Dell 2405FPW 24" TFT Page: 1
Introduction

As a frequent user of my PC and fan of PC gaming I needed a monitor that would both be excellent for gaming, playing on my XBox 360 and general usage including Dreamweaver and various design applications.

Dell have a reputation in the monitor industry of taking excellent screens and components and putting them together in a complete package.

When the Box arrived at my desk the first thing I saw was the excellent packaging and the usual Dell branded box. The packaging was excellent and there is no way that the 2405FPW would get damaged in transit.

Here's a quick picture of the monitor:

Dell 2405FPW

Package

The package that comes with the Dell 2405 is pretty complete for setting up a normal PC on it.
You get:

* 1 x High Quality EMS DVI Cable
* 1 x VGA Cable
* 1 x Power lead for Dell 2405FPS (kettle type)
* 1 x Driver CD
* 1 x Instruction Sheet
* 1 x Manual for Dell 2405FPW

The power lead comes in a seperate box so you may want to check you have it. It's also worth noting that any normal PC "kettle" type lead is fine to use.
Now onto the monitor itself...



Dell 2405FPW 24" TFT Page: 2
Specification

Taken from the Dell website:
"The Dell™ UltraSharp™ 2405FPW 24-inch Flat Panel LCD Monitor is a wide aspect desktop display that redefines the performance of LCD displays with a stylish new design and advanced functionality.Watch DVDs in natural format and run multiple applications simultaneously. The 2405FPW wide aspect LCD also provides 12 ms response time to enable crisp clear images when using the display for fast motion video such as gaming or video editing. With 4 USB 2.0 ports, 2 located on the side, the 2405FPW gives users convenient access points to plug in devices such as keyboards, digital cameras, secondary hard drives and printers. Integrated 9-in-1 flash card reader allows easy access to download photos or files. It also supports advanced features such as PIP (picture in picture) and PBP (picture by picture). With 3.93 inches (100 mm) of height adjustment virtually every user can adjust the display to their exact comfort level and help reduce eye and neck strain. This Flat Panel LCD Monitor comes with a 3-Year Warranty."

Dimensions:
Diagonal Size: 24"
Viewable Size: 24"
(WxDxH): 22" x 9" x 22" to 25"
Weight: 22.1 lbs

Features:
100 mm VESA Mounting, Height Adjustable Stand Included, Detachable Panel mechanism
Image Max H-View Angle: ±89°
Image Max V-View Angle: ±89°
9-in1 Card Reader
16.7 Million Colours
Dot Pitch: 0.270 mm
Enclosure Color: Midnight Gray
Image Aspect Ratio: 16:10
Image Brightness: 500 cd/m²(typical)
Image Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (typical)
Max Resolution: 1920x1200 (WUXGA)
Max Sync Rate (V x H): 76 Hz x 81 kHz
Warranty: 3-Year


This monitor also has a built in 9-in-1 card reader and a 2 port USB hub with cable included.

I have also got hold of the Dell Soundbar for this monitor, but will not include this in the review as most people will undoubtedly use an external speaker system.

Test Setup
CPU AMD X2 4400+ @ 2.8GHz
Motherboard DFI LANPARTY SLi-D
RAM 2 x 1gb Crucial Ballistix PC4000 1:1 3-3-3-8
Graphics XFX 7800GTX 512mb 630/1830
HDD OS: Maxtor 76gb 8mb Cache IDE
HDD Gaming: 2 x Hitachi Deskstars in 74gb RAID 0 Array
Case Coolermaster Stacker on wheels
PSU PCP&C 510 SLi
Sound Audigy ZS
Optical Sony DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive

I am using Windows XP Pro with SP2 including the latest driver for the Dell 2405FPW and Nvidia Nforce Drivers 81.98.


Dell 2405FPW 24" TFT Page: 3
Meet the Monitor

The first impressions of the monitor when I took it out of the box were of a solid and well build piece of equipment.

The look that Dell give their monitors is one of professional Grey. I like this look but aesthetically the Apple Cinema Screen beats it for looks.

At this point I will quickly talk about the controls of the monitor.
Controls
The controls to the panel are intuitive and look very nice, matching in with the theme of the monitor. There is not much adjustment for the D-Sub or DVI inputs, but as DVI is digital there is not much need for that. I am assuming that if you can afford the 2405, then you can certainly afford a graphics card with DVI-out. To switch between outputs requires one button, as the same is true for switching between PiP modes.

The On Screen Display is easy to navigate though I feel requires little adjustment.

Here is a picture of the controls:
Controls

Stand and viewing

The excellent stand that the TFT comes with does just about any adjustment that you would want it to. It does tilt, height adjust , swivel and goes 90° to a portrait stance:
Portrait view

And at its horizontal position:

Horizontal

This vertical position will no doubt be most appreciated by Graphical design artists - but I have to say I have found no practical use for it.

Dell 2405fpw side view

The screen has an excellent viewing angle both sideways on and up and down. I have had a few friends round playing on the XBox 360 and we had no problems seeing the details from several angles from a few metres away.

Dell 2405 viewing angle

The stand is excellent on the 2405FPW. With height, tilt and swivel adjustment you have more than ample options to get it comfortable for how you like it. The stand is good looking and robust with quality components. It looks good too.

dell 2405 fpw stand

An extra pretty neat feature is a cable routing channel for easy cable tidying. Dell have certainly delivered a great stand on the 2405FPW.

Desktop Real estate

The screen outputs at a native res of 1920 x 1200. Dell have provided a CD with the drivers on it, but Windows XP also has an updated driver that gives you full support.

