Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:25 am

That extra height is not only nice to have by itself, but anything that runs 1600x1200 will not need to scale on the screen. I suppose it is less important now, as all games are made for the common (including 16:9) monitor resolutions.
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:30 am

It boils down to this: more pixels. As a computer monitor, a lot of times (for me) the vertical pixels are very important. So by going 1920x1200 vs 1920x1080, you get a few more vertical pixels for documents and stuff. As for movie playing? Well, I don't know about you, but the playback controls on media player software can take up those vertical space without blocking the actual screen area. ;)
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:07 pm

Yeah, I don't see a downside to having the extra vertical pixels unless you're one of those people who obsess about "black bars" and get angry that you're not "using all the screen you paid for" when you're playing movies (and just as angry that it looks weird when you tell the system to stretch the picture to fill the screen).

Given that screens are already wider than they are high, adding more vertical pixels has a bigger impact (120 pixels added to a 1920 horizontal pixels would grow it by ~6%, whereas it grows 1080 vertical pixels by 11%, or almost twice as much). Add to that almost all the stuff you read on the screen -- Word docs, web pages, pdfs, code -- is longer than it is wide. Many web pages these days are fixed width, in fact, and while spreading your browser across the screen makes room for lots of tabs, it often makes for wasted space in the pages themselves; whereas more vertical room just means you get more information onto the screen. Of course Windows is getting smarter about enabling you to arrange things side-by-side to make better use of that horizontal space, but the vertical space is always useful.
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:49 pm

Not that I don't like extra horizontal pixels too, as long as they don't come at the expense of vertical ones. On that note, does anyone have any hands-on experience with the Samsung 2343BWX 2048x1152 display? It's 16:9, but the loss of 48 pixels is a lot less of a hardship than 120, and you get 2K horizontally. I assume Dell is using the same panel in their SP2309W, but whereas Dell dressed it up with a webcam, microphone, and USB hub -- and jacked the price to match -- Samsung kept the features minimal and the price reasonable. Fry's has it listed online but when I went into the local store recently they didn't have any on the floor or in stock ("yet" according to the guy).

I'm sure it's a TN panel, but the pixel density and resolution is intriguing (not as good a match for watching movies, however). I was little non-plused when I looked in the "supported resolutions" for the GeForce 6200 in my old XP box -- 2048x1536 is in there, but the 16:9 version is not one it supports. I doubt I'd pair the two (and I doubt I'd get the monitor at any rate -- no displayport for one thing) but clearly that system is due for retirement on a lot of levels. ;)
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:54 pm

I have the Dell 23" 2048x1152. I must admit I really like it. TN I think.
I just put my whole Start menu task bar thingy on the left hand side, and still have room to game with a 1920x1080 window. Really helps for watching video on the secondary monitor.
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:46 pm

I've become an elitist. I picked up a IPS panel by chance years ago (given to me by my dad), and now I just can't accept how TN monitors perform. It bugs me. Most people though are fine with it! :P
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:36 pm

As I've stated before, I own a pair of HP LP2475w monitors and love them dearly. However, I needed another monitor this week and decided to experiment with the new Dell U2410f H-IPS monitor. Got it for $529 + free S&H + tax. $70 off until Nov 12th (USA, don't know about other countries).

I'm glad I did. It's excellent. Some people have noted several problems with the new Dell (uneven color across the panel, a slight pink/red tint on the right side, a mottled appearance using the HDMI input). Mine seems to exhibit none of these problems and, believe me, I examined the monitor closely. After calibration (i1 display 2 & GretagMacbeth software, took three cycles to get it right), it is the most perfectly calibrated monitor I have ever used -- marginally but visibly better than my two HP's. I'm very impressed.
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:39 pm

edh wrote:As I've stated before, I own a pair of HP LP2475w monitors and love them dearly. However, I needed another monitor this week and decided to experiment with the new Dell U2410f H-IPS monitor. I'm glad I did. It's excellent. Some people have noted several problems with the new Dell (uneven color across the panel, a slight pink/red tint on the right side, a mottled appearance using the HDMI input). Mine seems to exhibit none of these problems and, believe me, I examined the monitor closely. After calibration (i1 display 2 & GretagMacbeth software, took three cycles to get it right), it is the most perfectly calibrated monitor I have ever used -- marginally but visibly better than my two HP's. I'm very impressed.


Very, very nice to hear from someone who has used both, professionally even. Can you tell us what differences you notice between the two while gaming, if it's possible?
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:54 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
edh wrote:As I've stated before, I own a pair of HP LP2475w monitors and love them dearly. However, I needed another monitor this week and decided to experiment with the new Dell U2410f H-IPS monitor. I'm glad I did. It's excellent. Some people have noted several problems with the new Dell (uneven color across the panel, a slight pink/red tint on the right side, a mottled appearance using the HDMI input). Mine seems to exhibit none of these problems and, believe me, I examined the monitor closely. After calibration (i1 display 2 & GretagMacbeth software, took three cycles to get it right), it is the most perfectly calibrated monitor I have ever used -- marginally but visibly better than my two HP's. I'm very impressed.


