Date: June 6, 2007
Author(s): Rob Williams
In the market for a big widescreen monitor, but find 24″ too small and 30″ too big? Dell has you covered with their 27″ 2707WFP. Like their 2407WFP, this monitor offers 1920×1200 with a 6ms GTG and has a brushed aluminum look that’s unique to their entire lineup.
Big screens are the new black. It wasn’t but a few years ago when people commented on my “tiny” 1280×1024 resolution on a 17″ monitor, but now 1920×1200 on a large widescreen doesn’t make people look twice. The fact is clear. There are numerous reasons for purchasing such a large monitor, but like most products, it will depend on your interests and needs. Personally, I didn’t realize I had a “need” at all, until I received this monitor for review.
Moving up from my 1280×1024 resolution to 1920×1200 was mindblowing. You can compare the differences without even looking at the two monitors side by side. 1280×1024 offers 1.31 Megapixels, while 1920×1200 brings you up to 2.30 Megapixels. As impressive as that might be, that still comes nowhere near the 4.09 Megapixels that Dells own 30″ monitor offers. What am I getting at?
If you have an important workflow, splitting it onto two or more monitors makes things far easier to deal with. Our Senior Editor Greg King will attest to that. His ideal setup is 3x 19″ monitors which he claims to be the ticket to “ultimate efficiency”. I on the other hand, dislike multi-monitors, although I admit I have never tried out such a workflow for a prolonged time. Personally, having one large monitor beats everything. As I mentioned in my example above, I moved to this monitor from my 1280×1024 and essentially gained 50% length and 10% height. That is a lot of real estate and makes multi-tasking much more enjoyable.
If you find yourself with a need for a larger monitor, your options are endless. Dells own 24″ UltraSharp monitor is one of their best selling, and for good reason. Like the 2707WFP, it also offers 1920×1200 resolution, only in a smaller frame. So who exactly is this new release targeted for? If you find 24″ a wee bit too small and a 30″ far too big, then the 27″ might perfectly suit you.
The other immediate choice that consumers who are interested in the 2707WFP will have is the 2407WFP. Both are incredibly similar specs-wise, but the 24″ has slightly higher luminance, at 450cd/m. The price will also come into play, as the 24″ sells for $560 while the 27″ sells for $999. One of the reasons for the price hike is the fact that this monitor has a unique frame, it’s unlike anything else Dell has put out in the past. They urge, “We wanted to create a monitor that looked as good from the back as it does from the front.” That they have done well, and we will see proof of that shortly.
This is the first large monitor that we’ve had for review, so at the current time I don’t have a great basis for comparison. I will instead be going by what I think, compared to what I’ve seen with current monitors I have, despite them being far smaller. Excuse the room in the background. Huge monitors and small rooms don’t mix too well.
Once hauled out of the box, you will have the monitor as seen in the picture. Each side is wrapped with thin foam and the screen is protected with rigid, yet pliable plastic. Tape and clear stickers are used to keep everything in place during shipping. The Dell logo and other mirror-like surfaces are protected as well.
For monitor testing, I am using my benchmarking computer, where I previously had the ASUS PW201. In order to show the real differences in size between a 20″ widescreen and the 2707WFP, I took before and after photos.
The differences are staggering. The above pictures also allow me to perfectly explain how Dells monitor differs in some ways to a few others on the market. The ASUS monitor is glossy, most common with laptop screens. This allows the picture to appear brighter, but it comes with side effects. The primary one being glare, as you can see evidenced there.
The 2707WFP has a matte-like finish, that is virtually glare free. This means that the picture will not be as blatantly bright as the ASUS, but is easier on the eyes, in my experience. It also means that you will be able to see what you are doing even when sunshine is in the room, something that I consider a downside when using the ASUS.
Here is another image of the Dell, more of a close-up. It’s large, and in charge. I was fortunate to still have room to set my drink.
You can easily see how this monitor is in a different class from the others, in terms of style. The entire frame is modeled with brushed aluminum and looks fantastic. It’s lightly brushed though. You won’t feel like you are cutting yourself when sliding your finger along the surface.
The buttons here include the gateway to all the on-screen options, power off/on and also the input switcher. Depending on what input you are on, a number will be lit up. When hooked up to DVI, #2 will be lit up.
A mirror-like finish runs the entire length of the monitor. It is notorious for showing off thumb prints, so cleaning often will be in your gameplan.
You will not find harsh edges on this monitor. They were certainly going for a smooth look.
Dell touts the backend of the monitor to be one of it’s best features, and I won’t disagree. No longer will people be shouting at you from across the room about your ugly monitor. Three sections here are designed to allow good airflow, while the top has a large Dell logo. You can see also where the inputs are located.
From left to right: DVI, VGA, Component, S-Video, USB-to-PC connector, 2x USB 2.0.
On the opposite end is the port for the power cable and also the port for speaker power. This monitor doesn’t include speakers, but instead they are an add-on for $29.99. From what I hear, that price is well worth it.
Unlike a few other monitors available, the 2707WFP does not allow you to swivel left and right, but rather up and down only. You can of course orientate the monitor to any comfortable position, but will not be able to rotate the screen itself left or right, so this excludes landscape mode.
Towards the bottom is open for cables to run through. The other side of this will be covered so that you will never have to see the cables.
The 2707WFP is an impressive monitor by all standards. Physically, it’s one of the finest I’ve ever laid eyes on. Dell suits this monitors towards those who don’t only want great performance and image quality, but who also want something to add a touch of class to their computer room.
For those more technically savvy with monitors, here are the official specs.
