with conservative hope. I'm not looking for a perfect monitor come A01 (personally I'll be orders of magnitude happier with just the gradient fix) but I am a bit hopeful."

 


The A01 Version (updated 9/6/06)

After the A01+ interim release, users on Widescreengamingforum based in Malaysia and Australia reported that they  received the A01 revision of the 2407WFP instead: 

yyeoh: " Just got my 2407 today after a 2 week wait. I'm happy to say that it's Made in China Rev A01. The firmware is V1B15 and panel is SAMWUXGA LTM240L2. Seems to be missing an 'm' in the panel number. Text is crisp and no obvious banding(lcds seem to always have banding when I look too closely). Looks like an excellent monitor and I'm happy with it." 

thuanz: "...Showing banding and no text blurring. This is on desktop mode over DVI. The other modes show no blurring either. Banding seems to be less pronounced over VGA. (A01 revision)"

 

Dell seem to have at least acknowledged the early reported problems, and this A01 revision has now become much more widely received. Early UK stocks seem to be all A01, and elsewhere people are now receiving the newer version instead of the issue-ridden A00. These improvements appeared to have been handled in a few ways, firstly with the LTM240ML2 panel update which some people have received with improved performance. The panel is actually now listed as the LTM240L2 in the OSD factory menu. Firmware remains updated as V1B15. Now the official A01 version has been released incorporating these fixes with the new panel and firmware. Dell have reported that the problems have been fixed (or at least greatly reduced) by disabling the Faroudja Video Processing in the 'Desktop' preset mode. This seemed to have been causing several issues with colour banding. Dell forum moderator ChrisM reported that:
 

"Dell has a firmware update that adjusts the ACC (Adaptive Color and Contrast) & ACM (Active Color Management) features, eliminating the banding issue when using the Desktop mode. All of these monitors have three display modes: Desktop, Multimedia and Gaming. The firmware turns off Faroudja video processing in Desktop mode. It remains enabled in the other two modes."

As detailed above, this Faroudja processing has been disabled only in the 'Desktop' preset, and remains active in the 'Multimedia' and 'Gaming' modes. It seems to have done a good job, and the banding is non existent to most users. Some still report some more minor banding but great improvements compared to the A00 version. In the other preset modes, with Faroudja left enabled, banding is still evident. However, these modes are designed for multimedia and fast moving action and so colour gradients are really not as important. These presets still have their use, and it is nice that Dell have left it enabled so the user can choose how they want the monitor to function. They can make the most of the Faroudja enhancements if they want, or turn them off if they are bothered about colour gradients and banding, areas which would mostly effect Windows / Office use anyway. Note that the text blur issue has also been fixed since early firmware / panel updates and is now not a problem in A01. Again, UK stocks seem to be all A01, and so fortunately Dell shipped the new version to the market here.

 


A02 Version Shipped (updated 15/6/06)

There is a fair amount of hysteria and panic in my opinion about this! There was recently mention of an A02 version of the 2407WFP on the Dell forums. Again, ChrisM the moderator said "There is always in evolution in fixing an issue. A02 is the fix. If you have A00 or A01, get it exchanged for A02." This has promptly been followed by a widespread panic almost, with users looking to immediately reject their A01 and assume the A02 offers significant improvements.

While information about the A02 is limited at the moment, with no official difference announced by Dell so far, it would be wise to not immediately dismiss the A01 and assume A02 is greatly improved. Maybe it does help fix some issues, perhaps clearing up that last bit of banding some users are reporting from their A01 monitor. Changes like this can happen quite frequently and aren't always related to substantial changes in performance. It could be something little like a change in components, a change in OSD software....anything really. I would suggest that if you're happy with the A01 that you don't worry about whether the latest "update" has anything new for you, there will always be changes in the market, and for the majority of users, the A01 is pretty good anyway!

Some users over at Widescreengamingforum have started to receive A02 versions now. One user reports:

sillymrman: "In other news, I got my monitor replacement: Dell 2407WFP REV A02. The following are my initial impressions. The first thing I did was check the firmware and monitor. V1B15 SAM WUXGA LTM240L2. Further, the gradient 'steps' are virtually gone. If you look closely you can see slight banding in a few places but it is geometrically better than it was on my A00. Text is also noticeably sharper (it seems less... fuzzily grey)."

It might be that A02 improves the banding problem a little further, but we will need to wait for further reports to be sure, especially from people moving from A01 to A02. The firmware and panel details remain the same however in A02.

 


A03 Revision Released (updated 2/9/06)

With another release of an update from Dell potential buyers and current owners are left wondering whether it will have fixed any remaining 'issues' which some are still reporting from their 2407WFP screens. The A01 revision certainly offered some fairly drastic changes from the original A00 release, including fixes for the text blur problem and colour banding issue (in desktop mode) which many users reported. The A02 was accompanied by very little information from Dell but users still seemed very eager to jump on the band wagon and assume this offered more improvements and that A02 > A01. In reality, users found that there were still some slight issues with colour gradients to some users which still remained the main gripe with the screen. As I've said in the past, I think it is debatable as to whether you would notice such issues in normal day to day use and I'd question whether this slight banding is really a problem to the average user. Regardless, people will continue to test these Dell models in this area and look for new updates to help eliminate the problems.

            
A03 sticker                                                                     A03 OSD Factory Menu (Click for full size)
 

Recently users have begun to start receiving the new A03 revision, and again this seems to be accompanied by almost an hysteria about its possible improvements and updates. The firmware has been updated to V1B20 and the panel is now strangely listed as HN208 as you can see from the OSD factory menu. Don't be alarmed by the panel name change, I am pretty certain Dell are still using the Samsung S-PVA panel, but the OSD is just listing it differently and probably referring to an internal Dell reference code.

