I’m mostly quite pleased with my Samsung 206BW 20″ LCD monitor. It flickers annoyingly on mid-greys, there’s considerable black-level compression, and the colour shift with vertical viewing angle is pretty bad. But hey, it was cheap, and it’s better than most displays I’ve seen in the price bracket.

At some point soon, however, I’m going to need another monitor, and I’m doing enough colour grading that I want something ‘good’ rather than ‘decent.’ So I’ve been reading up on Dell’s displays, but the latest 2408FPW doesn’t look like it’s what I want. An excellent screen, sure, but I want something with a bit more colour consistency, and that appears to mean S-IPS panels, which this thing isn’t.

Trouble is: how do you know if the display you’re about to buy has the right kind of panel?

There are two approaches. The first is to search at this website, which is terrific. The second approach is to… er… buy Apple’s monitors. In the UK, at least, they’re around the same price as the equivalent-size Dells, once you go above the 20″ models. While I’d love multiple inputs (DVI, VGA, HDMI…), I’ll take a S-IPS panel over the Dell, thanks.

The only thing that’s really galling is the suggestion that roughly the most advanced panel you can currently get is the one in the 24″ iMac. But not, note, in Apple’s 23″ Cinema Display. Darn.

However, the Cinema Displays haven’t been updated in two years. I think they’re now the oldest products in the range, and it seems unlikely they’ll remain as they are for much longer.

I’ll hold out a bit, then…


  1. I just got a 23″ Apple display, and had a Colour Management guy come round to balance it, and I can’t say I’m disappointed.
    Except, it takes loads of plugs at the back of the G5, including the auxiliary monitor socket, leaving only the Apple socket, thus restricting additional, non-Apple monitors, I guess. Plus it has it’s own power and transformer, which I wasn’t thrilled about – already enough of that stuff under the desk.
    Overall no bigger than the old 20″ monitor which is good, and it’s as bright as a very bright thing.

  2. That’s odd. Your G5 has an old-style Apple Display Connector port? I haven’t seen one of those for years, except on my ancient G4. It’s a shame it never really caught on – having power and USB via the same cable made so much more sense than plain DVI, but heigh-ho.
    You can get ADC->DVI, DVI-ADC and DVI-VGA adaptors, so you may be able to diddle things and run dual displays. Which really is the holy grail for video editing.
    Meanwhile, the 23″ Cinema Display is a real gem. It’s even well-priced, when compared against similar panels (rather than inferior TN displays). I’m just holding out in the hope of an LED-lit replacement. Oh, and trying to work out how to fund a Pantone Huey Pro at the same time.

  3. er… well I have my 20″ display plugged into the old port, so I’m really rather well provided for. and Final Cut works a dream across both, heh heh

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