Back when I first started this blog I had the theme of “out with the old and in with the new” and it started with the upgrade of my old G5 to a new Intel 8-core PowerMac. In that early post I mentioned the Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP because it has loads of inputsÂ includingÂ the new DisplayPortÂ connector Apple has sort-of recentlyÂ embraced. IÂ believeÂ that the writing is on the wall that DVI will eventually be on the outs and any monitor I invest in these days needs be ‘future proof.’ So during the black days afterÂ ThanksgivingÂ I ordered one and it arrived today!
If you follow the link above you’ll see that the monitor retails at $698, but I used a Black Friday 25% off coupon and paid onlyÂ $556.80 delivered. Â The original estimated ship date was 12/10/08 but the first business day after I ordered it shipped.
Inside the box is the monitor, the stand which isÂ separateÂ piece, manuals, quick start guide, power cable, VGA cable, USB cable, HDMI cable, DVI cable, and an installation CD – which I didn’t use for the mac.
The monitor stand does not arrive attached to the monitor but snaps in very simply. It feels very securely attached even though it can be removed with the press of a button. Gravity holds the monitor in place and prevents it from falling off the stand even if the button is pressed.
What made this monitor so attractive to me was all of the input ports. On the bottom of the back of the monitor is everything you can think of: HDMI, DisplayPort, 2 DVI ports, VGA, Composite, S-Video, and Component Video (both SD and HD compatible), audio in and out, and a USB hub with 2 USB ports on the bottom. Â Click the images to enlarge:
Moving to the left side of the monitor there are 2 more USB ports, a memory stick/SD slot, and a Compact Flash slot:
It only took a moment to snap the monitor together, hook it up to my 8-core and reboot. Â Check out the comparison between my old Apple 23″ HD Cinema Wide Display and my new Dell Ultrasharp 24:
The new Dell feels larger. I’ve always said that an extra inch can mean a lot. It is alsoÂ noticeablyÂ brighter than the older monitor. ItÂ might not be a fair comparison, since apple’s newer monitors are brighter as well. But so far I really like the look of the Dell.Â Don’t get me wrong, the older Cinema Wide is a very good monitor.Â It was the first Apple HD monitor and it still holds up today. But the only problem with it is that only has an ADP port – and no DVI.Â Apple has always made good monitors and for some applications I think it’s best to stay with them. But Apple monitors do not have multiple input options. This time around I didn’t want to get stuck with a monitor that wouldn’t have the built in flexibility to be used for a multitude of applications, including watching TV, Blu-ray movies, and playing Xbox games.
The Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP has that flexibility, it can be attached to more than one computer at a time, and it also the ability to do picture in picture. It has a bright clean and appropriately saturated look. It also has a built in USB hub with plenty of ports. The image to the left is a closeup of the monitor pixels. Of course the camera doesn’t do it justice. The image looks great at my normal viewing distance of about 1 foot. Â (I’m a bit blind.)
While it’s possibly more expensive than some competitive products, it will last me much longer because of that DisplayPort – which most other monitors don’t have yet. Like I said, I call this future-proofing.
And while I’m back on the subject of that DisplayPort, this monitor has the typical version of that connector. Apple, of course, has their own mini-version of it for MacBooks and they recently announced the availability to license their version of the port with no fee. Â This means that other computers and third party monitors could soon start having the mini display port as well. Â OR a mini DisplayPort to regular DisplayPort connector might soon surface. So far Apple is not selling this connector. Â But either way this new monitor connectivity option will be gaining ground and will most likely take over where DVI leaves off.
Final thoughts… Â I’ve only had time to hook up the monitor and check out a few videos on it.Â I plan to attach a Blu-ray player to it via HDMI this weekend and give that a look.Â So far I’m really pleased with it. I like the monitor stand and the range of motion it has. The USB ports are working out well. Â And the most important thing is that the picture looks amazing.
UPDATE 12/7/08 – Hooking the monitor up to a Blu-ray player revealed that it does not come with an HDMI cable. What I assumed was an HDMI cable is really a DisplayPort cable. At first glance they look quite similar. As for the 1080P HD quality – so far it looks good. I’ll have to explore a few titles and update again.