Out of the box, the W2600 had remarkably accurate color temperature, but its brightness was set so high that even the darkest blacks appeared gray. With the brightness and the contrast set properly, its color temperature turned noticeably green (see the geek box). Edge enhancement could not be completely turned off, but with the sharpness control set to its minimum, the picture turned overly soft. It's best to keep this control a notch or two above its lowest point.
Scene 3, "Awakening," on the Alien--The Director's Cut DVD, revealed the W2600's difficulty displaying real blacks. It was nearly impossible to make out any detail in the crew's bodies as they lay in their hibernation capsules. Even Sony's, which doesn't have the best black level on the market, showed significantly more detail in this scene than did the W2600, and Sharp's 32-inch also produced an appreciably darker black. (The remarkable direct-view Sony sent all these LCDs crying home to their mamas.)
On the plus side, the W2600 showed minimal false contouring and video noise in darker areas. Film-based sources remained smooth, thanks to the built-in 2:3 pull-down detection. The Dell's reds were more realistic than the orangey reds on the 23-inch Sony LCD. Color decoding was mediocre, with a significant amount of red push, so we had to reduce color slightly to get accurate-looking skin tones. As might be expected, HD material looked significantly more detailed than DVD content, especially through the DVI input. The picture appeared extremely sharp, thanks to the high resolution and the relatively small screen size.
Discerning viewers will definitely want to look elsewhere for an LCD TV that can display deeper blacks, but casual watchers will be satisfied, especially if they keep the lights on. The W2600's comprehensive connectivity makes it one of the most versatile displays out there, and its competitive price makes it even more tempting.
|Before color temp (30/80)||6,300/6,375K||Good|
|After color temp (30/80)||6,200/6,400K||Average|
|Before grayscale variation||+/- 142K||Good|
|After grayscale variation||+/- 233K||Average|
|Color decoder error: red||10%||Average|
|Color decoder error: green||0%||Good|
|DC restoration||All patterns visible||Good|
|2:3 pull-down, 24fps||Y||Good|
|Defeatable edge enhancement||N||Poor|
Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.