There are probably few other names today that are more recognizable than Dell when you're talking about computers. At the corporate website, I counted no less than 85 recent product awards. Michael Dell, born in February 1965, is the chairman of the Board of Directors of Dell, the company he founded in 1984 with $1,000 and an unprecedented idea--to build relationships directly with customers. In 1992, Mr. Dell became the youngest CEO ever to earn a ranking on the Fortune 500. Nineteen other executives grace the corporate pages of Dell.
If you had asked me a few issues ago whether I would review a Dell product, I probably would have said, "No." One thing is for sure, as Marshal Rosenthal mentioned in his recent review of HP products, these computer giants are a force to be reckoned with. One of the latest products to roll out of Dell is the new W2607C, LCD HDTV display. LCDs are nothing new for the Dell people, but moving quickly into the home theater arena is. With sleek, elegant lines and styling, this 26-inch gem must be considered when you are looking for performance, design, and value. When I heard that Dell was interested in HDTV Etc. magazine doing an early test of this display, I volunteered. I haven't been impressed with many of the early LCD displays, and this is the first I have reviewed.
This full-featured display seems to have everything but the kitchen sink, so "unique" might not be the right term. What it does have is a svelte chassis of a mere 8.04-inch depth with the stand and speakers, and just a skinny 4.21-inch without. The native resolution of 1366 x 768 is ideal for both video reproduction and PC application. A contrast ratio of 600:1 and the 16.7 million display colors give the Dell a depth of field and richness new to LCD displays. Viewing angles have been improved to H/V +/- 89 degrees. Integrated speakers (offering SRS and TruSurround XT modes, with 30 watts of power), 1 analog/digital combo tuner, and a multitude of video inputs (2 Composite, 2 S-video, 2 Component, 2 TV in/coax, 1 DVI) are just a few other pluses. The backlit remote makes for easy viewing in the dark.
Installation/Setup/Ease of Use
It was an easy process to substitute this display for one that I was currently using (Sharp Aquos LC-32GD6U LCD HDTV, reviewed in April/May 2005 HDTV Etc., MSRP: $3,999). This Dell is substantially less, but that's because this technology has allowed for price reductions at an expediential rate. The backlit remote makes for easy viewing in the dark and is more than sufficient for this price point--and it allows for easy access to the setup menu, inputs, and all the stand fare. I used Accell cabling and the Denon AVR 2807 receiver with the Denon DVD-1920 (see review in this issue). I used an HD feed from DirecTV and the Tannoy Arena speaker system I reviewed in the June/July 2006 issue. The whole system seemed a good match in both price and performance levels. The unit comes with its own stand (removable, if wall mounting is required) and speakers, as mentioned earlier. I spent a few minutes listening to the included speakers... I guess they would do in a pinch (trying to be nice).