Very, very nice to hear from someone who has used both, professionally even. Can you tell us what differences you notice between the two while gaming, if it's possible?

Thanks edh for the field report! Would you like to put a comment (or 2) about all that wide gamut business? I am not into that stuff and I figure a lot of us can benefit from a quick primer? ;)
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:12 am

@ Airmantharp -- I really can't; I'm not a gamer. Don't even own any at all. However, the Dell has a "pass-thru" gaming mode that is supposed to reduce lag to a single frame. I have no way of testing it. See the LCD thread over on AnandTech for details.

@ Flying Fox -- The wide-gamut mode is extremely useful when doing photo/video editing for "real life" (meaning print or projection) as opposed to publishing on the web where sRGB mode is the standard. I'm usually editing in Bibble, PhotoShop or Nikon's software. Wide gamut is the way to go. If I then want to convert an image for use on the web, I switch to sRGB mode, perform the conversion and tweak if necessary (it usually isn't). Easy enough?
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:26 am

edh wrote:@ Flying Fox -- The wide-gamut mode is extremely useful when doing photo/video editing for "real life" (meaning print or projection) as opposed to publishing on the web where sRGB mode is the standard. I'm usually editing in Bibble, PhotoShop or Nikon's software. Wide gamut is the way to go. If I then want to convert an image for use on the web, I switch to sRGB mode, perform the conversion and tweak if necessary (it usually isn't). Easy enough?

Thanks. So how about loading ICC profiles vs those colour-aware applications like Photoshop and Firefox? I remember reading a review that had a picture of the Windows 7 desktop with the same wallpaper in the new colour aware Paint and they show drastically different colours. So is it that I need to load the ICC in say Photoshop to get the colour correction? I guess I'm a bit lazy at the moment and am looking for something like a 3-step+profit! thing. :P
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:29 am

Thanks for the answer- I've already researched the monitor and am aware of it's capabilities there, I was just looking for a qualified opinion :).
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:49 am

Flying Fox wrote:Thanks. So how about loading ICC profiles vs those colour-aware applications like Photoshop and Firefox? I remember reading a review that had a picture of the Windows 7 desktop with the same wallpaper in the new colour aware Paint and they show drastically different colours. So is it that I need to load the ICC in say Photoshop to get the colour correction? I guess I'm a bit lazy at the moment and am looking for something like a 3-step+profit! thing. :P

I don't notice a problem. By calibrating my monitors (i1 display 2 & GretagMacbeth s/w), a default ICC profile customized for my specific graphics card & monitor is created that operates all the time. It filters all output to the screen except for those applications that bypass o/s screen control. If they are not "profile aware" then color can get a bit bright and skewed. I don't know how the various games work; however, I have no problems with the applications I use. Open Office, Corel's WordPerfect Office, my accounting software, the browsers I use, my photo editing software -- they all seem to handle the wide-gamut transition just fine. If I disable the profile, then some applications (like watching movies using VLC) get a bit "day-glow-ish" for some shades of color -- not really awful, but obviously overly bright and just not quite right.
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:10 am

Let me try to explain what happens in the calibration process . . .

  • First, you set contrast,
  • then you rough in color balance,
  • next, you adjust luminosity, and, finally,
  • the software fine-tunes color balance & brightness.
The first three operations are done on the monitor, itself, making them effective all the time, whether using an ICC profile or not. The calibration software guides you in making these adjustments -- it isn't a naked eye guesstimate thing; it's pretty precise. I don't know all the voodoo involved in color control; I simply know that it appears to work quite well as long as I play by the rules.

I do know this: Dell includes a sheet with the U2410f that supposedly indicates that the monitor is calibrated at the factory. My assumption is that all Dell monitor calibration employees are required to be color blind and that the calibration is done in the middle of the Sahara desert at noon; as mine was about as poorly calibrated as most TN monitors I've seen with brightness set to illuminate a football stadium at midnight. And, based on reports I've read on line, mine was not an exception. Accurate color calibration is a requirement for proper operation. And it's very easy to do -- it just requires that you spend a few more bucks to get the proper sensor & software to get the job done. Unless your applications are mission critical (e.g., images for paying clients), it's a set-it-and-forget-it operation. I re-do calibration quarterly -- covers the burn-in and aging of the back-lighting system. I used to to it monthly on aging CRTs. I haven't had an LCD monitor long enough to determine a need for doing it that often.
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:17 am

edh wrote:I do know this: Dell includes a sheet with the U2410f that supposedly indicates that the monitor is calibrated at the factory. My assumption is that all Dell monitor calibration employees are required to be color blind and that the calibration is done in the middle of the Sahara desert at noon; as mine was about as poorly calibrated as most TN monitors I've seen with brightness set to illuminate a football stadium at midnight. And, based on reports I've read on line, mine was not an exception.
Much better than those overly used car analogies there. :lol: I have read about the factory calibration being useless as well.

edh wrote:Accurate color calibration is a requirement for proper operation. And it's very easy to do -- it just requires that you spend a few more bucks to get the proper sensor & software to get the job done. Unless your applications are mission critical (e.g., images for paying clients), it's a set-it-and-forget-it operation. I re-do calibration quarterly -- covers the burn-in and aging of the back-lighting system. I used to to it monthly on aging CRTs. I haven't had an LCD monitor long enough to determine a need for doing it that often.
A guy at work bought a monitor and he has the calibrator with the ambient sensor thingy which he leaves on all the time so it adjust automagically for him in almost any lighting situation. Cool stuff but I am not sure I am that much into colour to dole out that cash for the gadget.
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:29 am

Flying Fox wrote:A guy at work bought a monitor and he has the calibrator with the ambient sensor thingy which he leaves on all the time so it adjust automagically for him in almost any lighting situation. Cool stuff but I am not sure I am that much into colour to dole out that cash for the gadget.

