"One Model, Two Displays? The DELL LCD Inconsitency Conspiracy; Is it IPS or PVA?"4.0 starson by soupyhotness
Pros: Great value, lots of features. BRIGHT no matter which one you get.
Cons: 2001-2005 stand was better. Two different types of LCD used, banding issues with older models. Flush panel buttons suck a little.
Summary: Side by side (both cloned in DVI-D) I found two “identical” 2007FP monitors to be very different, and in fairness to the consumer they should not share one model number.
You better watch out, DELL plays a dangerous game with their LCD monitors. Some people go so far as to call it a bait and switch scheme, using expensive high quality LCD panels for the initial product release (and initial reviews), then silently switching to lower quality LCD panels later in production for the bulk of the consumer run. There is no question of *if* they switch the panels, it’s an absolute matter of fact that they do. The question is why do they do this and not inform the consumer? Well guess what, I’m not going to get into that. Nice intro, eh? This review is about two different versions of one monitor.
If you don't know a lot about LCD technology, you will need to at least understand the meaning behind S-IPS and S-PVA to figure out what’s going on (scroll down a bit to ABOUT THE DIFFERENT PANELS). These are two different LCD technologies representing two very different manufacturing techniques--and two very different display styles.
2007FP S-IPS and S-PVA compared:
I am now using the 2007FPb A03 S-IPS version (LG.Philips LM201U05) as of this morning as my primary monitor. It is right on par with the 2001FP (also S-IPS) it shares the desk with. Putting the S-IPS 2007FP in “Mac Mode” gives it a slight edge over the 2001FP. Everything about the image is beautiful. Text is sharper than the 2001FP, which has a thicker kind of “cleartype” look to it but is softer overall. Color is slightly better on the 2001FP, but the viewing angle is much better on the 2007FP S-IPS. This version of the 2007FP is a great monitor.
I just passed off a the 2007FP A03 S-PVA version (Samsung LTM201U1) to a co-worker. I found the S-PVA panel was useless for determining shadows and highlights, and I had to move my head left to right to see the entire range of the screen. It did look more intense dead-on than the S-IPS version (like an X-brite/Truelife display), so my co-worker preferred it for her windowed office. The colors were bold but inaccurate, and subtle shading or gradients were not always visible. This panel also has a more apparent “screen door” effect than the S-IPS panel. 90% of my daily work is in the Adobe CS2 Suite in a light-controlled room (as in I got no window but I make it sound good), so the PVA version wasn’t good for me. Bold and bright it is, soft and beautiful it is not.
Also: 2007WFP/FP users UPGRADE YOUR FIRMWARE or ask DELL for a trade if you have the “banding” issue (A00-A01), it is a problem with a solution.
ABOUT THE DIFFERENT PANELS:
Google a few things: "A Little bit on LCD's", "DELL Censors Panel Lottery Info", “LCD Shootout: Dell versus Apple”, and “Got my replacement 2007s and took lots of pictures”. Also look up “Liquid Crystal Display” in Wikipedia.
Put very simply:
(DELL uses the same LG.Philips S-IPS panels Apple uses in their Cinema displays) have superior true color values, the most consistent image (highest viewing angle), and creamy smooth contrast, and are *the choice* for photo editing and graphics work. S-IPS image quality looks as close to a CRT as an LCD can get. Not the absolute brightest or fastest of the lot, but it’s generally considered the “best.”
“WOW Factor” monitors. Extremely intense, bright displays with high contrast. These have a harsh appearance compared to S-IPS but have the deepest blacks and brightest (glaring?) images of all LCD types, so they are well suited to handle various lighting conditions. A good choice for movie watching, these are the panels typically used in HDTVs as they are cheaper to manufacture and usually blow people away in brightly lit retail showrooms.
DELL frequently assembles same-designation monitors using either panel type (general rule of thumb ASOI seems to be lower quality in Europe, UK and Canada, higher quality in the USA, Asia and Australia). So what should be two separate models are sold as one, sometimes depending where you purchased it, sometimes depending when. The 2007FP & 2007WFP both exist with four revisions to date (A00-A03), and at least five LCD panel possibilities between them. Unfortunately you will probably not know ahead of time which one you purchase.