Product: Dell SP2008WFP 20" Widescreen LCD Monitor
Manufacturer: Dell
MSRP: $299.00 [BizRate]
Lowest Historical Price: $217 [History]

In the past few years, LCD monitors have become quite affordable for the everyday consumer. You can get a 17" LCD monitor for as low as $100, or a 24" LCD monitor for $300. For those who are looking for something a little smaller, a 20" or 22" usually fits the bill. Let's look at the Dell SP2008WFP Widescreen LCD Monitor.

Screen Size: 20"
Response Time: 2ms
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Resolution: 1680x1050@60Hz (Analog/Digital)
Contrast Ratio: 2000:1 (Dynamic)
Video Signal: Analog RGB, DVI
Viewing Angle (Horizontal/Vertical): 160/160
4 USB Ports
2 MegaPixel Camera

This monitor comes with a monitor stand and a standard set of VGA & DVI cables. It also comes with a built-in 4-port USB hub (which I found very useful). The power supply is neatly integrated with the monitor, so a single cord both powers the unit and connects to the computer. The screen is not height adjustable, but it does allow for some tilt. The drivers were not immediately recognized by Windows XP, so I downloaded the drivers from Dell to ensure I had the latest ones. For those who love to tweak their hardware, there are plenty of settings you can change, such as scaling ratio, color settings, input color format (RGB or YPbPr), dynamic contrast (on/off) and more.
It was quite a noticeable switch from my 24" Samsung to this 20" Dell Monitor (for review purposes of course). The loss in resolution from 1900x1200 to 1680x1050 made my windows feel a lot more cramped, but I got used to it. Out of the box, the monitor settings are acceptable for the everyday user. It wasn't too bright nor too dim, and the colors were accurately represented. Since this monitor has a glossy screen, the color rendition is more vibrant than a matte screen. Some argue that matte screens provide the most accurate color reproduction, but for the everyday user, this usually isn't an issue. The glossy screen results in a slight glare under certain lighting conditions, but you can easily tilt the screen to eliminate the reflections, so it wasn't a major issue. Movies play well on this monitor, with no visible ghosting during fast action scenes (the specs indicate a response time of 2ms, which is very good). Dell has improved on previous designs, adding extra space between the two USB ports on the side so you can fit space hogs, like some USB Flash Drives, along with a second USB peripheral.

The built-in webcam is potentially useful, especially with video chat becoming quite popular these days (a/s/l a thing of the past?). I was surprised at how well it worked and at the quality of the images it produced compared to other webcams. Through the console, you can adjust settings such as brightness, contrast and color, and you can also add effects to "customize" your look (sample in pics below). They also have a face-tracking feature, but all it really does is try to zoom in to where your face is as opposed to actually centering the view on your face. Photos of up to 3200x2400 can be taken (interpolated, it has a 1600x1200 sensor), but the image looks the best when set at 640x480.

Dell is usually pretty good about having their monitors setup to work as expected right out of the box. The Dell SP2008WFP is no different. The screen quality is decent, colors are vibrant, and the glossy screen provides a good viewing experience. However, at a price point of $217, it is a little pricey for just a 20".

Image Gallery

Price History [History]

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