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By duxup (Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:44:07 AM EST) LCD Monitors, Dell (all tags)
LCD Monitor Frustration / Review


I recently noted that I was in the market for an LCD monitor for my new PC.   I ordered a Dell 1907FP for the little lady, and planned on ordering the 2007WFP for myself.

The 2007WFP

The 2007WFP is the follow up to the highly praised 2005WFP.  Wondering if Dell might cheap out or just screw up the new model I chose to wait to read some reviews, and yeah it seems Dell blew it. Reports on the AnandTech, Widescreengamingforum.com, and even Dells own forums report a few problems, most notably some ugly banding issues. Grrr. How some review sites missed this problem is beyond me. Thank goodness I didn’t place my order.

1907FP

The 19” Dell LCD monitor that I ordered for the little lady arrived Monday. It was the 1907FP that was/is on sale for the insane price of ~$250.  After using it my impression is that this monitor is not so much “on sale” as it barely worth ~$250 . The good news is that the response time is great, I could find no ghosting.  Also the stand is very handy, you can adjust height and tilt with just one hand as it is balanced nicely.

The big problem is that the viewing angle is T-R-A-S-H. Strap on one of those old orthodontic headgear things and attach this monitor to it if you want a clear picture. Don’t dare slouch in your chair, and try to avoid any sort of upper body movement as if you do the picture will change dramatically.

Another issue is the brightness. You can not adjust contrast when using the DVI cable and this brings about a big problem. The default brightness is insanely bright so with that being the only control available you end up turning the brightness way down. Disappointing, but not the end of the world . . . until you realize that even with the brightness cranked all the way down anything that is pure white on the screen will hurt your eyes. Somehow the pure white is super bright and seemingly independent of the brightness controls. With no other options you’re left to either go blind or close your eyes and enjoy the tan. To CNET’s credit they did mention the lack of contrast control and the viewing angle, but I don’t think they made enough of a point of it.

I received the 19” on Monday, I hope I can return it.

In the meantime I’m looking at Viewsonic VX2025wm as another wide screen option.

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Damn You Dell! | 20 comments (20 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Dude, you bought a Dell! by theantix (4.00 / 3) #1 Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:21:59 PM EST
I suppose it's something that everyone has to go through once themselves: spec out some options, price them out with a couple of vendors, buy the cheap Dell, and then realize that YOU JUST MADE A HORRIBLE MISTAKE.  Money can't buy you love, but it can buy you something better than Dell.

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You sir, are worse than Hitler.
but but but by skippy (4.00 / 2) #3 Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:41:49 PM EST
how else can you get quality [or a cheap facsimile thereof] without spending much money?

Where is the Ikea of consumer electronics?  I don't mind putting it together myself, honest!

[ Parent ]
doesn't exist by theantix (4.00 / 2) #5 Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 02:32:04 PM EST
I don't think the computer industry is mature or stable enough to have the sort of compromise you're talking about, and I'm not sure it ever will be due to the nature of constant rapid technological advances.  Consumers always want something faster and better and compare products based on their specs and then price things out.  This means that given the same core specs, a manufacturer who takes time to ensure quality will neccessarily incur more cost than one who cuts corners to provide a rock-bottom price. 

The quality manufacturers are not unknown, pretty much anyone on this site will name Lenovo and Apple as the two most reliable vendors on the market -- but for each you have to spend a lot more money to get the same specs that you would from Dell.

IKEA saves money along the chain by doing their own design and saving money because of their compact design.  I would venture that their cost savings don't come as a result of decreased assembly costs, but instead from dramatically reduced shipping and storage costs.  With the computer industry though, designing key components in-house doesn't make much sense -- Apple couldn't even make do with a nonstandard CPU -- and the assembly and storage costs are not comparable to IKEA.  In fact thanks to software bundling deals you'll probably find that a budget preassembled machine is cheaper than what you could build yourself unless you avoid the cost of Windows by using a better OS or another copy.

The only possible salvage would be if consumers ever get fed up with constant rapid change and are satisfied with a product for a long time.  Then you could see a long-term development cycle like you see for Playstations where you get both a high quality product at a low price -- something that is only made possible by the fact that Sony can afford to make a good quality product and then get good at making them over a 10-year cycle.  But I don't think the industry is mature enough to stabilize like that yet, perhaps in a decade or so it will be -- it's already more like that today than it was a decade ago.

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You sir, are worse than Hitler.

[ Parent ]
Tiger Direct? by lm (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 06:14:04 PM EST
I don't know if they still do, but they used to sell inexpensive bare bones systems. You could basically order all the parts you needed to put together a nice little system for dirt cheap and, then, hire a local college kid to put it together and still come out cheaper than Dell.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Well, I actually meant by skippy (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 01:20:26 PM EST
assembling a whole LCD monitor by myself.  Give me the moulded plastic shell, LCD, backlight, inverter, controller board, OSD controls, a bunch of wires and connectors.

Putting together a PC is child's play.

Though odds are that it's cheaper to pay someone in China to put it together than it would be to pack everything separately to prevent breakage and then shipping it out.

[ Parent ]
I suck by duxup (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 04:02:19 AM EST
The real frustration for me is that I wouldn’t even have thought of Dell had there not been tons of praise the last few years for the earlier model the 2005WFP.  Suddenly I’m in the market for one and they come out with a new model and totally hork it up.  ARGH!

