Dell 2408WFP
Simon Baker, 8 April 2008

 

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With the release of a new model from Dell always comes a lot of interest from potential buyers. Dell have long had a reputation for producing good quality screens, with high end panels and often a fantastic range of ergonomic adjustments and connectivity options. The Dell 2405FPW was released back in 2005 and was one of the first affordable 24" screens on the market. This was replaced in 2006 with the 2407WFP, which had an updated spec, panel and design. At the time, we discussed the changes offered with the new model, and also covered in detail some issues which were being reported along with the improvements that were made. Around this time, it was clear that the 2xx7 series came with a few problems, and many users felt disappointed with the new models. Of note were the now infamous 'colour banding' issue which was eventually fixed with the later revisions of the 2407WFP (A04 being the last).

 

At the end of last year Dell followed the current trend in the market and updated the 2407WFP model to be 'HighColor' ready. This offered an enhanced W-CCFL backlighting unit and an extended colour gamut covering 92% of the NTSC colour space. Apart from this, the 2407WFP-HC's spec remained unchanged. Unfortunately, with the update to the backlighting and the panel came a new issue, and we reported in depth about the 'black ghosting' which seemed to affect most units. We also featured a full review of the screen concluding the monitor was an excellent screen, but sadly suffered from this one issue which made it problematic for many users.

 


Above: Dell 2408WFP front and side views. Click for larger versions

 

Now we have a new update from Dell. The 2408WFP has been released this year and offers a few new features. The design remains unchanged, as does the majority of the spec. The colour space has been extended slightly further to cover 102% of the NTSC space, and the contrast ratio has been increased to 3000:1 thanks to a dynamic control technology. Dell have also increased the already impressive range of interface options and the 2408WFP now includes a DisplayPort and HDMI as well. With the model's release came some early discussion about its performance across the internet. We have already documented the early reported issues, but now we have the chance to test the screen first hand for ourselves in a full review.

 

Let's take a look at the screen's specs:

 

Size

24"WS

Colour Depth

16.7M (8-bit), 102% NTSC colour gamut

Resolution

1920 x 1200

Viewing Angles

178 / 178

Response Time

6ms G2G

Panel Technology

S-PVA

Contrast Ratio

3000:1 DRC (1300:1 static)

Interfaces

DVI (x2) with HDCP, D-sub, DisplayPort, HDMI, S-video, Composite, Component

Brightness

400 cd/m2

Colour

Black bezel, with silver finish stand

Special Features

Tilt, height, rotate and pivot ergonomic adjustments. 9-in-2 card reader, 4x USB 2.0 ports

 

 

 

Dell have confirmed the panel is S-PVA technology, but we have yet to see a matching panel module from Samsung. I would imagine it will be an updated version of the LTM240CS panel, since the 03 and 05 versions are mentioned in their range, but differences from the 01 (as used in the 2407WFP-HC) are not identified on the site. On checking with Samsung, we were told that the 05 panel features a 102% colour gamut, and so appears to match well.

 


Above: Full range of interface options shown, click for larger version

 

The backlighting used is a 7x CCFL U-type system and offers an extended colour gamut covering 102% of the NTSC space (this is also sometimes listed as 110%, where different references are used. CIE1976 = 110% and CIE1931 = 102%) . This is a slight improvement since the 97% gamut coverage offered by the 2407WFP-HC. The screen does offer a standard sRGB option within the OSD to emulate standard gamut situations. We'll take look at this a little later.

 

 

The Dell 2408WFP design remains unchanged from the 2407WFP revisions. The screen has a height adjustable stand (100mm), swivel function (45 left and right), tilt (21 forward and 3 backward), rotate (landscape and portrait) and is 100mm VESA compliant.

 

 
 

There is also an integrated 4 port USB 2.0 hub (2 underneath and 2 on the side) and 9-in-2 card reader. The features remain pretty similar to the 2407WFP model, which was already very impressive in this regard, but now with the added HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces.

