TOYBOX: Big screen bliss
- 15 February, 2007 22:00
When people ask me what’s better than their current monitor, I usually say “two screens” or “a larger one”.
More display room means easier multi-tasking or task-switching and that means higher productivity. Instead of flipping between hidden web browser, email and word processor windows, they are all visible on the screen.
You can accomplish this in two ways: one (as long as your graphics card supports it) get two screens.
However, multiple screens means more cables and power connections. Plus, single apps won’t stretch beyond the native resolution of each individual screen. In other worlds, this isn’t the route to high-definition video.
The second route to Big Screen Bliss is a single large monitor. Dell sent a 24” 2407WFP screen to Computerworld to test, which manages a good 1920 by 1200 pixel resolution at 60Hz refresh rate, and 16 millisecond (black-to-white)/ six millisecond (grey to grey) response time, which made me very partial to this particular route. Furthermore, the 2407WFP has high contrast ratio (1000:1) and is very bright at 450 nits (candela per square metre).
From the HDCP-capable DVI-D (single link is enough) to VGA and component video, you’ll find just about every type of connector needed. There’s also a four-port USB 2.0 hub on the 2407WFP, memory and Compact Flash card readers, plus power for speakers. The design is simple with a thin black bezel and an aluminium foot, so what you notice is the big screen and not the monitor itself.Now I get to have two A4 pages open next to each other if needed, or underneath one another as the screen swiwels 90 degrees on the height-adjustable stand. Films display in 16:10 widescreen ratio (some people want 16:9 however) and games look good thanks to the fast response rate.
The 2407WFP costs more than a dual 19” screen set up at $1,599 including GST, but I can recommend it as a productivity-enhancer. If Dell offered the same price as it does in the US — NZ$932 tax inclusive — I’d say “rush out and buy one”. Another thing worth noting is to make sure you get the A01 or later revision firmware version of the screen. The first A00 ones had some colour banding and text clarity problems. Even though my review 2407WFTP was an A00 with revised firmware and over 2,500 hours on the clock, it didn’t display the above problems, and there were no dead pixels either.