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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2005-10-04 19:09
Subject: I can see clearly now
Security: Public
Following sesquipedality's eBay bid on and subsequent purchase of a Dell 2405FPW TFT monitor, it is time for my confession.

I too looked at the ad. I too drooled, because I've been saying for a couple of years that I wanted a bigger monitor, but that it had to meet certain criteria.

It had it provide a bigger viewable area. It had to provide a better pixel count. I had to be able to get it on a desk pushed back against a wall. It had to be affordable.

Since it would be replacing a 19" CRT running at 1280 x 1024, that probably meant a 1600 x 1200 flatscreen, either LCD or plasma, and at some distant time in the future when the prices had dropped well below the grand mark.

And then this offer turned up. £600. Erk.

Oh, and bofhcam had also raved about the one that he got a few months back.

Almost simultaneously, my half-yearly bonus appeared in my pay packet. Well, what else could I do?

And it truly is gorgeous. I now have something that is as high a resolution as I can sensibly want (about 100 dpi), fills most of my field of view, and eats much less power that the humongous Iiyama CRT did. If I'm looking for any flaw, then the blacks aren't solidly black in the titles to the third Lord of the Rings DVD, but the level of detail is much more than we can see on the TV downstairs. (And I suspect that the problem with the blacks is the digitisation process - I'll try with a Pixar film next.)

As for games - well, World of Warcraft is quite impressive. I'm seeing more detail in the distance, while being able to get more near-range sense of what's going on.

All in all, I'm very happy with it. And I can't see any pixels stuck either on or off, so quality control at the Dell plant is working correctly.

Aha, it looks like they're offering more, another 25 on offer.
Post A Comment | 14 Comments | | Link






User: pir
Date: 2005-10-04 14:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:bastard
We have those at work, two on my desk for my workstation. So nice...
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Bjorn
User: bfrb
Date: 2005-10-04 14:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wonder if they ship to Tes...Iceland.
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Colette
User: bellinghwoman
Date: 2005-10-04 14:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am *soooo* tempted...
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User: furrfu
Date: 2005-10-04 14:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have one of them. From Dell, for £688. Which is an offer they often repeat. It's also available from Overclockers UK (www.overclockers.co.uk) for £670 on special offer at the moment.

And that means you don't have to deal with shady eBay dealers, but get a proper warranty...

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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2005-10-04 16:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What's a proper warranty? Is it better than the 3-year Dell one?
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User: furrfu
Date: 2005-10-04 17:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'd be surprised if Dell honoured that "3 year warranty" for something that "fell off the lorry" in transit, tbh. Given that that seller claims "no VAT" and offers his wares in such odd lots I wouldn't trust it at all.

Maybe I'm paranoid. But usually things that look too good to be true aren't true.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2005-10-04 17:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As far as the box is concerned, the Dell shipping label is very convincing, and is addressed to the premises from where I picked it up.

My impression is that the dealer is buying in bulk, selling on individually. Overheads - a small staff, a small industrial/warehouse unit in a business park in Letchworth, no shop front, pretty cheap web design, selling via eBay, etc. Strategy - buy numbers small enough to be pretty well guaranteed to shift, but just large enough to get the bulk discounts which will drop the per-unit price down to about 60-70% of normal retail. The latest offering apparently being 25 units would seem consistent with that.

And that's the thing. If it is too good to be true, then they've done an extremely good job in pitching it at a credible price.

As a business model, it's a low margin one, but it's far from unknown, and I've dealt with such before. How happy Dell would be with it? Well, presumably as happy as they are at Overclockers presumably doing the same thing. It's just that OC are selling on a premium components for gamer techies basis, and this bunch aren't.
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User: furrfu
Date: 2005-10-05 05:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fair enough. I was more speaking from a personal perspective, and I prefer a dealer that is highly unlikely to vanish overnight. But then again, I've never bought from eBay, and plenty of people have, without problems.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2005-10-05 06:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Your position is not meritless, and I'm notunaware of potential problems in buying in such a way. That's at least part of the reason that I checked to see how long they'd been selling via eBay (4 years), and also researched comparative pricing (80% of Dell's own current offer price).

There are no absolute guarantees, as customers of Tiny (or was it Time) Computers recently found out. And a colleague paid for a settee from Courts shortly before they went bust.

At least in this case, I went from bidding to having it in my hands in 4 working hours. (A 45 minute lunch break was sufficient to pop over and get it.)
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User: furrfu
Date: 2005-10-04 14:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, and btw - flatscreen monitors don't actually use much less power than comparable CRTs. In fact, usually the difference is negligible.

That 24" Dell monitor uses 120W...
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2005-10-04 17:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ah. Dell say 80W Max. Which is appreciably less than the 130W max of the Iiyama it's replacing. Certainly, there's less heat rising off it, and on a watts per square metre (or watts per pixel for that matter) basis, it's a considerable improvement.

Agreed - the power consumption isn't as low as a first generation LCD screen of comparable size would have been, simply because of the power of modern backlighting. And given that you want to produce a certain amount of light, there's a minimum power that is compatible with that. But a cool mode backlight is surely better for that that throwing electrons at near relativistic speeds at my face, intercepting half of them on the way with a metal mesh, and having the remainder plough into phosphors just to make them glow.

(I'm now having an alternate-universe vision of the inventor of the CRT, circa 2005 rather than nearly a century earlier, trying to persuade the Health and Safety Inspectorate that yes, this thing is perfectly safe and that no, the vacuum won't implode, and that no, the X-Rays can't escape and oh, of course the leaded glass that that requires isn't poisonous, and the phosphors really won't rot your bones.)

(And then the H&S guys banning it for being too heavy.)

(Does anyone know how to get LJ to use an English spell checker dictionary. It doesn'tknow the word 'plough'!)
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The Uitlander
User: uitlander
Date: 2005-10-04 15:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hm. For the last 4 weeks I've had a 2005FPW sitting in a cupboard at work waiting for me, as my graphics card doesn't support it. However, now the my favourite employee has departed, I am bagging the PC that came with it, and should have it up and running on my desk tomorrow. Not quite as big, but still...
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Cassandra
User: sesquipedality
Date: 2005-10-04 20:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Glad it worked out for you too. When the power cable arrived on it's own on Saturday I was getting the paniced "if looks too good to be true then it probably is" feeling. Fortunately it turned up Monday and all was well. :)

I cannot recommend this monitor highly enough. I've been watching HDTV TV from the US on it, and it looks just gorgeous.

My one niggle is that it won't do PIP from the analogue input when the digital is displayed and vice versa. Still, I can live with that.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2005-10-05 06:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That was somewhat disconcerting. In my case, it wasn't, because I went to them to pick it up*, and they handed me the box followed by the power cable.

It's mildly amusing that although computer equipment is now manufactured to cope with just about anything from 110V 60Hz to 250V 50Hz on the electrical side, the easiest way to cope with the different mechanical power plugs is to add a cable to the pre-packed unit. And that the pre-packed unit doesn't have any power cable in the box.

*I hate waiting for couriers. On more than one occasion, I've missed one, and ended up going quite a long way to pick stuff up from a courier depot. In this case, the supplier is actually closer than any of the courier depots I know of: a 45 minute round trip, compared to a 75 minute round trip to one Hatfield courier depot.

These days I usually get delivery to work.
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