The 2007WFP is the eagerly anticipated update to Dell’s highly successful 2005FPW. The new model features an updated design in line with the rest of the 7 series range along with some improved specs. The 2007WFP now features a more sleek appearance with a two pronged stand finished in silver as well as a slight silver trim at the top and bottom of the bezel. The buttons are also slightly updated with a black finish and slight concave feel. The silver ‘Dell’ logo and green illuminated numbers display remain unchanged.
Just like the 2005FPW before it, the 2007WFP still features an S-IPS panel from LG.Philips but with updated performance and specs to accompany the new exterior. The LM201W01 panel now features an 800:1 contrast ratio as well as 300 cd/m2 brightness. While LG.Philips now quote the panel with an 8ms G2G (grey to grey) response time, Dell remain modest, using a traditional ISO-standard quote of 16ms. Bringing up the service menu for the screen confirms this particular sample uses the LM201W01 panel as expected. Recently Dell has begun to use S-PVA panels in the 2007WFP and so the Dell panel lottery might be an issue to some potential buyers.
The screen features an array of connections for external inputs including two USB 2.0 connexctors on the bottom and another two on the side, as well as an S-video, Composite, VGA and DVI connection. The screen features a button for easily switching between the 4 video inputs as well as a button to operate Picture In Picture (PiP) and Picture By Picture (PbP).
The materials used are all of decent quality with a matt finish and sturdy feel to them. The height adjustment (7.1 inches max) feature is incredibly easy to use as is the swivel function to rotate the screen to portrait mode. You need to have the screen raised to maximum height in order to afford clearance for rotation, but the mechanism is very smooth and easy to control. The screen can also be pivoted 45 degrees either side.
Colour Quality (updated)
Since most users who would buy a screen would not have access to any hardware calibration tools, I think it is important to consider how the colours on this monitor look out of the box, as well as with some basic manual calibration. After all, the majority of users are more concerned with how they can get the screen looking, rather than how one might calibrate it using tools they don’t have access to.
I hooked up the test screens with both VGA and DVI in clone mode first of all and restored both my graphics card and the display to default colour, brightness and contrast settings.
The screen initially looked a little washed out and there was a yellow / green tinge to the white background of my word documents. I personally like more vivid colours since I am not a professional graphics / Photoshop worker and don’t mind sacrificing accuracy for nice bright colours. The colours produced on default settings were good, but not as bright and vivid as I would like.
This was quite easily cleared up with a little bit of tweaking including turning the default brightness up a little on the monitor (contrast was about right as it was using DVI). Adding a bit of ?digital vibrance’ can help make colours more vivid, but at the cost of accuracy. In normal use I would usually have this feature turned up a little, but for the purpose of this review I will leave this option off. Overall it was easy enough to get the 2007WFP to a comfortable level and colours seemed well produced and even. The screen did seem a little dull and it seems as if this model is of the school of accuracy as opposed to overly vibrant and eye-catching colours which are more aimed at multimedia use rather than providing a good reproduction of accurate shades.
Default colours actually seemed pretty good on the SM205BW out of the box, but as with many models the brightness was excessive. After turning this down a little the screen reached a good point for normal use and I doubt many average users would need to do much more to get the screen appearing as they would like. Colours were not too washed out and black depth was pretty comparable to the 2007WFP, maybe even a little better (see below for more). There was no sign of any dithering or frame rate control (FRC) artefacts or twinkling and there seemed to be a decent range of colour shades and of good accuracy and brightness.
The colour palette sample picture shown features the Gretag Macbeth colour profile board and is a handy example image to observe colour reproduction and vibrancy on a display. The 2007WFP and SM205BW both produced a nice range of colours on this image, with all shades easily distinguishable from one another. Grey shades were separable and overall the image colour levels were quite impressive.
I had chance to test the Samsung SM205BW using the LaCie Blue Eye Pro hardware Colorimeter. This is a professional calibration device built around a product from Gretag Macbeth. It allows you to tests the accuracy of your screen and then, where necessary, calibrate the colours, luminance, gamma and colour temperature accurately for the best results. Rather than go in depth about what this device can do, there is a full review of it available here. I used the device on the SM205BW to determine how accurate the colours really were out of the box, at default settings:
Not actually very impressive in terms of colour accuracy, but then this is a much lower priced model, and uses TN Film panel technology. Accuracy was poor across the range and brightness was too high by default settings. This model comes set at 100% brightness in the OSD, far too much for average and typical use.
Black depth was recorded in the saved PDF results as 0.4 cd/m2 giving a usable contrast ratio of 610:1. In practice the colours felt quite good, and not too saturated with any particular shade. With a bit of tweaking of the brightness, it is certainly easy enough to get the screen looking nice for average use, but accuracy like this will not be suitable for colour critical work.
However, an impressive result after calibration, showing that modern TN Film panels are certainly capable of providing accurate colours with the right settings and configuration. Sadly unless you have a hardware colorimeter such as this device, you are unlikely to see such results and will need to make do with the limited default settings on the most part. Gamma and colour temperature were well matched with their targets, but luminance became a little more varied. However, brightness is reasonably easy to adjust to meet your requirements. Black depth was recorded at an impressive (for TN Film) 0.2 cd/m2 giving a usable contrast ratio of 545:1 in this calibration
Overall there is quite a difference in the price of these two models, with the 2007WFP retailing at about ?375 and the SM205BW at about ?250 (at time of writing). I think it may well be hard to justify the large price difference to most average users if you consider the Dell doesn’t offer a significantly better performance in many areas. The Dell certainly offers a more functional display with a wealth of inputs which could make it a good screen for other uses as well as for a desktop PC display. For normal PC use the lack of rotate and additional inputs isn’t really an issue for the SM205BW, and it did offer some pretty usable preset and OSD selections.
Both screens offered good colour reproduction with the SM205BW leading the way slightly with a better black/grey range and more even panel uniformity. The Dell ?colour banding issue? did not prove a problem in real use, but the slight backlight bleeding and text blur did sadly (text blur now fixed on current A02 revision). Responsiveness was quite comparable in practice and perfectly adequate on both models. PixPerAn Testing showed the Dell to have a faster panel.
Movie playback was average on both models, but with the backlight bleed and limited black depth letting the Dell down somewhat along with its more apparent noise up close. While the Dell might be considered to have a superior panel, to most average users I don’t think it would matter and it may not be worth the extra money. Colour accuracy might be a factor, along with wide viewing angles but it depends on the use. TN Film has its limitations but the SM205BW was certainly well suited for most users I would suggest and it is a decent offering from Samsung at a good price.