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LCD, David vs. Goliath: Iolair vs. Dell
by Vincent Alzieu
Published on April 28, 2008

Dell 2408WFP

The 2408WFP replaces the 2407WFP-HC. It has lost the suffix but not the associated function and itís still a wide gamut. However, this year it has been particularly a problem as neither Samsung, the panel manufacturer, nor Dell, had the characteristic in mind with regard to the screenís color tables. For this reason, tones are over-saturated, almost fluorescent. Manually, we found a correct setting, which was better, but not that great. Without a calibration sensor, finding correct colors on such a screen becomes a real challenge.

The change from the 2407WFP-HC to the 2408WFP was extremely fast, something unusual for Dell. Why? There could be some relation to a certain polemic which (already) surrounded the poor quality of PVA panels. Numerous users reported having found a severe reverse ghosting (black afterglow) on their monitors. During tests we were aware of this and looked for the phenomenon on the test monitor but didnít find anything. Neither did we find it on a 2407WFP-HC which one of our readers brought by to our labs. (He even admitted not seeing this defect although he carefully scrutinized his screen). This doesnít mean that the black ghosting is inexistent as the considerable amount of testimony on the net, our forum and even Dellís website attests. Dell is aware of the situation and confirmed its existence on its forum via one of its technicians. So itís not too surprising that the 2407WFP-HC was quickly replaced even by another screen that according to characteristics appears to be a clone.

However, one detail did actually change; the addition of a new DisplayPort interface. This input is supposed to replace DVI in a few years (the more optimistic say two years). It highly resembles an HDMI including its characteristics that the two may be confused. They both conduct the image and sound which is practical for those that own a monitor with integrated speakers. The advantage of the Display Port, which justifies its adoption, is that itís not limited. HDMI, in the photo on the right, does not go beyond 1920 x 1200 pixels while Display Port climbs into higher resolutions. Whatís the interest on a 24 inch? None and all the more so that the first DisplayPort cards wonít be released before May 2008.

At the current time, we havenít heard anything about the above mentioned defect on the 2408 nor did we detect any such problem in our monitors. On the other hand, if there was some small improvement here, this is accompanied by so much other deterioration in other areas that we have to give this screen a red card. Between its totally unsuited color settings, excessive input lag which is apt to turn away gamers and movie fans and double the average energy use, the 2408WFP leaves us perplexed. How could such a screen have been launched on the market and especially for this price? In the beginning we hoped problems were just related to defects on the first unit we received but the second was identical. In addition, various tests then appeared in the U.S. (itís true, largely inspired from our test procedure) reporting similar results. They also reported significant input lag, color defects, etc.

So werenít these Dell screens verified at the end of the production line? At this price level, itís incomprehensible even if the look and ergonomics are still as exemplary.

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