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Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW 24-inch LCD Display

Big, wide flat panel offers exquisite output, low price, unique features By Charlie White

Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW LCD display(7/19/05) If youre looking for a big, wide-aspect flat panel display, heres one that will fit the bill without breaking the bank. Dells UltraSharp 2405FPW ($1200) is an LCD monitor that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Its 1920x1200 (WUXGA, 16:10) resolution covers a full 24 inches measured diagonally, and also offers unique features I havent seen in any monitor at any price. As I tested this unit, I kept thinking over and over that you sure get a lot of monitor for $1200.

This Dell UltraSharp display gives you a variety of choices that you might not have with other monitors. First of all, it has an exceptionally thin bezel, which at 7/16 of an inch on the top and sides matches Dells other exquisitely sharp display, its 20-inch monitor that weve reviewed here before. Taking that one step better is the bottom bezel on this 24-inch model thats just 3/4" wide. The result is a screen that is well-suited for use in a dual-monitor setup, where the frame of the monitor is so thin that you can spread a computer desktop across both monitors without too much of a break between them.

The monitor is subtly and handsomely designed, and by way of description, 22 is the operative number: It weighs just over 22 pounds, its 22 inches wide and 22 inches tall. You can effortlessly rotate the monitor from side to side, or tilt its screen forward or backward, and then you can also make it taller, extending it four inches higher. Its also a cinch to detach the panel from its sturdy stand, and attach it to a mounting bracket if that suits your fancy. 

A unique feature on this monitor is its integrated 9-in-1 flash card reader located on the left side of the monitor (see graphic below). Connect this monitor to your computer via the supplied USB cable, and not only will you be able to use the four on-board USB ports, but you can plug a variety of flash memory cards into the conveniently-located slots. Nearly all flash memory formats are supported, including CompactFlash 1 and 2, Microdrive, MS/MSPro/MSPro Duo, SD/mini SD/MMC, and Smart Media. I have one bone to pick with the SmartMedia slot, though. Try as I might, I wasnt able to get a SmartMedia card to fit into the provided slot. All the other slots worked fine, however, and it was a kick to just plug a tiny 1GB SD media card into the side of the monitor and see its folder immediately pop up on the screen. Neat.

Notice the slots for nine different kinds of Flash memory cards on the side of the Dell display.

Like Dells other displays, this monitor is capable of 90 of rotation, resulting in the tallest portrait display Ive seen yet. Hey, thats tall enough to display a legal-pad-shaped document or a really long Web page. You can configure some graphics card software, such as the ATI Fire GL 3100 we used for testing, to switch the orientation of its output when you want to rotate the monitor to a portrait display mode. If you dont want to use a portrait-oriented display, its also a convenience to be able to rotate the screen 90 in order to easily connect various cables into the bottom of the display.

And quite a variety of inputs there are, with accommodations for DVI and VGA connectors, as well as component inputs, S-Video, and even a composite input. What do you do with all of these TV-like inputs such as S-video, component and composite? Well, you can have a picture-in-picture configuration, where conceivably you could be working on your computer which is fed via DVI or VGA, and then watch television at the same time via S-Video, component, or composite. The monitors on-board controls allow you to configure the size and position of the PIP display, and also to designate which input goes into which picture. You can also swap the insert picture with the main picture on your computer screen with a simple touch of a button. And if you want audio, Dells optional ?sound bar (model AS500) is available, small speakers that clip onto the bottom of the monitor and draw power from a DC 12V outlet situated along the bottom of the display next to the other inputs.  

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Related Keywords:flat panel display, Dell UltraSharp 2405 FPW, LCD monitor, bang for your buck, 1920x1200, WUXGA, 16:10, 24 inches, unique features, $1200

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