Dell Crystal - 22 inches (wide screen) review: Dell Crystal - 22 inches (wide screen)

Performance
The Dell Crystal performed very well in CNET Labs DisplayMate-based performance tests. Its composite score of 90 has been matched only by the Dell SP2208WFP and the Dell 2408WFP. In particular, it excelled on all five of our color tests. Most monitors struggle on DisplayMate's color tracking test, which evaluates a display's capability of properly balance the RGB channels' intensities in signal-level changes. In other words, it looks for the appearance of red, green, or blue when looking at the grayscale. Most displays exhibit some color on this test, but the Crystal reproduced the grayscale with absolutely no hint of red, green, or blue.

However, the display did stumble on our screen uniformity test. Using various color screens and looking at them at different brightness levels, we are able to test the backlight's capability to deliver perfectly uniform lighting across the entire screen and also test for reflections inside the panel. A display that struggles here will show dim patches across the screen. At the darker color levels, the Crystal showed some dim areas, which means either its backlight does not achieve uniform lighting or there are irregularities such as reflections inside the panel, or both.

The Dell Crystal also excelled on our contrast ration benchmark, producing dark blacks and bright whites, but it turned in a disappointing result on our brightness test. It wasn't nearly as bright as other 22-inch LCDs we tested recently, which might hurt its appeal for use in a brightly lit conference room or atrium.

Brightness scores (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Dell Crystal
1,006:1 
Dell SP2208WFP
984:1 

DisplayMate test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

DVD playback was clear and colorful. We watched Kill Bill Vol. 1 and were impressed by the display's capability to reproduce vibrant color without oversaturating it. The Bride's yellow jumpsuit, in particular, looked great and popped off the screen. The Blu-ray version of Swordfish also looked great, but honestly, Swordfish looks great on most displays we've tested. The same goes for World of Warcraft. It looked smooth and colorful; however, its smoothness can be attributed to the display's glass screen, which can sometimes smooth out images that would otherwise show edges like polygonal characters. The glass also produced some glare, but no more so than a typical LCD with a glossy screen coating. We had no problems watching light or dark scenes in normal room lighting.

Unless you connect a separate subwoofer, you'll find that the included speakers have trouble reproducing heavy bass without sounding tinny. However, their output is impressively loud. We found them more than suitable for movie watching and casual music listening.

From the left and right sides, the viewing angle is good, with only a small shift in the perceived color. If viewing from above however, text is mostly unreadable past 45 degrees, which isn't a real problem since the screen rotates back 30 degrees.

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
The $1,199 price includes a three-year limited warranty that covers defects in the display and its peripherals. This also includes a 24-7 toll-free phone technical support as well as technical support through live Web chat. To get the speakers to work, you have to install the Webcam software, as the speaker drivers are not on the Information Disc. Also, Dell's site does not contain drivers for the display so make sure you hold on to your discs.

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

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    Where to Buy

    Dell Crystal - 22 inches (wide screen)

    Part Number: KM034 Released: Jan 7, 2008
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Release date Jan 7, 2008
    • Display Type LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
    • Interface DVI
      HDMI
    • Diagonal Size 22 in
    • Pixel Pitch 0.282 mm
    • Image Contrast Ratio 2000:1
    • Image Aspect Ratio 16:10