The Dell UltraSharp 1907FP is a rarity in the low-price LCD monitor category. This 19-inch LCD costs only $369, delivers better-than-average image quality, and offers the design and adjustability options typically found on much more expensive displays, such as the Philips Brilliance 190P6 and the Sony SDM-X95KB. Though these more expensive displays deliver nominally better performance, they lack the panache, the ease of use, and the low price of the Dell UltraSharp 1907FP. We also reviewed the 1907FP's little sister, the Dell UltraSharp 1707FP, which costs only $299 and offers the same versatile adjustments and which performed slightly better all around.
The attractive Dell UltraSharp 1907FP has a slim bezel, a brushed-aluminum neck, and a fairly small Y-shape base that together contribute to its space-age feel. It offers loads of flexibility: you can tilt the panel forward and backward 25 degrees, pivot between portrait and landscape orientations, swivel 45 degrees to the left and the right, and adjust the height an impressive 5 inches. The adjustments are generally smooth and easy to make, and we especially like that the neck slides on a track, rather than incorporating the standard telescoping tube-within-a-tube design as seen on the NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX. The track mechanism is less bulky and allows for smoother movement. The Dell UltraSharp 1907FP's ergonomics are not perfectly realized, however. Making adjustments requires two hands--one to hold the base in place and one to move the panel. And making even slight adjustments causes the top-heavy monitor to wobble.
In back, the Dell UltraSharp 1907FP has DVI-D and analog signal inputs, an audio input, and one upstream and two downstream USB ports; two more downstream USB ports are tucked behind the left bezel. The display comes with both signal cables and a USB cable, though there's no cable for the audio jack; an audio cable is included, however, with the optional 10-watt Dell Sound Bar speakers ($29) that attach to the bottom bezel.
The onscreen menu is fairly easy to navigate via the buttons on the front bezel, though we wish there were a button dedicated to exiting submenus. Also, most LCDs have menu buttons that double as quick-launch brightness and contrast keys; with this display, you must dig through the menu to make these adjustments. Also disappointing is the lack of contrast adjustment when connected via DVI-D. Though it's normal for there to be fewer adjustment options with a DVI-D connection, we were surprised to find that Dell omitted this feature.
We were impressed with the Dell UltraSharp1907FP's performance at its native resolution of 1,280x1,024. On CNET Labs DisplayMate-based tests, text looked noticeably sharp and nicely contrasted, and it was easy to read. At its default settings, the display's grays had a distinctly red tint, so we lowered the red levels slightly in the color temperature settings. Once we'd done this, the grayscale tests showed an even, smooth fade from dark to light, with only moderate changes in intensity and hue between steps. With color tests, we noticed only slight hue shifting in low-intensity colors and some compression in the color scale screens.
This display's relatively fast 8-millisecond pixel-response rate can take partial credit for the smooth movement in DVD playback and games testing. However, we did notice some digital noise in backgrounds and blocks of color in our DVD tests. The display's viewing angle was also not great: there were noticeable shifts in color and intensity, depending on the angle of the panel.
Dell offers a standard three-year warranty on parts, labor, and the backlight for the 1907FP. You can extend this to four or five years for $29 and $49, respectively. Dell's support options include 24/7, toll-free phone support, and Dell's support Web site includes an e-mail support form, FAQs, community forums, a searchable knowledge base, and driver downloads via the company Web site.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)