It’s the first time since 1998 that I’ve bought a brand new screen – that time it was my Iiyama which was a whopping 17″ CRT with totally flat screen; If your video card could handle it then it could do 1600 x 1200 @ 85Hz!
They replace my nice-but-huge second hand Sun 21″ flat CRT and a cruddy 19″ Nokia CRT which are taking up too much room so we’ve bought some flat panels to free up the space in order to make my home office into a guest room. My wife is driving this decision but I get the flat panels, so who’s arguing?
So, I’ve bought 2 Dell Ultrasharp 2005FPW 20 widescreen LCD Flat Panel Monitors and so far I’m extremely pleased.
I plugged them both in and rebooted. Windows brought them up at 640×480 (or the widescreen equiv) but I was able to select the native 1680×1050 and that was it, all sorted. The first thing that was obvious is the huge difference between the DVI connected one and the second, which attached to the S-VGA out. It’s not that I have a pants video card either as it’s a Radeon 9800 XT which is only about 6 months old. The DVI one is ultra sharp, almost too sharp to my eyes whilst the S-VGA seems a bit fuzzy, in comparison. I’ve probably got them the wrong way around with my primary monitor being the landscape S-VGA one and the portrait (see below) one being the DVI. I’ll swap them around later.
Very soon after I got them all working I rotated one of the screens 90o and used the ATI software utility to flip the display. If you’ve ever ran two different sized monitors at differring resolutions then you’ll know how inportant it is to get their positions relative to each other picked up by the OS a.s.ap. so you don’t keep knocking the cursor into a ‘wall’ of non-screen on the other. Well with these two, one portrait and one landscape, as soon as I software flipped the display, under Windows screen properties the screens showed up the same way so I was able to drag them to the correct position (e.g. their bases lining up)
The portrait setting is fantastic. Doing a search on Google I no longer need to scroll to read the results. I write code and now there’s so much more on the screen at any given time. A long word document, again so much more on the screen, it’s great and I can’t imagine I’ll be having them both in landscape, ever.
Other good things:
- The monitors support dual input. Apart from the DVI/S-VGA ‘channel’ there is also S-Video and composite video in and with the hardware driven options for two inputs I will be able to: switch between inputs, do 50/50 split screen or, most importantly, picture in picture. Read: I’ll be able to watch the cricket whilst working. When it’s tested I’ll do a mini write-up.
- The stands are excellent quality: surprisingly heavy and with excellent grips on the base. Almost too good as it’s hard to slide them around for the optimal position. They raise up and down and allow for the screen to be rotated. There’s also a handy cable tidy at the back of it.
- Usb hub built in.
Review comparing it with the Apple 20″ widescreen one