VESA, 720 x 400 (31.5 kHz Horizontal, 70.1 Hz Vertical, 28.3 MHz)
VESA, 640 x 480 (31.5 kHz Horizontal, 59.9 Hz Vertical, 25.2 MHz)
VESA, 640 x 480 (37.5 kHz Horizontal, 75.0 Hz Vertical, 31.5 MHz)
VESA, 800 x 600 (37.9 kHz Horizontal, 60.3 Hz Vertical, 40.0 MHz)
VESA, 800 x 600 (46.9 kHz Horizontal, 75.0 Hz Vertical, 49.5 MHz)
VESA, 1024 x 768 (48.4 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 65.0 MHz)
VESA, 1024 x 768 (60.0 kHz Horizontal, 75.0 Hz Vertical, 78.8 MHz)
VESA, 1152 x 864 (67.5 kHz Horizontal, 75.0 Hz Vertical, 108 MHz)
VESA, 1280 x 1024 (64.0 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 108 MHz)
VESA, 1280 x 1024 (80.0 kHz Horizontal, 75.0 Hz Vertical, 135 MHz)
VESA, 1600 x 1200 (75.0 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 162 MHz)
VESA, 1920 x 1200 (74.0 kHz Horizontal, 60.0 Hz Vertical, 154 MHz)
|Native Resolution||1920×1200 @ 60 Hz|
|Horizontal Scan Freq.||30 kHz – 81 kHz|
|Vertical Scan Freq.||56 Hz – 76Hz|
Exception: 1680×1200/1920×1200 @ 60Hz
|Response Type||6ms Grey-To-Grey|
|Connector||Analog, DVI-D (Digital) with HDCP|
Integrated 9-in-2 Media Reader
USB 2.0 Ports
Kensington Security Port
|Weight||12.51 Kg (27.5lb)|
16.0 Kg (35.28lb) with packaging
As mentioned in the introduction, this is our first monitor review in a while, so we are just getting back into the swing of things. Monitor reviews will become commonplace on our site, but as it stands right now, I don’t have a real basis for comparison except to compare to the previous monitors I have owned.
As far as picture quality goes, I am very pleased. During the past month, I’ve used the monitor full-time on my Windows/gaming machine, and don’t have any complaints. The screen itself is not as bright as my ASUS PW201, but for a monitor that size, it’s likely a good thing. As I mentioned, the screen has a matte like finish, so it’s non-glossy and easy on the eyes, yet provides a comfortably bright image. Fonts are clean and no bleeding of colors was evident.
Gaming on the 2707WFP was an absolute joy. I played a good share of both STALKER and Flatout 2 and both games really showed off the clarity of the monitor. Flatout 2 specifically uses a lot of bright colors and clean graphics, and it looked fantastic.
In future reviews, we will use calibration techniques to deliver actual scores, but at this point in time we don’t have anything like this in our labs.
The OSD on the 2707WFP is easy to look at and even easier to use. You need to push the menu button on the monitor and the – and + buttons to navigate. I will let the photos speak for themselves.
Let’s move onto some more light testing and then our conclusion.
Before I finished testing the monitor, I wanted to experiment with two specific features, Component connections and PIP. To test Component video, I hooked my Playstation 3 up to the monitor to see how the picture quality and color would compare to my LG 26″ LCD TV.
As is the norm, TV’s won’t handle computer video as well as an actual monitor would, and vice versa. In our ASUS PW201 review, I was not impressed with how the Xbox 360 looked. It was grainy and deep down, some of the colors bled. I am happy to report that the 2707WFP performed far better than that.
I played through the Ninja Gaiden Sigma demo, which has amazing graphics and incredible use of color. The color didn’t “pop” out as much as on my TV, but the video overall was quite clear with no sign of artifacts. An HDTV would fit the bill better, but for a two in one solution, this monitor exceeded my expectations.
The PIP was also quite simple to use. To test, I ran the PS3 full screen while my Windows machine ran in the PIP box. Of course, with a Windows screen that small, it’s hard to do much, but swapping the two inputs was a quick process. When I switched Windows to full screen, I was impressed to see that Ninja Gaiden, while in a much smaller screen, was still quite playable, with no lack of image quality due to the dual screen mode.
I am impressed overall with Dell’s 2707WFP and don’t consider there to be that many downsides. The screen is bright, but not overly to the point of it being headache inducing. If you happen to find yourself sitting within a few feet of a monitor of this size, that’s a good thing. Some may prefer bright screens though, and it all depends on your personal tastes. I dislike them for the fact that they add a lot of glare, while this type of monitor had no glare whatsoever.
As for as connections go, this monitor has it all. S-Video, Component, Composite, DVI and VGA. You could hook up your classic consoles to it, or your next-gen consoles. It’s really a multi-purpose product. Although HDTV’s would do a better job at high-definition content through your newer consoles, this monitor impressed me by how well it handled the job.
It’s no surprise that the 2707WFP costs more than the 2407WFP. At $999, it sits at a 70% higher cost than it’s little brother. This, as it turns out, is actually not a bad price. At release, it was $1,399, now it’s $999. The only direct competitor I found was Samsung with their 275T. It lacks a few connections that the Dell monitor has, but the biggest kicker is that theirs costs $1,150 on average. Another selling point of the 2707WFP that might sell you is the 92% color gamut, so it would be great for photographers and the like.
Overall, if you are looking for a large monitor and find the 24″ a wee bit too small for your liking, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the 2707WFP. If I were not in the market for a 30″ monitor (for the sake of the higher resolution), this monitor would be my first choice. It costs less than the competition, offers more and looks better. It’s hard to go wrong. The biggest complaint I have is that the inputs are hard to get at due to the fact that the screen doesn’t swivel all the way up. It’s normally a one-time thing you will have to deal with, so it’s not too much of a problem, but would have been nice to not run into it at all.
As a last note, Dell includes a 3 year warranty with the monitor, which includes advance exchange. This can be kicked up to 5 years for $104.
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