The fiancé looked over the 19” for a while last night and she thought it was fine.   We’ll do some scanning and printing and see what we find in order to determine if it is going back or not.

If all else fails it would be a good monitor for mom back home who could use a big space saving monitor.

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[ Parent ]
no you don't by theantix (4.00 / 1) #12 Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 10:34:26 AM EST
I've made the same mistake before, and I'm sure lots of people here and elsewhere have done the same thing.  It's like growing pains or something.  :-)


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You sir, are worse than Hitler.
[ Parent ]
to be fair by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon May 08, 2006 at 02:22:52 PM EST
i've owned two dell laptops and one dell desktop.

the first laptop had serious problems with needing the lcd replaced periodically. but, aside from that, it was fine; and i paid for the warranty service so they brought me new parts regularly until i reached the point where it was too old, and had too little ram/processor speed to do what i wanted.

the newer one, which i've had for three years now, has a horrible problem with overheating easily, and has had to have its fan assembly replaced once. but it's otherwise been perfectly fine, and is still a decent machine.

my dell desktop at one point suffered a horrible hard drive failure which resulted in intermittent bad behavior which took me more than a year to diagnose, but is otherwise no problem at all. it's four years old at this point and its downfall will be that it can't handle more than 1GB RAM.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
indeed, that is fair by theantix (2.00 / 0) #16 Mon May 08, 2006 at 04:43:03 PM EST
You're saying that all three machines that you've used from Dell had serious component failure issues, which is pretty much what I would have expected and what I meant when I implied they are shoddily constructed.

I guess the difference is not the data itself, but how you interpret the data -- and I'm willing to pay more money to get a better constructed product that is less likely to have the sorts of problems you just described.  I'm tired of having those sorts of issues so I'll either pay more to get the same specs or pay the same amount for lower specs (smaller monitor, etc).

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You sir, are worse than Hitler.

[ Parent ]
the hard drive by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #17 Mon May 08, 2006 at 05:00:17 PM EST
i wouldn't blame the hard drive on dell; hard drive failures happen. we go through so many hard drives at work it isn't funny.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
sure by theantix (2.00 / 0) #18 Mon May 08, 2006 at 05:20:46 PM EST
Very little of it is "Dell", Dell just assembles parts they get from various manufacturers into a single product.  Dell didn't make the hard drive suck (nor the LCD nor the fan) but they just selected shoddy parts probably to be able to offer products for a low low price.  By selecting products based largely on the lowest cost to achieve a spec you are going to end up with a product that is more likely to break down.

One good way to tell the difference is in the cost of a warranty.  When I last looked the 3-yr warranty on apple and Lenovo were less than 1/3 the cost of a Dell or Acer warranty.  This tells me that the cheaper companies know their products are somewhat likely to break down and charge accordingly, while the Lenovo/Apple are relatively confident you won't be needing to take advantage of the warranty service you buy.

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You sir, are worse than Hitler.

[ Parent ]
the fan by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #19 Mon May 08, 2006 at 07:33:29 PM EST
the fan assembly problem i do blame on dell, because it's entirely a problem with the chassis design.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
heh, ok by theantix (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon May 08, 2006 at 09:15:47 PM EST
I agree with you in specific about the design, but you get my greater point I think.

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You sir, are worse than Hitler.
[ Parent ]
LCDs by thunderbee (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:34:36 PM EST
I have a 2405FPW - flawless, half the price of the apple cinema display - and they both use the same panel :) And the dell has way more adjustments options and a whole lot of connectors.

Looking for a 19" for my wife to replace her old CRT, I bought a Phillips 190B6CS: top of the line, expensive as hell for a 19", but a 0 dead pixel, on site, 3 years warranty.
First monitor to get there had ugly horizontal stripes every other pixel, that never should have made it past quality control. Switched in 2 days for one brand new with the exact same problem. Took them 4 %*$@ weeks to make the next switch for a probably refurbished unit that, luckily, is working ok.

So, cheaper is not always worst, and the most expensive isn't always the best.

2405 by duxup (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 04:27:43 AM EST
The 24" is soo tempting but the price jump is just too much for me ;)
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[ Parent ]
Me too by thunderbee (4.00 / 1) #13 Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 12:22:05 PM EST
But it's a business expense. I need the estate to open more xterms :-)

[ Parent ]
I'm getting a E196FP by Greener (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 01:50:57 PM EST
That should arrive some time this week. It was free with a 3 year ADSL contract so we shall see if it's worth it. VGA only but it seems to have identical specs to your 19" otherwise. It'll be nice to have more real estate than the 15 inch CRT I currently have though.

Hyundai by Dr H0ffm4n (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 12:34:15 AM EST
L90d+ is what I've got. It's a bit old now, but had fantastic reviews, is perfect for gaming and I've never had any issues at all with it.

Really now by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 02:49:15 AM EST
You should get some sort of switch box and hook up to an old 13" b&w tv like we did in the 80s.  Go totally old sk00l.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Even older by duxup (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 04:29:53 AM EST
I think I’m going to go with a teletype

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[ Parent ]
Damn You Dell! | 20 comments (20 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback