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Review: Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP Widescreen LCD Display

by Tarinder Sandhu on 1 February 2006, 01:50

Tags: 3007WFP, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL)

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Specifications and general overview

We're stacking up the 3007WFP's spec. against the 2405FPW.

Dell 3007WFP Specification
Monitor Dell 3007WFP Dell 2405FPW
Pixel Array 2560x1600, WQXGA, RGB subpixels 1920x1200, WUXGA, RGB subpixels
Pixels 4,096,000 2,304,000
Display Size 30-inch diagonal 24-inch diagonal
Viewable 29.7-inch 24-inch
Aspect ratio 16:10 16:10
Luminance 400cd/m² typical max (claimed)
0.55cd/m² min
500cd/m² typical max (claimed)
0.55cd/m² min
Contrast 700:1 (claimed) 1000:1 (claimed)
Viewing Angles ±89° horizontal
±89° vertical
±89° horizontal
±89° vertical
Pixel pitch 0.25mm 0.27mm
Display colours 16.7-million (8bpc) 16.7-million
Inputs DVI-D (digital) dual-link required for optimal resolution support. HDCP compliant DVI-D (digital)
DSUB VGA (analogue)
S-Video (analogue>
Composite (analogue)
Component RGB (analogue)
Power Consumption 177W peak 80W peak
Pixel Response 14ms black-to-white
11ms grey-to-grey
12ms black-to-white
16ms grey-to-grey
Dimensions (locked in landscape mode) WxHxD 690x469.7x200mm 559x451x229mm
VESA Mountable Yes (100mm) Yes (100mm)
Weight 11.38kg 9.8kg
I/O USB2.0 (1 upstream, 4 downstream)
9-in-2 media reader
USB2.0 (1 upstream, 4 downstream)
9-in-1 media reader

Our look at the Dell 3007WFP isn't designed as an exhaustive technical analysis of the panel's attributes. Rather, we're taking the view of the consumer who's considering purchasing it on its obvious merits, that is, size and resolution.

The first striking element is the sheer size and resolution of the 3007WFP. At a viewable 29.7 inches, measured diagonally from corner to corner, it has the same viewable screen area as 32-inch CRT televisions. Just think about that for a second or two. It's larger than most people's main TVs!. The question then is, why not simply buy a <£1000 32-inch widescreen LCD TV and use it as a monitor?. You could do, of course, but most LCD TVs tend to have a maximum resolution of 1366x768, whereas the 3007WFP ships with a staggering 2560x1600. That's over 4-million pixels, and it can display four 1280x800 windows concurrently.

The massive resolution requires the use of graphics cards with at least a single dual-link DVI transmitter. Regular DVI's 165MHz bandwidth maxes out at 1920x1200 (with reduced blanking for LCD screens), and the 3007WFP defaults down to 1280x800 when running with cards that don't support dual-link DVI. Note that dual-link DVI is different from dual DVI interfaces, and one cannot combine the output from two single-link sources to run the panel at its native WQXGA resolution.

At the time of writing, ATI's Radeon X1K family and NVIDIA GeForce 7800-series of cards carry at least one dual-link transmitter, as well as a handful of cards from each company's professional range. There may be exceptions for both, and it would be prudent to check with the card manufacturer before purchasing. You wouldn't want to be stuck at 1280x800 on a 30-inch display, would you?

Luminance (brightness) and the contrast ratio both fall short of the figures quoted for the 2405FPW, which is a little surprising given that the 3007WFP is almost a year newer. The actual panel manufacturer appears to be LG with its S-IPS LM300W01 panel, although Dell may switch to Samsung's S-PVA (as used in the '2405) 30-inch panels in the near future. It's interesting to note that whilst the specs. are lower than the 2405, Dell maintains better contrast ratio, brightness and response time than Apple's competing 30-inch display, yet this may be more to do with LG tweaking the same panel housed in Apple CinemaHD displays than with a completely new iteration of screen.

Speaking of response time, Dell quotes an impressive 11ms from grey-to-grey and 14ms from black-to-white. Interestingly, Dell quotes a full 30-inch viewable area whilst Apple reckons its similar panel is 29.7" across (diagonally). A quick measurement indicated that 29.7" is the correct diagonal size. Naughty, naughty, Dell.

So far, so good, then. However, the Dell 3007WFP has a vastly limited number of connectivity options when compared with the '2405. Indeed, only the mandatory DVI-D input is included, which features built-in HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) support. HDCP, developed by Intel, effectively controls digital video/audio content from source to display; a form of digital rights management that encrypts content (to stop copying, presumably) and one that requires an HDCP-compatible display to view them on. It's important because Windows Vista, successor to XP, will support the specification.

All other inputs have been discarded on the Dell 3007WFP, so if you need the extra connectivity options to, say, run your Xbox 360 with, you're out of luck here. Dell also features in its integrated 4-port USB2.0 hub and multiformat media reader that covers most formats. Enough talk, let's head on over to some pictures.