This size is more than enough for me to do all the tasks that I need to do on it. If you take a look at the below pictures (click the links) you can see just what I have to work with with the Dell 2405FPW - I literally don't feel the need for dual screens - its that big.

Realestate

Realestate

As you can see, the 2405FPW provides more than enough space for a busy and avid computer enthusiast.

Dell 2405FPW 24" TFT Page: 4
Picture Quality

Well the vital question for those wanting a top screen - what is the picture like?
I can answer that right now with a very confident: "Excellent".

This monitor is easily the sharpest I\'ve ever used. In the light and the dark the screen is awesome. Brightness is top notch and even the blacks are very good. LCD\'s are notorious for "greying" out blacks but even though this display has a very bright backlight I found that darks are very good. I did find that I had to leave the backlight to 50% (default) as any brighter tended to lighten up those excellent blacks.

Xbox 360 shots showing light and dark:

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Normal PC shot:

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Overall the picture is awesome - most likely the best picture I've seen - aside from the £3000 plasma 1080p screen I saw demo'd.
Feature Spotlight: Picture in Picture (PiP)
I felt that I had to highlight this excellent feature of the Dell 2405FPW. The monitor allows Picture in Picture (PiP for short).

PiP allows you to view the picture from two different sources at the same time. The choices you have are either D-Sub (VGA) or DVI-D with either S-Video, Composite or Component being the other input.

At first I thought I would never use the feature, but I have come to use this a lot for both building another PC and for the XBox 360.
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Thie brings me neatly onto the inputs:

Inputs

The 2405 has the following inputs:

DVI-D
D-SUB (VGA)
Component
Composite
S-Video

These are all neatly stacked up on the underside of the monitor and are easy to plug into as you can turn the monitor round (see prevous page).

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The soundbar power also plugs straight into the monitor, and above displayed is also the 4in1 card reader that some people may find very handy.

Gaming

It may be worth noting that a screen this size takes a fair bit of graphical power to output at its native res. If you\'ll refer to the Spec page where I have put the rig specs, you\'ll see that the test rig is pretty high spec.

Anything below an Nvidia 7800GTX 512mb will struggle at this res...and in fact games like F.E.A.R. meant that I had to OC the card to 624/1830 before I could output at 1920 x 1200.

At 1900x1200 the 7800GTX 512mb could just about handle:

Doom 3
Quake 4
Call of Duty
F.E.A.R.

And could easily handle:

Day of Defeat:S
Counter Strike:S
GoldenEye: Source
Half Life 2
Chronicles of Riddick: Return to Butcher Bay

I have not noticed any problems with tearing or any other visual issues associated with TFT's and gaming - the 16ms response time on this monitor is most likely true in this case as I would have noticed (I am very picky).

Gaming at this high res is very strange, but satisfying, and you do get to see more of the game. This is very helpful in games like CS:S and Quake 4 as you can see around you more. Gamers: do not be afraid to buy this it is certainly up to the job of displaying the fast and frantic frames of first person shooter's.

Update 19/01/2007


Having owned this monitor for a year or more I can safely say that gaming on the Dell 2405 is a quality experience and I am yet to find a rival that keeps up with it. The screen has a 16ms response time but if you use vSynch this is not noticible in any way.

Gaming on the Xbox 360 is a great experience and games like Gears of War look simply spell-bounding on the display.

Also note that it's worth getting a VGA lead if you want to use the Dell 2405FPW with the 360 as the output looks a bit brighter and clearer than with composite, though this is not really the fault of the monitor as I have tested this on other monitors and find the same thing.

HD DVD and Blu-Ray playback is stunning and scaling on the monitor is excellent producing a crystal clear picture.


Dell 2405FPW 24" TFT Page: 5
Conclusion
 
The Dell 2405FPW is undoubtedly an excellent monitor. It is rich in features, picture quality and has the build quality I have come to expect from a Dell TFT. The amount and quality of both desktop and gaming space are hard to match, with only Dell's 30" TFT and Apple's 23" and 30" Cinema Displays topping the 2405.

The OSD is clearly laid out and intuitive and PiP is an excellent feature that I have now found to be essential.

Another fact that has to be stated is that the TFT can output at 720p and 1080p - so it is futureproof for whatever you want to throw at it. The only input missing is HDMI, though hopefully the VGA, Component or DVI will be ok for High Def in the future. The XBox 360 looks simply stunning in HD and I am expecting that the PS3 will also look amazing. High Def video playback is another thing I have experimented with and I have to say that the monitor does not slouch on this either.

Prices 08/01/2006:

£681.44 from Overclockers UK
£680.91 from TekHeads
£559.00 (no postage listed) from Ebay
£680.33 from Aria
£801.53 from Dell UK

This also comes with a 3year Next business day exchange warranty from Dell, wherever you buy it from

The pricing is what you would expect for a display that is this big and smacks of quality. But for those on a bit more of a budget I would say that this is almost certainly out of your range. Especially since you need to pack some serious graphical punch to output at 1920 x 1200.

I really can't fault this display and I have certainly put its through its paces. Its an outstanding product for those who want a professional looking display with a massive resolution and the space-saving properties of a TFT.
The Dell 2405FPW wins "Best in Class Award" at time of going to press.

Best In Class Award Recommended Award

Pro's


+ Excellent Picture, sharpness and response time+ Great amount of Dektop Space and flexibility
+ Excellent build quality and professional presentation
+ PiP is an amazing feature+ HD Movie Playback quality is awesome+ Scaling is awesome

Con's

- Expensive
- Powerful Graphical hardware needed to play games on - Update 19/01/2007 - 8800 family should handle gaming easily @ 1920 x 1200.

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