 


Above: Operational and OSD control buttons. Click for larger version

 


Above: OSD menus, click for larger versions

 

The OSD interface is reasonably intuitive to navigate and in keeping with the layout and format of the 2407WFP models. Within the menus there are the usual options for brightness, contrast etc that you would expect. There is also a 'preset mode' section offering access to all the monitor preset colour / brightness / contrast modes. Included in these options are settings for 'desktop' (default preset), 'multimedia' and 'game', as shown in the above image. There is also access to the screen's sRGB simulation preset mode which emulates the sRGB colour space and reduces the colour gamut.

 

Within another section of the OSD are options for aspect ratio control (aspect, fill and 1:1 being available), and dynamic contrast ratio (on and off). The OSD selection buttons also give quick one-touch access to brightness/contrast, source, PiP/PbP settings and auto adjust (for analogue signals only). The power LED glows a green colour when in use, and orange when in standby. These buttons all sit nicely out of the way in the bottom right hand corner of the bezel and do not disrupt from the aesthetics of the screen.


 


 

The back of the stand features a handy cable tie also. The materials of the monitor are all of high quality, and the main screen and stand both feel very well built and sturdy. The bezel is black in colour, while the stand is a silver. Both are a matt finish which makes photographing nice and easy, and avoids obvious finger prints! The panel itself features regular AR coating rather than any glossy solution.

 

All in all, the functionality and connectivity of the 2408WFP is fantastic, and even exceeds the 2407WFP model before it. For those who are interested, I couldn't detect any buzzing or sound from the built in power supply either, but the screen does get quite warm after extended use.

 

 


Colour Quality and Accuracy

The Dell 2408WFP utilises an 8-bit panel offering a colour palette of 16.7 million colours. The screen uses enhanced W-CCFL backlighting and so it's colour gamut covers 102% of the NTSC colour space according to Dell's specification. Note: this is also sometimes listed as 110%, where different references are used. CIE1976 = 110% and CIE1931 = 102%.

An important thing to consider for most users is how a screen will perform out of the box and with some basic manual adjustments. Since most users won't have access to hardware colorimeter tools, it is important to understand how the screen is going to perform in terms of colour accuracy for the average user. I restored my graphics card to default settings and set it to its standard profile. The  2408WFP was tested at default factory settings out of the box using the LaCie Blue Eye Pro and their accompanying software suite.

Default settings of the screen were50 brightness and 50 contrast. Gamma mode was left on 'PC', colour setting mode was on 'Graphics, and preset mode was on 'Desktop'. Sharpness was set at 50 and dynamic contrast ratio was 'off'.



Dell 2408WFP - Default Settings (Desktop Mode)


 

Default Settings (Desktop)

luminance (cd/m2)

273

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.23

Contrast Ratio

1187:1

 

Out of the box the screen looked nice and bright and colours felt vivid and quite attractive. You could immediately tell that the screen uses W-CCFL backlighting as green and red shades looked very deep and considerably different to the eye as compared with a standard monitor (72% NTSC colour gamut backlighting). The screen was a little bright however for comfortable use. I hooked up the LaCie Blue Eye Pro to determine what the default results were.

 

Straight away you can tell from the information on the left hand side of the report that luminance was far too high, being recorded at 273 cd/m2. With black depth recorded at a very respectable 0.23 cd/m2 this gave a static contrast ratio of 1187:1, not far off the specified 1300:1 and a decent performance thanks to the S-PVA panel technology. The CIE diagram on the left also shows that the triangle representing the monitors colour gamut (in black) stretches far outside that of the standard sRGB space, particularly in green shades. This is why we see more vivid and deep shades of green, even to the naked eye, with this type of screen. Gamma was a little way out at 2.4, where we aim to achieve 2.2 which is the default for computer monitors. Colour temperature / white point was recorded at 6332k, being only 3% out from the target of 6500k, that being the colour temperature of daylight.

 

As a reminder, the graph on the right hand side above shows DeltaE (dE 94) values across 16 shades of colours as measured by the device. In simple terms, the lower these bars are down the Y-axis, the better, in terms of colour accuracy. For reference, LaCie describe the DeltaE readings as:

  • If DeltaE >3, the color displayed is significantly different from the theoretical one, meaning that the difference will be perceptible to the viewer.

