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Dell 19″ UltraSharp E196FP LCD Monitor
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by Greg King on July 6, 2006 in Displays

A few weeks ago we took the 1907FB for a spin, and now it’s the E196FPs turn. It features a bright 19″ viewing area and supports up to 1280*1024 at 75Hz. Let’s see how it performs..

Introduction


It’s time here at the Techgage labs to take a look at another LCD monitor. If you’ll remember, we took a look at the Dell 1907fp last week and now it’s time to take a look at that same monitor’s ‘budget’ sibling, the Dell e196fp.

As I have stated before, the monitor is often overlooked when most people are building a new PC. Judging by most people who ask me to price a PC build for them, they are most concerned with the processor and the video card(s). This is a safe assumption across the board and I fall into this group as well. I have always opted to save a few pennies on the monitor and get a better CPU or video card. One way to cut corners is to get a CRT monitor. You all know what these beasts are. We have been using them for a very long time and only recently have we had alternate options in LCD screens.

It is true that a LCD’s equivalent in a CRT costs a bit more. You can pick up a nice 19′ CRT monitor now for around 200 dollars. Should you want a nice 19′ LCD however, you are going to have to pay a bit more. Yes there are exceptions to the rule and yes you will find CRT that out price LCD’s but in the end, it comes down to this. You get what you pay for. CRT’s have long been preferred over LCD’s by some because of the crisp picture that they provide and the gaming properties of them.

For one, there is no ‘ghosting’ that takes place and this is desired by gamers. Ghosting is basically when a pixel cannot change, or turn off or on, fast enough to keep up with the image being displayed on the monitor. For this reason, CRT’s have been the kings of gamer’s monitors for quite some time. As time has gone on though, the response time of LCD’s has dropped to an acceptable level and gamers have adopted LCD screens in droves.

The 196fp is Dell’s budget offering to those who want a 19′ LCD screen, but do not need any extra’s such as DVI output and USB ports galore. What the 196fp does offer is a native resolution of 1280×1024 @ 75 Hz. While this is not near what a 19′ CRT can offer in resolution, this is good and I intend to set out to determine just how good, or bad, this monitor is.

The Goods

To start out, let’s take a look at the 196fp.

As you can see, the front of the monitor is simple but elegant. There is nothing there that does not need to be and everything that needs to be. This will be proven true or false later in the review.

At the lower right hand of the monitor are the buttons that will allow you to control the display of the 196fp. From left to right, the buttons are: menu, contrast/brightness, auto adjust and finally the power button. The contrast/brightness and auto adjust buttons will also allow you to navigate through the menu when it is brought up.

In the center of the bottom of the front side of the 196fp, you also have a small and simple Dell logo.

Moving to the back of the monitor, we see the inset area where you will connect the stand to the back of the 196fp. We also see the connectors and the slots intended to help heat move away from the monitor to keep it at an operational temperature.

Here we see the back of the monitor in all its glory.