Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC

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Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC

Pros

  • Large display, Sharp edges

Cons

  • Some contrast and colour issues, Connectivity lacking, No calibration options

Bottom Line

Dell's UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC is a goliath of a monitor. With 30in of display space, it is large enough for any computer user's needs. Unfortunately, the lack of connectivity and calibration options and a few image quality issues mean it is more suited to those who want the biggest panel they can find, rather than image quality purists.

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As far as monitors go, in many people's minds bigger is better. And taking that into consideration, Dell's UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC must be the best monitor around. One of only a handful of 30in displays on the market at the moment, the 3007WFP-HC is a monster of a monitor. It doesn't offer the best image quality we've seen, with a few contrast and colour issues, but for those after a gigantic addition to their PC setup at a (relatively) affordable price, this is a great option.

This unit has a brightness rating of 300 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 1000:1, which is about in line with competing models. However during our first test which was the rather demanding and graphically intensive game F.E.A.R, there were some very obvious contrast issues. The game is a horror themed first person shooter title, and as such it has a lot of dim and poorly lit areas. We use this test on the majority of our monitors and it is generally rendered well, however on the 3007WFP-HC, all definition was lost in dark rooms. It was very hard to navigate these areas without turning on the in-game flashlight. A little tweaking of some of our windows settings helped remedy the problem, but that shouldn't be necessary.

Aside from that issue the display performed as expected. It has a black to white response time of 11ms, which is a little high in the current climate of 2ms and 4ms monitors, but perfectly acceptable for a unit of this size. There was some minor ghosting during game play, but it wasn't distracting and shouldn't be an issue for most people.

The PC desktop was generally smooth and icons and text looked sharp right down to the tiniest fonts. This is particularly noteworthy on this unit; 30in displays are great for programmers who have many windows of code open at once, or writers who need large chunks of text viewable all at once.

Our next test was running The Matrix DVD using Windows Media Player. Here, the contrast issues seen before weren't as prominent, even in dark scenes, but colours were a little off. There was a slight over-saturation of yellow which was most notable in skin tones but extended across the whole image. A small amount of ghosting was also evident and this lead to a lack of clarity in some fast paced action scenes. There was also more image noise than normal in detailed areas. That said, watching a movie via your PC on a giant screen like this is certainly a change, and the size alone made it an enjoyable experience. If you sit a little further away, these problems won't be such an issue.

We also ran DisplayMate Video Edition, which is a piece of software designed to expose any flaws in the panel at a fundamental level. In general we were satisfied with the 3007WFP-HC's results. The colour problems seen before were noticeable here, but not as strongly and despite the contrast issues seen in our gaming tests, the contrast intensity ramps were well rendered, with good definition between each section. It was only in the colour intensity ramps where contrast became an issue, with the last three or four blocks on the darker side blending into one another.

Viewing angles tended to be good with only minor colour shift occurring from extreme perspectives. The monitor is rated at 178 degrees and will be suitable for several people to watch at once from different positions.

Considering the size of the unit, we were impressed by the stand and monitor mount. They allow the 3007FWP-HC to be shifted side to side and upwards or downwards - although it can't be rotated to a portrait view like some smaller units. It has the same black bezel with silver edging as the smaller models in Dell's range and this looks quite smooth and simple.

Bizarrely, Dell has chosen to omit calibration options on the 3007WFP-HC almost altogether. There are just two brightness controls next to the power button, and that's it. While this isn't all that surprising considering other companies with 30in units have done similar (claiming any tweaks that are necessary can be made on the computer), this isn't really the case. When companies like NEC are coming to market with big screen units rife with options, it's a little disappointing to find them omitted here.

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