The Dell UltraSharp 2408WPF packs all of its stellar
performance inside a practical and aesthetically pleasing design while
delivering an embarrassment of connection riches. It also carries
a fair price of around £400; we'd wager any 24-inch display you find for less
will come with trade-offs in terms of features or performance or both.
The Dell 2408WFP shares the same basic design as its predecessor, the UltraSharp 2407WFP. This includes the relatively thin bezel around the edge of the screen with the Dell logo along the bottom.
The onscreen display is easy to navigate and includes the usual options of brightness, contrast, colour and so on. We also liked that the OSD stays on the screen long enough to evaluate any changes you make while calibrating the display. There are also six included preset modes for activities such as playing games, watching movies and graphics work that affect colour temperature, contrast and brightness.
From the back, you're looking at a mostly silver enclosure, which runs along the foot and neck of the stand with a large silver Dell logo at the top. The screen rotates 45 degrees to the left and right and about 30 degrees back. The screen also pivots 90 degrees to the left into portrait mode, but you'll have to rotate the screen back first before you can actually pivot it as the stand is in the way normally. This is a minor gripe, but it's something we hope Dell will consider when it chooses to redesign this chassis.
The foot of the stand is the same Y-shaped design as found on last year's model. The width of the stand is about 497mm at its widest and really helps to make the display feel very sturdy, even when placed on a narrow stand and the screen is raised to the top of its range. This display has many connection options and Dell continues to make it easy to find them all. Each connection has a very clear illustration beneath it that makes it a cinch to find and connect.
The Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP includes an abundance of connection options. For video connections, you'll find a VGA, two DVI, an HDMI, a DisplayPort, component and composite ports. There's also a speaker port, four USB ports (plus one upstream USB port) and a media card reader for Compact Flash and SD formats. That's certainly a long list of connections, but if we're being greedy, we would have liked to have seen an optical audio out connection.
The Dell has a dynamic contrast ratio of 3,000:1. According to Dell, this means that the blacks the display outputs are three times darker than the whites are when viewing dark scenes. To get that kind of contrast ratio, the display powers down its backlight in dark scenes, so that the blacks are very dark. This also means that if the dark scene in question contains areas of bright light, the light may be sacrificed as the backlight does not have the power to represent it accurately.
Basically, dynamic contrast is just a marketing term and for now, there is no independent standard for measuring it, so it should not be considered when making a buying decision. We felt the display was capable of dark blacks, but they could have been darker. The whites were as bright as any we've seen in a recent display.