Dell 2405FPW review
Given the fact that this 1,920 x 1,200 24in TFT from Dell is more than £200 cheaper than the Eizo and Sony, we weren’t expecting great things. After all, the 2005FPW had stumbled through our tests with below-average results, and on first sight the 2405FPW looks like a larger version of the same.
Features-wise, this is no bad thing, as there are four USB ports to connect your accessories, even if two are awkwardly placed at the back by the video inputs. The other two are easier to access on the left-hand side of the screen. With them is a USB 2 9-in-4 media card reader, which supports all popular formats with the exception of xD-Picture cards.
The 2405FPW is the only TFT here to offer a media card reader, and the same applies to the PIP (picture-in-picture) function. While a little gimmicky on smaller screens, it becomes a genuinely useful tool on a screen with so much Desktop space. The same can’t be said for the PBP (picture-by-picture) mode, though: two wide-aspect images are laid side-by-side, both ending up too small to be of much use, and it leaves large portions of the screen above and below them unused.
You’ll need to connect two input sources to take advantage of these functions, and there are plenty of options. Underneath, there are the usual DVI-I and VGA connections, but Dell wisely adds component, composite and S-Video interfaces.
Even though there’s no Acer-like scart input, you’ll be able to hook up most of your existing AV equipment, making the Dell a realistic option as a replacement TV in a small living room. (An optional soundbar can be added for £35.) The component sockets are a particularly welcome inclusion, giving you the best possible quality from devices without digital connections.
But in most homes and offices, the 2405FPW will sit on a desktop, and it’s interesting to note the slight differences in specification when compared to its smaller sibling. The contrast ratio of 1,000:1 and brightness level of 500cd/m2 are both higher than the 2005FPW, and also compare well to the Eizo S2410W and Sony SDM-P234.
Setup was simple thanks to the included DVI cable. The DVI interface takes care of the image adjustments automatically, and the sRGB colour setting left us with no desire to make further tweaks. There are plenty of extra adjustments in the OSD, but the majority are disabled over DVI.
Fortunately, our initial worry over quality was unfounded – the picture is superb. The overall saturation is lower than the vivid colours of the Eizo, but this simply meant more realistic reproduction.
This was particularly clear in our movie test, which saw a tremendous level of detail in dark scenes and at no point seemed over-saturated in colourful outdoor scenes. Viewing angles are excellent, easily allowing a group of people to gather around it with no compromise on picture quality.
The lush greens of Far Cry appeared precisely as they should, and the fast motion resulted in only barely noticeable blurring and juddering. It also handled our scrolling game test reasonably well despite a quoted 16ms response time.
When viewing photos, there was enough brightness to see detail in the darkest areas of our test images, although again it was a little pale in parts – this was its weakest real-world performance.
While the 2405FPW is technically brighter than the Eizo (500cd/m2 to the Eizo’s 450), it didn’t appear that way in practice. The Dell dropped marks on white-screen tests, as whites appeared slightly greyish – something several of its smaller competitors also suffered from.