Dell Computer Corp.’s 1504FPD monitor was recently taken for a test drive by PC World U.S. They had reviewed a previous model in July 2002.
WHAT’S HOT: Since July 2002, the price of this product has dropped by US$100, making it an attractive bargain. The Dell 1504FPD ranked third highest in overall colour quality this time around, a slight improvement over its finish in our earlier tests. Photos of children sported lively colours and realistic skin tones, for example.
WHAT’S NOT: Our complaints remain unchanged, however. The monitor offers few features aside from its analogue and digital inputs. For instance, the NEC Corp. MultiSync L1560M – which is slightly less expensive than this unit – provides a built-in USB hub and better-than-average speakers. Business that want to spend what this unit costs might consider the Compaq Computer Corp. TFT 1520 instead – it has a height-adjustable panel and delivers comparable image quality.
Viewing angles on our test model weren’t as wide as on others. This means that when the screen image is viewed at an angle, it isn’t quite as sharp as the screen image on competing models.
WHAT ELSE: Though its colour quality impressed us, the unit’s text quality fared less well. Fonts and letters were easily legible on typical business documents and Web pages, but the output wasn’t as crisp as that on the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. SyncMaster 152T. Minor image display problems included a white screen that had noticeably shadowy patches in the upper corners.
The on-screen controls are nicely laid out and easy to navigate through. The slim printed documentation covers basic set-up information. A separate user’s guide resides on the included CD-ROM and online; to access the latter, you must first create an account name and include an e-mail address. Unfortunately, the guide lacks detailed instructions for using the controls found in the OSD.
UPSHOT: Equally sharp text and graphics make this a versatile machine for working with and displaying general business tasks.
Lockey is a freelance reviewer, whose work is often published in PC World.com (U.S.).