Dell’s Crystal LCD monitor revealed

Written by Tim Smalley

January 3, 2008 | 12:00

Tags: #1050 #1680 #colour #contrast #crystal #dynamic #gamut #lcd #monitor #ratio #widescreen

Companies: #dell

Dell has been flaunting a sleek and sexy concept LCD monitor for some time now, but it looks as if CES could be when Dell finally announces that it’s available for the public to buy, as the monitor’s specs have just been leaked.

The Crystal is a 22” widescreen with a 1680x1050 resolution and Dell’s documentation says that it’s “suitable for casual entertainment and general productivity.”

It features Dell’s TrueColor Technology, which includes a claimed typical colour gamut of 98 percent. The response time is set at just 2ms grey-to-grey, which suggests that this panel isn’t going to be anything particularly special, even though Dell says the panel has a high colour gamut.

Equally, we’ve never really been a fan of dynamic contrast ratios, so Dell’s 2000:1 dynamic contrast ratio might sound impressive, but whether it’s any good or not will depend on how well it has been implemented. Based on every other monitor we’ve seen with this technology, we’d suggest leaving it turned off if there is the option to disable it. With it disabled, you’ll likely have a 1000:1 contrast ratio.

Brightness is quoted at 270cd/m², which is also a little disappointing, but given that the monitor appears to be more form over function, it’s the type of monitor that is more of a status symbol than something you’ll see graphic designers rushing out to buy.

This is cemented by the panel’s “premium grade” 4mm ultra-clear tempered glass frame, which includes touch-controlled ‘buttons’, a tiny 2.0 megapixel webcam and four speakers – all with subtly wired circuitry.

The stand is incredibly stylish, but even though there is a 2°-to-15° tilt, there is no height adjustment or swivel. Dell has finished the monitor off rather exquisitely with just a single cable coming out of the back, which features DVI and HDMI with HDCP, a subwoofer out, USB and a power connector.

Interestingly, even though Dell is one of the major supporters of DisplayPort, this device doesn’t use the new display interface, which is somewhat surprising in all honesty.

Overall then, Dell’s new Crystal LCD monitor is without doubt the sexiest monitor we’ve ever seen, but the question is whether it manages to punch above its weight based on what we’ve seen on the spec sheet – we’ll have to wait until we’ve had a closer look at the monitor before we can come to any solid conclusions.

The price, you ask? Well, Gizmodo says that the product will weigh in at an eye-watering US$1,199, which means it’ll probably cost almost £1,000 in the UK once you factor in VAT. I guess that’s the price you have to pay for what will be a limited-edition monitor in Rip-Off-Britain.

For now, you can discuss this interesting take on PC monitor design in the forums.

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