1-23-06I got my new Dell 2405fpw today. The same UPS guy who saw us having sex the other day delivered it and we had an awkward signing ceremony. It's pretty nice, though not without problems. The black level in the background is not perfectly uniform. It does the annoying long auto-adjust like all Dell LCD's (flashing through lots of self-test cycles whenever the resolution changes or you reboot). Worst of all, I can only drive it analog from my laptop, not with the full glory of DVI, so it doesn't have that razor sharpness that it should.
It was a major pain in the ass getting my laptop to drive it right. First of all, stupid Dell failed to put the monitor drivers on the CD, so you have to go find them at Dell tech support and force them to install. Next, the old ATI drivers on my laptop wouldn't drive the monitor over 1600x1200 (it needs 1920x1200), so I had to get the Omega drivers. That worked, fortunately (installing drivers on laptops is a crapshoot). I still couldn't get the right modes to register, so I had to use PowerStrip and force their standard Analog LCD 1920x1200 mode. That's all done and it seems to be coolness. Since the display settings were set up manually by powerstrip I have no idea if they're actually optimal for the 2405. It's hella hard to find decent info about anything on computers, my god. The best I could find was some Linux "modelines" which are a bunch of numbers that mean god knows what.
I think you can tell what you're excited about on your computer by what you try out on your hot new monitor. What did I try? Looked at some of my digital camera photos, read email & a web forum, and opened up Party Poker, of course baby! This thing shows 4 tables comfortably, and 6 with a bit of a squeeze.
There's another really annoying thing about the widescreen. When you maximize windows it fills this whole beast, and no window actually has that much in it, so all the goods go way off to the left, like five feet to the left. I think "maximize" on this beast should make the window 1600x1200 and centered, or something. Maybe I'll write an app to do this. ctrl-shift-1 : 1600x1200 center, ctrl-shift-2 = 960x1200 left, ctrl-shift-3 = 960x1200 right.
I'm kind of jealous of Danielle's setup now. I gave her my Planar PX191M, which is still one of the best LCD's I've ever seen; the contrast and sharpness of text is awesome. Plus it's on my desktop so she gets to run it with DVI which is the money.