Dell packs a lot into the highly adjustable, 17-inch 1703FP and decorates it with a reasonable $500 price tag (it's also included with Dell's OptiPlex SX270 desktop system). Displaying at 1,280x1,024 resolution, the screen gives you a full view of text documents and does justice to color graphics. Except for a few minor missteps, this is one of the better pivot displays we have come across--a solid choice for home and office users alike.
The 1703FP's design is both discreetly stylish and convenient. Its black, cylindrical neck rests securely on an 11-inch-wide, silver semicircle, and it telescopes to give the display an additional 4 inches of height. The panel tilts forward and backward, swivels about 90 degrees left to right, and pivots between Landscape and Portrait modes. The 1703FP accepts analog and DVI signals (both cables are included) and has four USB ports on the panel, two on its left side and two in back. For an additional $39, you can help get the party started with Dell's Sound Bar--stereo speakers that snap onto the bottom edge of the bezel (in Landscape mode). Three small, silver buttons control the 1703FP's onscreen menus. When connected to two PCs, one of the buttons toggles between them.
We used the DVI signal to test the 1703FP and found that colors skewed very slightly from their proper hues at high brightness and saturation levels, a problem that shouldn't bother anyone except picky graphic artists. The panel accurately differentiates between close shades at the light and dark ends of the grayscale, and it draws crisp, sharp text. Connecting via the analog cable did not degrade image quality significantly.
Our beefs with the 1703FP are minor. The edge with two USB ports becomes the top in Portrait mode, so cords may dangle from on high (a plastic ring on the back of the neck helps corral cables). Also, if you attach the Sound Bar, the stereo speakers end up on one side in Portrait mode. Dell failed to include pivot software; you have to go into Windows' Display Control Panel to change modes. Philips's 170W4P, on the other hand, includes Portrait Displays' handy PivotPro.
Dell covers the 1703FP with a three-year warranty; the company sends out a temporary replacement when you call in a repair order, but you'll have to pay to ship your unit to Dell. The company does not have an explicit dead-pixel policy--issues are handled on a case-by-case basis. Lifetime tech support is available 24/7 on a toll-free line.