  • If DeltaE <2, LaCie considers the calibration a success; there remains a slight difference, but it is barely undetectable.

  • If DeltaE < 1, the color fidelity is excellent.

 

From these tests you can see that default colour accuracy was way out, with dE being on average 6.1. Colours were not accurate at all at factory settings, and this was a shame. There's little point having a high gamut, 8-bit monitor when the colours being shown are not true to what is being requested. Despite the fact that the colours looked rich and vivid to the naked eye, you can see from the tests with the colorimeter that they were not suitable for any work which relies on the colours being shown correctly. Maximum dE was also very high at 13.8. Clearly you will need to calibrate this screen to get some better results.

 

 


Dell 2408WFP - Default Settings (sRGB Mode)
 


 

 

Default Settings
(sRGB Mode)

luminance (cd/m2)

298

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.27

Contrast Ratio

1104:1

For those who need to simulate the standard sRGB space rather than use the monitor with its extended gamut, the 2408WFP offers an sRGB simulation mode via the OSD preset modes. Considering many users will not have extended gamut sources or content, this feature is nice....in theory. I switched to this mode, while leaving all other settings at their defaults to establish whether the colour accuracy or other settings were any better than in the 'Desktop' preset. As you can see, gamut and luminance remained a long way out from the desired levels, and colour temperature was actually a little worse at 5831k. dE was sadly not improved at all, in fact, it was worse with an average of 7.3 and a maximum of 23.0. As you can see from the CIE diagram on the left, the gamut triangle for the monitor now only just stretched outside the sRGB space, and was now pretty much in line with normal CCFL backlighting (72% NTSC coverage). If nothing else, at least this mode accomplishes that!

 


Dell 2408WFP - Calibrated Settings (Custom Mode)

 

Calibrated Settings
(Custom mode)

luminance (cd/m2)

121

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.18

Contrast Ratio

672:1

 

Firstly I calibrated the screen using LaCie's software suite while also changing the monitor to the 'Custom' preset mode, affording me access to the RGB colour controls. During the calibration process the screens brightness was adjusted to 20%, with contrast being left at 50%. RGB values were altered to 92, 90 and 98 respectively. It should be noted that OSD adjustments only form part of the calibration process with the majority of changes being made automatically at the graphics card LUT level.

 

After calibration, the results of the test and report were far more pleasing! Luminance was corrected nicely to 121 cd/m2, with black depth being improved also to 0.18 cd/m2. This gave us a static contrast ratio of 672:1 which was adequate. The gamma was now corrected to 2.2, and colour temperature was also now recorded at 6477k (<1% out). Most impressively the colour accuracy was improved drastically, with dE average being only 0.5, and maximum being only 1.0. LaCie would consider colour accuracy to be excellent here, and this was certainly a very pleasing improvement to the default factory settings.

 

 

For those who are interested, I also calibrated the screen seperately using the Eye-One Match 3 software which accompanies the Eye-One Display 2 device from X-Rite. Calibration was carried out with their software, and then results were tested with LaCie's reporting feature. The results of this were very similar to those achieved above with LaCie's software suite and are available here to view (black depth was recorded at 0.18 again, and since luminance was 202, this gave a contrast ratio of 1122:1).

 

 


Dell 2408WFP - Calibrated Settings (sRGB Mode)



 

 

Calibrated Settings
(sRGB mode)

luminance (cd/m2)

120

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.16

Contrast Ratio

750:1

 

I attempted to calibrate the screen properly using the LaCie probe, but with the monitor in sRGB simulation mode. Access to the RGB channels was not possible when using this preset, but I wanted to see if the colorimeter could correct the colours and settings at a graphics card LUT level. On one hand gamma, colour temperature and luminance were all corrected very nicely during this process, and certainly an improvement over the default sRGB settings as shown further up. Black depth was also improved nicely from 0.27 cd/m2 to 0.16 cd/m2.

