Pros: huge screen, very quick response time, beautiful colors, Adjustable height, USB ports
Cons: weird weight distribution
With a new computer system (My Dell OptiPlex GX520 (98548) PC Desktop), a monitor was ordered that would go quite well with it. The one that ended up being ordered was the E196FP, a Dell LCD Monitor that has a 19 inch display. The point of getting a flat-paneled monitor like this, was to increase the level of technology being used at my desk. This particular model was going to take up less space, provide a large viewing screen, and provide quick responses to the frequent multi-tasking I would be doing on the OptiPlex. Right from the start I was very pleased with this model, and it was the perfect purchase for both me as the user, and for the set-up of my desk. At my station here, this had been a long time coming, and I was very grateful to be able to move from the older EO72, to something from the 21st century.
The Look, Feel, and Specifics of the E196FP
* 19 Inch Diagonal
* LCD Screen
* Max Resolution of 1280x1024 Pixels
* Used For PC's
* Image Contrast Ratio of 500:1\
* Dimensions of 16.2" x 5.7" x 15.8"
* Weighs 12.3 Pounds
* 15-pin D-sub (Detachable) Cable
* Response Time is 8ms
* Three Year Warranty
Pulling out the monitor and setting it up for the first time, you realize two things that you won't soon forget. You first notice just how large the 19 inch diagonal screen is, and with the small half-inch black buffers on the side of the monitor, they actually make it seem even larger. The other thing that you notice, is that the weight is not set up well with this model. What I mean by that, is that the screen component is far heavier than the base/stand that keeps it up. It is built so that once you have it set, it won't be moving anywhere, but while setting it up, it is a very awkward piece of computer hardware to deal with. You cannot hold it by the base or it will most likely break-off. So, you are relegated to holding it by the edges of the screen itself. Not something I want to be doing very often with a monitor of this price.
Setting it up isn't all that difficult either, but it does come with a really cool stand that lets you adjust the height of the screen. It slides up and down very easily, but it does not turn from side to side if that is what you are looking for. In order to do that, you have to physically move the base. The viewing angle can be adjusted slightly by tilting the monitor back or forward slightly, and the pamphlet says that it has a 140 degree maximum vertical and horizontal viewing angle. When I set it up for the first time, I was very pleased with the way the TFT active matrix was working for this particular LCD. It improved the picture quality, and provided some very bright imagery to be seen. If it happens to be too bright, there is a main menu button at the bottom right that brings up the Brightness, Positioning, Image Settings, and Color Settings so that you can adjust any of it to your own specifications.
In addition to the Menu button, there is the Digital Input button as well as the plus/minus buttons to move through the controls. Finally you have the power button, which actually gives a cute noise when you turn it off, but have left the power on. On the left side of the monitor, is a neat little aspect of the E196FP, where two USB ports are located. This serves as a great little asset for a monitor that can have extra USB ports and transmit from them back to your hard drive. In my opinion you can never have too many of them, and it becomes one of those "Christmas Morning" bonuses that made me like the monitor even more. Fiddling with the resolution for the screen, I was able to see the many different settings which included the 1024 x 768 (at 75Hz) that I like the best, and the Optimum Setting which is said to be 1280 x 1024 (at 80Hz). It is very easy to play with the resolution controls until you have what you want to work with.
Putting the Dell E196FP to some Real-Time Use
When you have everything set up, the real testing of a product comes into play. What I was able to see from this monitor were all of the main aspects I would look for in an LCD. It provides a crisp and clear picture that blends all of the colors very nicely. When using normal programs like Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word, the text is very easy to make out, and you can tell the subtle differences in many shades of colors. This is a great thing to have, because it adds another element of usability when the screen is so easy on the eyes. The ultimate test for me comes when viewing something like a movie trailer, where I have high expectations on the results. The E196FP produced such an excellent picture quality that I was thinking to myself that it was better than my television at home. It honestly "wowed" me with how beautiful the picture was and how it was able to pick up all of the color hues so easily.
Besides the obvious image concerns of an expensive piece of computer hardware like this, the other important aspect lies in its ability to respond to key strokes and mouse clicks. The advertised rate of speed for this model is 8 ms, but when I am using it, it seems to go even faster than that. It appears almost instant to the naked eye, and with every use I have found that it operates in real time. This includes moving the mouse across the screen, as the monitor picks it up as soon as you put your hand on it. This is nice for someone like myself, who is constantly going between applications. Having a monitor that can easily keep up with everything I ask of it, is even more valuable than I can put it to words. I would recommend this monitor to people who often view movies from home, or for the "gamers" out there, because the response time is so good. I also say this because if you have the monitor a distance from your view, you will still be able to pick out all of the text quite easily. I also feel that the clear and beautiful images that appear are even more impressive if you are back a little ways.
What I Think of the Dell E196FP
Well if you have read the whole review, it is easy to see that I have been very happy with the purchase of this Dell E196EP LCD Monitor. The 19 inch screen is very nice for viewing anything from application files to movies to massive space-hogging games. The color and contrast is so good, that I don't even use it on the optimum setting and I still am quite happy with the results. The adjustable height of the screen, the 2 USB Ports, and the ease with which you can adjust any of the modes just adds to my overall supportive opinion of this model. The E196FP also comes with a three year warranty, so you don't have to worry too much about doing something to it before the next great technology comes around. I also cannot express how happy I am to be working with such a quick response time (the 8ms), with a machine/monitor that responds in real-time rather than thinking about what it wants to do next. There has never been any ghosting while I used it, and even the edges of the pictures are clear. The monitor may seem a little pricey at more than $300.00 after taxes, but I can tell you from personal experience that it is well worth that price, and then some. The only real negatives I can see with this LCD, is that it only works for PC's. But I guess since it is produced by Dell, that this is an accepted conclusion. I do think that Dell has a real winner on their hands with the E196FP though, and I highly recommend it for anyone that is in the market for a great monitor for gaming, watching movies, or just having great resolution for your Internet searches.