"Terrible image quality..."1.5 starson by dorkus77
Pros: cheap, attractive design, good ergonomics
Cons: sub-standard image quality with DVI, even worse with VGA input
Summary: As the satisfied owner of a Dell 2005FPW, I had high hopes for the 1707FP. Based on the glowing reviews here, I figured it would offer comparable image quality in a smaller package for a lot less money. Based on what Dell sent me though, I have a hard time believing it is the same monitor people here are talking about.
The picture quality is abysmal. It is quite a bit worse than my mid-level 3 year old Samsung VGA-only 17" LCD, or even my nearly 5 year old cheapo KDS 15" LCD. Out of the box, there is a heavy bluish color cast that is difficult to fix with the monitor color controls or with software calibration. Even worse is the dynamic range, contrast and color banding... even with the DVI input, colors look rough and contrast is very uneven from light to dark. On VGA it only gets worse... my PowerBook hooked up via VGA looked fantastic on my 2005FPW, but on the 1707FP it is beyond bad. White-on-black terminal fonts are blotchy, anti-aliased text is jagged and the subtle gradients used throughout Mac OS X are so splotchy, you'd think you were looking at a really bad GIF screenshot.
Finally, the slightest change in viewing angle can bring about very large changes in color fidelity. Looking at the color calibration patterns in Mac OS X monitor calibration, even the slightest tip of the head will change contrast noticably. I do not have this problem with any other LCD I own, including the Dell 2005FPW which is a viewing angle champ.
In short, I really don't know how this monitor is gaining such great reviews. I did not even realize it was only a 6-bit panel until I did a little more research. If you're just looking for a basic DVI-input monitor and don't need good color fidelity, I suppose it's passable. But if you care even the slightest bit about image quality, steer way clear of this one. I'm most definitely returning mine.