 

Sadly the colour accuracy was not improved at all really, with dE average still being 7.3, and dE maximum now reaching 28.7. No matter what I tried, I could not get the colour accuracy to be much better than this at all while using the sRGB mode. I attempted calibration with other softwar even, including the Eye-One Match 3 software, but results remained poor where deltaE colour accuracy was concerned. While sRGB mode can simulate smaller colour spaces, the colour accuracy cannot be trusted, and sadly cannot be corrected even with professional calibraiton methods. However, these results should not detract too much from the fact that using the custom mode allows you to calibrate the screen very nicely as shown above.

 

 

 


Colour Gradients and Banding?

 


Above: colour gradient photo. Click for larger version

 

One of the early reported issues with the 2408WFP seems to have been that users experience some banding of colours across colour gradients. This was an issue certainly with the early 2xx7WFP releases, and linked to the use of Faroudja Video Processing enhancements. I was keen to establish whether gradients showed any unfortunate banding in my tests so I ran some gradient programs to see.

 

As you can see from the image above, there is some slight gradation and stepping of the colours, but this is only evident in the darker tones. This is actually exagerated a little in the above photo, and in pratice is very minimal. This type of gradation is common on most of the modern commercial screens anyway, and I wouldn't classify it as being any worse here on the 2408WFP. In normal practice, for viewing normal content, including photos, I doubt you would ever really notice an issue with this. If you are experiencing problems, calibration of the screen may well help, as we have shown above that default settings offer poor colour accuracy.

 

 


Dynamic Contrast Ratio
 

 

 

Default Settings, Desktop Preset mode

luminance (cd/m2)

154.1

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.06

Contrast Ratio

2568:1

 

 

Calibrated Settings, Custom Preset mode

luminance (cd/m2)

112.8

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.06

Contrast Ratio

1880:1

 

 

The Dell 2408WFP offers something that the 2407WFP models did not, that being a dynamic contrast control. The listed spec suggests that the screen is capable of a DCR of up to 3000:1, that being the difference between the brightest white and darkest black when the feature is turned on. The technology itself controls the intensity of the backlight on the fly, depending on the content shown on the screen at the time. The feature is turned on and off via the OSD menu, and is really only of use in mutlimedia applications. In office use, the changing backlight levels can be annoying and distracting, but in movies and games it can be handy to help bring out detail in darker scenes and brighten the lighter scenes.

 

I activated the DCR in the OSD and measured the two extremes of brightness and darkness where the backlight intensity was being regulated. The above tables show the results when using default factory settings and when using my calibrated profile. At default settings, the screen reaches a very impressive 0.06 cd/m2 black point, and offers a 2568:1 contrast ratio! Very close to the 3000:1 specified, and a nice performance from this technology. Dell have done a decent job with the DCR here, so if this feature is something you like, it's another plus point of the 2408WFP model.

 

 

 


Viewing Angles

 



Above: Viewing angles shown from front and side, and  from above and below. Click for larger images

 

The viewing angles of the Dell 2408WFP are what you might expect from an S-PVA panel. The screen offers wide fields of view in all directions, and is free from the darkening vertically that TN Film panels suffer from. A screen of this size can suffer from TN Film viewing angles in my opinion, since the contrast and colour tone looks uneven when you glance across the screen. Thankfully here, the wide viewing angles mean the image looks consistent across the screen. The image is perfectly viewable from wide angles from the sides, above and below, with only a minor contrast shift detectable.

 

The screen does show the signature off-centre contrast shift inherent to VA matrices, but this is only very minor, and to be honest, not something which has ever personally bothered me in practice. S-IPS panels can offer slightly wider viewing angles, and some people find them more suitable for colour critical work because they do not show this off-centre anomaly. All in all, no complaints with the viewing angles really.

 

 


Panel Uniformity

 

 

Measurements of the screens luminance were taken at 35 points across the panel on a pure white background. The measurements were taken using BasICColor's calibration software package, combined with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro colorimeter. The above uniformity diagram shows the difference, as a percentage, between the luminance recorded at each point on the screen, as compared with the reference point of a calibrated 120 cd/m2. This is the desired level of luminance for an LCD screen in normal lighting conditions, and  the above shows the variance in the luminance across the screen compared with this point. It is worth noting that panel uniformity can vary from one screen to another, and can depend on manufacturing lines, screen transport and other local factors. This is only a guide of the uniformity of the sample screen we have for review.