Some users of the Dell support forums have reported on the following:

RadXGe: "I have both A02 & A03 revision and I confirm that the banding is gone with A03. I repeat: The banding is DEAD with A03. The only issue I have right now is with the incapacity to set the fixed aspect ratio when applying the 1600*1200 resolution."

He has also posted the below image of the vertical gradients from A02 (left) and A03 (right). However, other pictures show that banding is still slightly evident in some cases and remains unchanged since A02.

My advice with the situation is to be very wary of the hype surrounding these new releases. There have been some pretty sweeping statements I have seen across forums, including on Dell's support forum, which include things like "HDCP via DVI has been fixed now supporting full 1080i/p". These kind of statements are unsubstantiated and as with the A02 release, I'd suggest you don't bank on any massive changes. Chris M who is the moderator of the Dell forums conducted meetings with Dell about the 2407WFP and clears the whole thing up with the following:

"The only changes made to the 2407WFP A03 were language fixes in the OSD (On Screen Display)"

 


Firmware and Panel Evolution

This is the history of the 2407WFP evolution:

A00 - V1B11, LTM240M2
A00+ Interim update - V1B15, LTM240LM2
A01 - V1B15, LTM240L2
A02 - V1B15, LTM240L2
A03 - V1B20, HN208


Good Points and Other Areas

Let's not let these reported issues put us off too much, the Dell 2407WFP still remains an excellent screen. Colour reproduction remains very good as can be seen in the various reviews of this screen and of other models using the same Samsung S-PVA panel. Viewing angles remain wide, black depth is very good and the sheer size of the screen and its resolution is still staggering! Movie playback is nice, albeit a little hampered by noise as many Samsung panels seem to be at present. Watching from a sensible distance of a couple of metres really makes use of its size and WS aspect ratio.

Gaming has been improved thanks to its reduced response time, which does actually make a difference in real terms, not just on paper. You still need a pretty powerful graphics card to power this screen, but if you have one, its a joy to use. For office, the massive resolution remains very useful, allowing multi tasking easily. The S-PVA panel really does offer some great all round performance and potential buyers need to bare in mind that it is still a very good screen, and best of all, a very competitive price.

 


User Opinions of the New Screen 

Bandito: The monitor does not store the 1:1 settings of DVI also.  One dot text blurring is present in both VGA and DVI, though they are pretty insignificant/hard to notice. The problem mainly lies at the DVI input due to firmware or otherwise, until Dell issue new firmware (unlikely) or a newer revision, it is better to hold of purchasing 2407.” 

Shannada:The Australian PC Authority Magazine gave the Dell 2407FPW two awards (the "PC Authority Excellence" award and the "PC Authority Labs Winner" award) and 6 stars out of 6. The Dell 2407 was awarded the top prize out of all the reviewed LCD’s. Banding is confirmed in the technical tests but according to the review did not affect the real-world performance tests. The reviewer commented on the 2407's sharp picture quality and no mention of blurred text. Sounds to me like a big thumbs up for Dell 2407 

Australian PC Authority Magazine: (FYI, this review compared ten 20" plus LCD monitors including the Dell 2407FPW and Eizo S2410W. The Dell 2407FPW was also compared against the previous model Dell 2405FPW, and the Dell 2007FPW was compared against the previous model 2005FPW. All monitors were tested for technical performance (using DisplayMate Multimedia Edition 2 and Meko) and real-world performance (DVD, HD clips, Far Cry game, PixPerAn, digital photos, and Office applications for text clarity, etc.) 

“The picture quality was superb. This was particularly clear in our movie test (LOTR), which saw a tremendous amount of detail in dark scenes and at no point seemed over-saturated in colourful outdoor scenes. Viewing angles are excellent, easily allowing a group of people to gather around it with no compromise in quality. The lush greens of FarCry appeared precisely as they should, and the fast motion resulted in virtually no blurring and juddering. Our only gripe is that the new model sports noticeable banding in the previously excellent colour-ramp technical tests. Only very high-end graphics professionals would complain though. With all of its features the 2407FPW's only real drawback is that it isn't as stylish as the Eizo. But considering the superb 3-year warranty, next business day on-site warranty (plus 14 days satisfaction guaranteed policy as well), the extra inputs, the card reader and bargain price, it wins this Labs by a clear mile. At this price it is a real steal. It's the best monitor we have ever seen both for workers and multimedia buffs alike. Buy one now!” 
 

MR RIZK: Writing was not 100% sharp as per my current HP LCD. Turned off clear type and the text became sharper. On the gradient test there was minor banding. Not huge but it was there. I went to the dell store and checked out the 2405 and yes IMHO the text is sharper and when I ran the gradient test via their VGA connection there was no banding apparent. I could not test the DVI connection.” 

sillymrman: “I'm impressed with responsiveness. Ghosting is extremely minimal. Unnoticeable in movies. Final Fantasy XII is a pleasure to play (minus banding issues).”

 


Related Links and Further Reading: 

Prad.de Review of Dell 2007WFP (April 2006)
PC Authority Review of 2407WFP (June 2006)
Widescreengamingforum discussion 2407WFP Thread
TFT Central Article about Faroudja Video Processing 

BeHardware Review Dell 2407WFP (July 2006)
BeHardware Comparison Acer AL2416W vs. Samsung 242MP (Oct 2005)

TrustedReviews Review of Samsung 244T (March 2006)

TFT Central Dell 2405FPW Guide 

Various Pictures 1 (Japanese Site)
Various Pictures 2 (Japanese Site)

 

 

 

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