Best Buy
  • Price: 1089

  • Company: Dell

  • Pros: High resolution. Great colour reproduction. Low price.

  • Cons: Requires recent graphics card.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 9 out of 10 We rate this 9 out of 10

Dell’s upwardly expanding line of LCD displays has been great for designers. Not only have the products been impressive in their own right and lower in price than the competition, the company’s muscle has forced rivals to slash prices to compete.

The company’s first 30-inch model fits this mould too. At £1,249, it’s a lot less expensive than its main rival – Apple’s £1,530 30-inch Cinema Display. However, we expect to see Apple drop its price to a little above Dell’s – which it did for both its 20- and 23-inch models.

Both monitors have a massive native resolution of 2,560-x-1,600, which allows you to see a four-megapixel image at 100 per cent. The extra level of detail in images in Photoshop, spreads in InDesign, or 3D models in Maya is immediately apparent – even when compared to an HD 23- or 24-inch monitor. You could even run After Effects around full-resolution HD if you wished.

However, you’ll need a graphics card capable of dual-link DVI to achieve this resolution, which means a modern card for PC owners and either a GeForce FX 6600 or a Quadro FX 4500 for Mac users.

The 3007WFP appeal isn’t just the price though. Dell’s display is a better monitor than the Cinema Display – offering a better picture quality that complements its higher specs. The 3007WFP has a contrast ratio of 700:1, a brightness of 400cd/m2 and a response rate of 14ms – better than the Cinema Display’s 400:1, 270cd/m2 and 16ms. These results were borne out during profiling and calibration.

Out of the box, the 3007WFP’s picture was overly bright and washed out. After calibration, images had much more depth and subtlety, and video was rich and bright. The overall quality matched Dell or Apple’s 20-inch models, though not in same league as high-end 20-inch models from Eizo or LaCie. There’s no 10-bit gamma correction, for example – but
at the price that’s hardly surprising.

Dell’s design may not be as eyecatching as Apple’s, but the image quality and price will turn heads.