 

As you can see from the above diagram, the uniformity of the panels brightness was actually pretty good, with the majority of the screen being only within -5% of the 120 cd/m2 setting. The screen was a little darker towards the right hand side, but overall, uniformity can be considered good. Obviously this element of our test will be quite specific to our individual unit, and it must be considered that uniformity can vary depending on stock, shipping methods and the individual production lines. Dell seem to have done a good job with their quality control in this regard however.

 


Above: Panel uniformity of black screen in darkened room. Click for larger version

 

As a further test, I activated an all black background and viewed the screen in a fully darkened room. The above image shows the backlight uniformity across the panel. As you can hopefully see (click image to enlarge), the uniformity as a whole was pretty good, but the corners did show a small degree of backlight leakage. This was quite minor, but was more apparent in the top corners than the bottom. The unformity I have tested on the previous Dell 24" models (2405FPW and 2407WFP-HC) has been a little better.

 


Above: All white background image, showing some slight pink tinting. Click for larger image

 

Another one of the early reported issues with the screen is that some users have spotted a slight pink or green tinting in certain areas of the screen. I set the screen up with a pure white background image, and analysed the uniformity in various lighting conditions. The above image was captured with my camera, and shows a very slight pink tinting towards the right and left hand edges of the screen. Please note that this is not a viewing angle anomaly, and is evident even if you move your line of sight to view the side of the screen centrally. This slight pink tinting is very minor and impossible to spot in real use. If you load a full white background you can spot it if you look closely, but it is very slight. It makes no difference how long the screen is turned on for either, it is still there if you look closely. Perhaps this is some slight variation in the screen's anti-reflective coating, producing some slight variations in the thickness of the filters in front of the panel? It's hard to say, but I would suggest that it is not something to worry about really. Maybe some users notice it to a larger degree, but if you do, return the screen to Dell for a replacement. In this example, it was so minor, it's just not a problem in practice. (note: be wary of your own monitors variations when viewing the above image!)

 

 


Office and Windows Use

I've always been a big fan of this size screen since the high resolution of 1920 x 1200, combined with a comfortable pixel pitch of 0.270mm is ideal, in my opinion, for office use. The resolution easily affords you enough desktop real estate for side by side working (in fact I'm using it right now as I write this review!) The text size is a nice compromise between the slightly too large appearance on 19" and 22" models (higher pixel pitches of 0.294 and 0.282mm respectively) and the smaller appearance on 20" models (0.255mm). This is obviously down to personal preference, but I find it a nice level for regular office and Windows use.

The screen offers both VGA and DVI interfaces (2 of the latter in fact). The image quality was good on both, but text appeared slightly sharper on the DVI interface as you might expect. The VGA analogue interface also showed some slight shadowing around the text (pale in colour) which I could not seem to get rid of even with auto-adjust being used several times. If you have a DVI graphics card (and surely most people would have nowadays!) then use the digital interface.

You will need to adjust the screen from its standard 50% brightness to around 20 - 25 if you intend to use the screen regularly for light background office use, or in low lighting conditions. This will correct the excessive default brightness to around 120 cd/m2 which is recommended. There is no preset mode for "office" or "text", so best to calibrate the custom mode to your liking.

 


Text Blur and Sharpness Issues?
 


Above: close up image of blue text. Click for larger image


Another of the early reported issues with the screen is that the text can appear with shadows, and the sharpness is some how not correct. For reference, the sharpness can be adjusted via the OSD in both VGA and DVI modes, with pixel clock and phase also being available with analogue signals. I've already said above that there is some slight pale shadowing and 'roughness' to the text in VGA mode, but in DVI mode, the text is nice and sharp and picture clarity is very good. The issue seems to be most apparent, according to user reports early on, when viewing blue colour text. The above image shows the clarity of blue text and you can see no red or pink shadowing here as some have reported. For reference, the unit being tested is still an A00 revision of the screen, Dell have not released any 'updates' as yet. The sharpness setting in the OSD was left at 50, with 25 making the text a little more 'blurred' and soft. Again, no issues here despite early reports.

