By: Ed Tittel
With 30" monitors still priced at $1,400 and up (in some cases, way up), PC aficionados in need of lots of screen real estate might consider purchasing a couple of quality 24" monitors instead.
With just about every graphics cards able to handle at least a pair of digital display outputs with ease these days, working with two 24" screens is just a matter of hooking them up to your graphics card’s single- or dual-link DVI ports, and then extending the desktop from whichever screen takes the primary position to include the secondary. From there, you’re ready to enjoy more room to work than you'd otherwise get from a pricier 30" model.
And with a list price of $599 (currently on sale for $529) buying a pair of Dell U2410 monitors will set you back at least $100 less than the least-expensive 30" models, $200 less than the UltraSharp 3007WFP, and $500 less than an UltraSharp 3008WFP (though it's hard to deny the sexiness of the 3008WFP, too).
When it comes to speeds and feeds, the U2410 is no slouch, though. In addition to its 1920x1200 resolution, it also offers a 1,000:1 contrast ratio with 400 cd/m2 brightness and a 178° viewing angle (horizontal and vertical).
With 12-bit-per-pixel capability, this monitor supports 1.07 billion colors and 110% of the CIE 1976 color gamut, for vibrant color and saturation (it also delivers 96% of Adobe RGB coverage, and 72% of NTSC with 100% coverage). A 6ms response time (gray to gray) ensures entirely tolerable gaming or fast motion video performance. A broad range of graphics presets (Standard, Multimedia, Game, Warm, Cool, Adobe RGB, and SRGB, plus Custom) and Video presets (Movie, Game, and Nature) make it easy to tweak the color balance for optimal viewing, and controls for hue, sharpness, and color saturation also help to make detailed calibration relatively straightforward.
The unit is fully HD- and Blu-ray-capable, with DVI-D and HDCP, DisplayPort, and HDMI ports at its disposal. In addition, the U2410 also offers a built-in USB 2.0 hub with 4 downstream USB ports, plus a media card reader that handles xD Picture, MMC, SD/SDHC, and Sony Memory Stick memory cards.
The monitor is nicely packaged, with a broad stable base for its height-adjustable pedestal: it also swivels 70° right or left and tilts up to 25° back from the vertical axis. This is a sweet, affordable monitor. One is good, but two would be great for anybody trying to maximize viewable screen area without spending oodles of cash to do so.
Chris' Take: I've been running three of these displays in Eyefinity since ATI launched its Radeon HD 5870 and they're by far the nicest 24" LCDs to come through my lab. If you're looking for a display to give (whether to yourself or someone else) this holiday season, the U2410 gets a thumbs-up.
- LCD Display: Dell U2410 24"
- Battery Backup: PC Power and Cooling Pro-Source 1500
- Netbook: HP Mini 311
- Media Player: Microsoft Zune HD 16GB
- Mouse: Logitech G9x Laser Mouse
- Router: Netgear WNDR3700
- NAS: Thecus N0503 Three-Bay/Five-Bay
- Eyewear: GeForce 3D Vision
- Keyboard: Logitech G19
- Wireless Network Adapter: Netgear WNDA3100v2