You don't need it. You should calibrate in the work environment (and typical light level) in which you will be using the monitor; but you should turn the monitor such that no direct light source shines directly on its surface while the calibration is in progress. The i1 display 2 sensor and GretagMacbeth software cost me something less than $200 and has more than paid for itself. The license allows me to use it on all my computers. It isn't a one-on-one deal. So, for a little more than $25 per computer, my color problems are resolved.
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:46 am

My local pro photo supply place has a rental arm that offers things like high-end Nikon scanners and calibration equipment; if you check around, renting one for the weekend can be much cheaper than buying one (unless you expect to be re-calibrating a lot).
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:45 am

The Dell U2410 H-IPS LCD monitor has just been posted at $100 off (20%) making its price just US$499 (+ applicable sales tax for your location). A quick Dell coupons search should net you free shipping. It's a great deal on a great monitor !!!
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:45 pm

edh wrote:The Dell U2410 H-IPS LCD monitor has just been posted at $100 off (20%) making its price just US$499 (+ applicable sales tax for your location). A quick Dell coupons search should net you free shipping. It's a great deal on a great monitor !!!

I really want that monitor. I think it would be a wise investment. I've been tinkering with computers long enough to know that interface components are the longest lasting, best investment you can make in a computer. Keyboards, mice, speakers, monitors, and (sometimes) cases last many builds.

However, I experienced the VETO! power of the wife. Good bye, dreams of a U2401. Perhaps better sense is within the powers that be.
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Re: Dear Dell (a dell monitor thread)

Postposted on Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:45 am

I'm still using three Lian Li cases that I've had since the early-mid '90's (two in my house, one at my sister's). I did buy a new one recently; but only because I wanted to put significantly more stuff in a single case -- more than would fit in any of the three I already had. I could easily have spent less and accomplished the same purpose. The Lian Li's are clearly an esthetic luxury I could have done without.

My MX500 mouse lasted from about two months after its initial release until earlier this year. I don't even know how long that's been. I was devastated when it died that it had been discontinued. I tried a G5 laser mouse & didn't like it. Then I got the MX518. Love it! Hope it lasts equally as long as its predecessor. (I bought an extra one simply because I like it so much, I don't want to be without should Logitech discontinue it.) Considering how much use it gets, having the right mouse is not a luxury -- it's a necessity.

I've got two AT keyboards and a Northgate keyboard (the one with the extra set of function keys). I wouldn't give them up for the world. I recently added a Das professional keyboard. With all the millions of actuations the switches in these things are designed to handle, I doubt they will ever wear out. Money well-spent.

Early on, I went through a number of inexpensive speakers for my computers. Then I fed the output of the first serious sound card I purchased through my home stereo system. I was hooked. Unfortunately, it really isn't convenient to work where the sound system is -- to many distractions. In my quest for the perfect computer speakers, I found the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 model. I have now purchased 4 sets of them -- 2 for computer use and 2 for powered, external speakers for television use. A luxury, yes, but still, money well-spent.

I make a living with my eyes. What I see is important. And it is important that I see accurately. I'm a photographer. My work depends on detail -- not only the detail of what's in the image, but also, the detail of the image, itself. For that, I need accurate tools. That means top-quality glass. I spend major cash to get the best lenses. Among my arsenal of choices are some of the best lenses Zeiss, Schneider, Nikon and Canon have ever made -- none of their consumer "kit" lenses. Lenses last far longer than the SLR bodies to which they attach. I'm still using lenses that I bought thirty years ago. And I'll still be using them thirty years from now (if I'm still alive). True, I also buy new lenses from time to time. I buy the tools that fit my current need: tools that help me capture the image I need -- fisheye, wide-angle, portrait, macro, tilt-shift, telephoto. These lenses are the tools of my trade -- not luxuries.

In these days of the digital darkroom, the monitor is part of the optical equation. If it can't render color and detail accurately across the visible spectrum and with exceptional linearity, it becomes the weakest link. Spending money on a quality monitor is not a luxury; it's a necessity. If the NEC 20WMGX2, the HP LP2475W and the Dell U2410 didn't exist, I would be buying top-of-the-line Eizo and NEC professional graphics monitors at two-to-four times their cost. That these three monitors are as good as they are makes them a necessity -- regardless of their cost. That they cost what they do makes them bargains compared to the alternatives available. And, they will lass far longer than the computers to which they are attached. My eyes and my customers deserve nothing less.
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