This article was first published on 2007-10-12. Due to the age of this article, it is included here for archive purposes only.
Isn’t Dell supposed to be Apple’s new nemesis? Are we being traitors to Apple’s cause? There’s a dirty little secret out there among Mac owners: We buy Dell monitors.
Who hasn’t walked into an Apple store and proclaimed how they would buy that 30" display if only you could afford it? They are glorious. Look at all that space! But at $1800 plus tax, that adds up to $1940 around here. Not the type of money I walk around with.
And of course the more sensible of us look to the Apple 23" and think that might be a good compromise. But still, it’s $900 plus tax.
This points out the key reason to look to Dell: price. Their 30" goes for $1275 and their 24" goes for $569. And this is without the random Dell discounts that come and go like stray dogs. That’s not to mention the 20" going for less than half the price of a 20" Apple display.
But is that it? Of course the Apple displays are the best, right? So are you paying for an inferior product? Not really. From the CNET review of the 2407WFP:
"Dell’s 24-inch wide-screen LCD delivers excellent image quality and a ton of connectivity options, including video inputs and picture-in-picture settings. Add in a great price, and the Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP is the best value in its class."
Wait, what was that about connectivity options and video input? More from CNET
"Inputs include one upstream and two downstream USB 2.0 ports, DVI-D and VGA (analog) signal inputs, a 12-volt audio jack for connecting an optional Dell Sound Bar speaker, plus composite, component, and S-Video ports for connecting a VCR or DVD player. Along the left side of the monitor are two more USB 2.0 ports, and a 9-in-2 media card reader."
And wait a sec, let’s back up. They have card readers and tv inputs? Plus they can do picture in picture and rotate the display? USB hub too? Lots of features that Apple could do well to emulate.
Well, what about the picture? There’s an interesting sporadic conversation going on over at Macintouch on Dell monitors. Many people report that the screens are bright, some say too bright. But most people when shown a dim display next to a bright one will prefer the brighter one. The colors might not be as true, so if your work depends on super accurate color display, you may want to move along.
So what does this mean? I’m so confused.
I can tell you that I use a 20" Apple and a 24" Dell right next to each other hooked up to the same PowerMac and I prefer the Dell. Plus I am stoked to have a card reader built in for my digital camera.
In the bigger picture, I’m happy to have Mac users buy Dell displays to put market pressure on Apple to lower their prices and improve their products. These displays haven’t been upgraded in too long. And with Apple canceling the FireWire iSight, Mac Pro and Mac Mini users are left without built in video iChats until Apple releases the next displays with (hopefully) built in iSights. Bad for them but good for me because I sold my iSight on eBay for above cost.
So am I a turncoat? Does the idea that you can get a 30" AND a 24" Dell display for the price of Apple’s 30" display get you thinking? Know other products that are good buys from Dell (not PCs, smart aleck). Let us know in the Comments section below.