 

 


Responsiveness and Gaming

 

The Dell 2408WFP was tested using the chase test in PixPerAn, a good bit of software for trying to quantify differences in real terms responsiveness between monitors. As a reminder, a series of pictures are taken on the highest shutter speed and compared. The images below show the best case example on the left hand side, and the worst case example on the right hand side. This should only be used as a rough guide to comparative responsiveness but is handy as a way of keeping a constant test of each screen.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dell 2408WFP uses an S-PVA panel from Samsung, with a large application of Response Time Compensation (RTC) / Overdrive being used to improve responsiveness. This helps reduce the response time of the transitions between different shades of grey, with the end result being an advertised response time here of 6ms G2G. The ISO response time of S-PVA would still remain around the 12ms mark if it was detailed, since RTC does not really help improve the full black > white transitions.

 

The above images from PixPerAn show that the 2408WFP offers quite comparable responsiveness in practice to the 5ms ISO rated TN Film panel of the Samsung SM245B. It was actually a little slower than the previous Dell 2407WFP-HC model in these tests, with a faint second ghost image being detected, even in the best cases, by our camera. Responsiveness is still good, and on par with many models in the 24" market. However, it was a slight way behind the 2407WFP-HC and also the 5ms G2G S-IPS based Hazro HZ24W.

 

 

For comparative purposes, I have also included the results from the popular NEC 20WGX2 screen. The NEC 20WGX2 has long been considered one of the most responsive panels in the market and is actually AS-IPS technology based (6ms G2G). The LG.Philips panel used in the NEC also uses a heavy dose of RTC to boost the responsivenss of the panel, and so this model can still be used as a reference for our response time tests. As you can see, the 2408WFP remains inferior to our reference monitor here.

 

In practice the Dell 2408WFP shows some motion blur, which is something you will probably detect on even the fastest screens due to the way LCD panels operate and the way the eye perceives the  moving images. However, it is a little more apparent than on some other screens where RTC is more evenly controlled and the performance is better. To eliminate percieved motion blur you will probably need to consider additional technologies such as MPA or BFI for example.

 

Another thing to note is that the screen does feature hardware level aspect ratio control. This is nice to see, and offers options for "aspect", "fill" and "1:1" in the OSD menu. This can be handy when connecting external devices, or when playing games where the source resolution is not the same aspect as the screen. This feature would be useful when connecting devices externally (DVD players, games consoles etc) over HDMI, component and DisplayPort for example.

 

 

 


DLP-Like Rainbow Effects and Black Ghosting?

 

One thing which some users were reporting with the release of the screen it that they could detect some so called 'DLP-like' rainbow effects when objects were moving across the screen. This is more of a perceived issue related to the human eye than an actual issue with the screen. It is characterised by coloured / rainbow trails behind objects as your eyes move across the screen, and it seems it is most noticeable when moving a white image (like a mouse pointer) over a dark grey background. Since this is an issue related to what the eye sees, it is not possible to detect it with a camera. Some users spot it, others cannot. Personally, depsite my efforts to recreate this issue and 'see it', I could not see any issues with rainbow effects.

 

Potential buyers are obviously also wanting to ensure the screen does not suffer from any RTC-related issues at a panel level, including the unfortunate black ghosting issue which plagued the 2407WFP-HC model.

 

 
Above: video showing mouse movement on dark grey background with some slight white halo-ing detectable (monitor 'cold')

 

Above shows a video captured of a white mouse pointer moving on a dark grey background. This was taken when the monitor had only be switched on for a few moments. I could not detect any black ghosting issues that were a problem with the 2407WFP-HC. This was a relief, but what I could spot was some slight white trailing behind the mouse pointer which you can hopefully spot in the video. This was very slight, and is an example of RTC overshoot which can be seen on quite a few models employing these technologies.

 


Above: video showing same thing, but with monitor now warmed up.

