5. January 2009

My Dell UltraSharp 2709W (Review / Test)

Image Quality

There is nothing to complain about the image quality of Dell’s 2709W. Compared to my TN-based 226bw, the viewing angles are gorgeous. I can not measure the angles exactly, but unlike with other monitors, I never had to move my head to correct the color impression.

I also do not have the equipment to measure the color quality objectively. Subjectively, the color quality is great. Using color gradient test images, I can discover tiny banding effects, best visible in the red-to-blue gradient– but only upon examining the test image veeeeery closely. I doubt that this effect would be visible in real-world applications, including image processing. I use my 2709W for photo and video editing and never noticed them.

There are also no dead pixels on my specimen, but as you probably already know this could simply be luck and doesn’t necessarily mean that there are not dead pixels on other 2709Ws.

Illumination / Brightness Uniformity

On my specimen, the brightness uniformity is very good. At daylight, there were no differences visible on any part of the screen. As with dead pixels, this might vary on each 2709W, though.

Intense is the general brightness of this monitor. Even in the darkest setting, the UltraSharp 2709W is still damn bright. In the brightest setting, it becomes tiring for the eyes to work on this screen. Unfortunately, it is not possible to lower the brightness to such an extent that it has a pleasant intensity when working in darkened rooms (this is not a problem when watching movies, of course). Samsung’s SyncMaster 226bw, in contrast, can be configured dark enough to work in dark rooms without being blinded after looking for working in dark rooms. You can forget about that with the 2709W. An active UltraSharp 2709W in a dark room is a contradiction in itself, because when the monitor is turned on, the room can’t be dark anymore. You can almost forget about additional ceiling lights. When configured to maximum brightness, the 2709W can light not only your room, but also the adjacent hallway…

This lighting power can be a lot of fun, for example when watching movies. After watching a dark scene for a while, you can really be literally blinded when the scene changes to something brighter (fire, explosions, lamps …). This is most likely not because of the contrast range of the screen, but because of its size. Over the large surface it can emit much more light, so the contrast can be enhanced when not only the brightness of a surface changes, but also its size.

VGA and DVI

Dell’s UltraSharp 2709W is equipped with tons of connectors (DVI, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort, Composite Video, Component Video). I tested it using VGA and DVI connectors (from two different PCs). Both connectors produce excellent quality, even the analogue VGA signal.

As with my 226bw, the VGA connection does introduce a slight noise – although I feel that it is a little less with the 2709W. I also still suspect that my laptop is the source of the noise. Besides that, the VGA quality is great and the sharpness is perfect. DVI delivers the same great quality, but without the noise (tested with another PC though).

There is another problem, for which I think my PC is the source of: In moving pictures (e.g. videos) I can sometimes see some kind of “line distortion” – as if the upper part of the picture would lag slightly behind. I suspect strongly that my graphics card is too slow to deliver the 1920*1200 fast enough and therefore produces these distortions. I strongly doubt that this is the fault of the monitor. See also the paragraph about system requirements below.

Latency

According to the manual, the response time of the Dell UltraSharp 2709W is 6ms. I do not know whether this is correct and if the 2709W is indeed suitable for gaming. I never experienced any problems in games, but since I’m not a hardcore gamer I would not notice a slow monitor anyway.

The Green Frame

Prad.de discovered that the 2709W sometimes emit a green frame. This happens within a small fraction of a second and they discovered it only with the help of a fast photo camera. This means that a human being is unlikely to be able to see it. Why this green frame exists in the first place is quite unclear. It is probably somehow connection to color generation.

The small brother of the 2709W, a 24” screen called 2408WFP, produced this effect more intensely. Some users of the 2408WFP reported to be able to see the green under certain conditions – one of the deciding factors why we didn’t buy one for our project.

I do not know of anyone who has been able to perceive the green frame on a 2709W, though. I was never able to see anything like that myself – and I belong to the group of users who can see the rainbow effect of DLP beamers.

So personally, I think that this strange effect is not possible to see on the 2709W. Should anyone be able to see it or knows someone who did – please leave a comment below.

Next page: Noise

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: computerDelldisplayhardwareLCDmonitorreviewscreentestTFT

6 Comments »

  1. [...] Sander of Germany reviewed the 2709W in January 2009… The Dell UltraSharp 2709W rocks! The monitor looks cool, provides a good [...]

    Pingback by Dell 2709W 27-inch S-PVA LCD monitor for $599 shipped in Canada - Dell Canada Small Business Days of Deals (Day 2) | Robin Majumdar 2.0 — 14. January 2009 @ 1:15

  2. Hi

    I realy liked your review, was wondering if you could give me some advice on this monitor, im looking at either buying the dell 2408 or 2709, the monitors are nearly equaly priced here is australia and a 27 inch sounds really tempting.

    i am concerned about the brightness as you have claimed, i will be using the monitor for everyday use and also CAD use, is there a differnce in the brightness control between the two montiors, i also dont want to be getting a hedache from prolonged use on the 27 inch. is there any qaulity difference in regards to text sharpness on the 2709 compared to the 2408 ?

    Thankyou in advance.

    G

    Comment by Gerrie — 25. March 2009 @ 12:20

  3. Hello Gerrie,

    I’m sorry, but I cannot compare the UltraSharp 2709W with the 2408. I have never seen the latter one in real life. The 24″ Dell that I have used was a different model.

    But I can tell you that I have been using the 2709W for quite some time now and I did not develop a chronic headache or something. :) I always use the screen at its lowest brightness setting, which is a little too bright for darkened rooms, but not headache-bright. During daylight, the screen is dark enough.

    Greetings,
    Florian

    Comment by Flo — 25. March 2009 @ 12:43

  4. Can you really not reduce the brightness of the monitior? that would seem quite a strange thing for the manufacturers to do.

    It puts me off that monitor as I find very bright monitors do make my eyes tired much faster at night.

    Thanks for the heads up I might go for the samsung instead now.

    Comment by Dell Laptop — 19. October 2009 @ 19:09

  5. You can reduce the brightness, just not as much as with for example the Samsung monitor. The Samsung can get pretty dark, while the Dell UltraSharp 2709W just varies between blindingly bright and normal bright. :)

    Comment by Flo — 25. October 2009 @ 11:31

  6. [...] Sander of Germany reviewed the 2709W in January 2009… The Dell UltraSharp 2709W rocks!  The monitor looks cool, provides a good [...]

    Pingback by Dell 2709W 27-inch S-PVA LCD monitor for $599 shipped in Canada – Dell Canada Small Business Days of Deals (Day 2) — 6. August 2012 @ 19:37

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