Dell UltraSharp 3008WFP review

Price when reviewed

This reworking of the much-loved 3007WFP is an absolute triumph of design. Leaving behind the monitor styling of Dell’s smaller TFTs, the 3008WFP instead opts for a brushed-aluminium finish, giving it a far more robust and industrial feel.

Dell UltraSharp 3008WFP review

The stand is a stunning black and chrome concoction: pleasingly thin yet surprisingly sturdy in use. It tilts and swivels on its base, and can be adjusted vertically by 100mm to suit all desk levels – if it could pivot 90 degrees it would be close to perfection.

On the rear you’ll find Dell’s other main improvement: ports, and lots of them. Unlike the barren 3007WFP, this TFT can connect via every imaginable interface – there are two dual-link DVI ports with HDCP, a VGA port for older sources, plus HDMI, component, composite and S-Video.

It’s also the first monitor we’ve seen to include the new DisplayPort interface, although as a fruitless search for current graphics cards with the port proves, it’s there more for the future than the present. On the left side you’ll find a 9-in-2 card reader and two USB ports, and there are a further two on the rear.

As always with Dell’s larger monitors, the OSD is a joy to use. It’s conveniently unobtrusive and eminently legible. We had to switch from the default Desktop colour mode, though, as it gave everything a nasty reddish hue; the sRGB setting was far more to our tastes.

In testing, greyscale ramps were flawless and colours beautifully natural. It has one of the deepest black levels we’ve seen for some time, which compensates for the slightly muted brightness.

But we did have some serious issues. It’s only noticeable on a totally white screen, but the backlight in our sample was uneven, with a particularly dark patch in the top-right corner.

Plus, the whole screen has a slightly grainy appearance, which may annoy if you sit close to the display. And while the 8ms response time suggests good handling of fast motion, we did notice slight blurring as we played Crysis and watched HD video.

The 3008WFP is one of the most comprehensively featured monitors we’ve seen, and the design is a joy to behold. Movie lovers and gamers with fat wallets will love it.

Unfortunately it has issues that will put off its core market of professionals and designers, and for this reason we’re reluctant to wholeheartedly recommend it.

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