 

Interestingly I tested this again once the monitor had been allowed to warm up for a period of time (over half an hour). The above video shows (for those with a keen eye) that this white halo-ing has disappeared mostly, and the 'issue' is no longer as easy to spot. Sure, the mouse pointer shows some slight blurring and ghosting, but this is common with nearly all modern LCD's anyway. The screen certainly shows no black ghosting like the 2407WFP-HC did, and I could detect no DLP-like rainbow effects from the screen either. Once warmed up, the slight white overshoot halo-ing was gone. No real issues here with the 2408WFP.

 

 

 


Input Lag
 

 

 

 

As usual I tested the screen in clone mode with a CRT to determine the level of input lag. This is something which can put off some gamers and is a delay between graphics card and monitor output. By hooking up a CRT you can show that  the LCD lags behind somewhat, which can affect users in some situations where they rely on the screen image being as fast as their inputs (e.g. fast FPS shooting games). Often, input lag is very low and probably wouldn't represent too much of a problem in real terms.

 

Again, this was one of the early reported 'issues' with the screen, with users reporting that the 2408WFP's input lag was very high. As you can see from our tests, the screen showed on average a 64.1ms delay compared with the CRT, and reached as high as 70ms in some  instances. This was much higher than some other 24" models in the market, including the Samsung SM245B which showed only  7.5ms on average. The 2407WFP-HC only showed 34.3ms delay on average, which is modest for a 24" screen. Some users who game may well find problems with the delay here, which is a shame.

 

 

 


Movies and Video

 

The following summarises the 2408WFP's suitability for movie viewing:

  • 24" screen size and widescreen format are nice for movie viewing

  • 1920 x 1200 resolution is enough to support true 1080 HD content. The various interfaces available can also support 1080p (progressive scan) sources

  • Wide range of interface options make this ideal for connecting many external devices. HDMI, twin DVI, component and even the new DisplayPort are present

  • Digital interfaces include HDCP support, which is important for watching encrypted (Blu-Ray / HD-DVD) content

  • Aspect ratio control and 1:1 pixel mapping available via the OSD making it suitable for using external devices

  • Dynamic contrast ratio of up to 2568:1 (our tests) possible, which can be handy to some when viewing movies. Backlight variance is decent and black depth is exceptional using this technology

  • Black depth is good at a calibrated 120 cd/m2, giving 0.18 cd/m2 and a static contrast ratio of 672:1. This means details are  distinguishable in dark scenes

  • Viewing angles are wide thanks to S-PVA panel technology

  • Colours are also bright and vivid and extended gamut helps improve this. This is handy for movie viewing as it makes everything look bright and colourful

  • Panel uniformity is mosly very good, but the slight leakage of backlight from the corners might become apparent in low light conditions or where a black border is present

  • Movie noise is average on the S-PVA panel, but not really a problem from a couple of metres away - a sensible viewing distance for a screen this size.

 

 


Conclusion

 

All in all I was impressed with the Dell 2408WFP, just as I had been with the 2405FPW and 2407WFP-HC before it. The ergonomics and interface options are excellent, and really set the standard in the consumer monitor market. Build quality and design are very nice, and there was no real need to change it since the 2407WFP models. Hopefully this review covers all the possible early complaints about the screen, including the 'issues' which some users had reported. I could see no problems with the responsiveness of the panel or RTC control really, and the reported text blur and sharpness issues were nowhere to be found. The panel uniformity was affected ever so slightly by the pink tinting issues some users have spotted, but it is so minor I doubt you would ever notice this in practice to be honest.

 

Colour accuracy was sadly quite poor at default settings, a sacrifice made perhaps while offering the ever extending colour gamut? However, once calibrated, the screen performed very well in this regard, and colour accuracy was excellent. Input lag is perhaps the screen's only major weakness, and with an average of 64.1ms, you will want to consider whether this is the correct screen for you if you're a regular gamer. If not, this won't represent an issue, and the 2408WFP is still an excellent choice offering great all round performance and features.

 

 

Pros

Cons

Excellent design, ergonomics and interface options

Poor default colour accuracy, you will need to calibrate properly

Excellent colour accuracy once calibrated

Input lag is very high

Free from text blur, sharpness, DLP rainbow, colour banding and black ghosting issues which some may be concerned about from early user reports

Responsiveness not quite as good as some other 24" models


 

 

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