Dell's E228WFP is the best entry-level LCD

GCN Lab Review | The Dell E228WFP is an entry-level 22-inch LCD that performs nearly as well in many areas as more expensive displays.


Dell E228WFP

GOOD START: Dell's E228WFP is the best entry-level LCD.

Image Quality: B+

Features: B

Value: A

Price: $309

Pros: Great price for a 22-inch monitor, crisp text play.

Cons: Light bleeds in from top and bottom of monitor.

The Dell E228WFP is an entry-level 22-inch LCD that performs nearly as well in many areas as more expensive displays.

Oddly enough, the E228WFP could produce a perfect gray field, which is one of the most difficult things for a monitor to do. The E228WFP did so better than any other LCD in this roundup. It also did extremely well when displaying text, which obviously is important to anyone who works in an office. It was not quite the best at text display, but was easily in the top three, with text that was readable even down to very small point sizes set against various colored backgrounds.

The E228WFP was also extremely good at reproducing fine details, even when other LCDs dropped them or blurred them into the background.

The E228WFP was cruising toward a possible Reviewer's Choice when its train came to a screeching halt at the black-screen test. The screen was a relatively uniform black across the entire field, but it had backlight bleeding in from the top and bottom of the screen. It was only noticeable on a pure black field at first but also showed up later when we were doing our color testing. Red fields that pushed up against the bleeding backlight turned orange, and green ones took on a yellow tint.

This turned out to be a problem for several LCDs in the review, and it's an unfortunate error in design because users can't do anything about it. Thankfully, the light bleed with the E228WFP was pretty minor, but it's still something to note if you are thinking about buying one. Most LCDs featured here had zero light bleed, so it's obviously a problem that companies have learned how to fix. For the Dell, this dropped its Image Quality score from an A- to a B+.

Beyond the light bleed, the screen was pretty uniformly bright, with only an 11 percent difference ' not noticeable to the naked eye ' in brightness levels between the center of the screen and the corners.

The E228WFP is a good LCD that offers great text quality and above-average image reproduction. Of the entry-level LCDs in this review, the E228WFP is the best.

With a $309 price tag for a 22-inch monitor, you will be getting a good deal on the E228WFP. The light bleeding in is a problem, but one that mostly text users probably won't mind because it's pretty minor. It could easily ruin a movie, however, or any application that works best with a black background.

Dell, (800) 999-3355, www.dell.com

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

Reader Comments

Wed, Jan 20, 2010

My monitor goes black after 1 hour. Dell website indicates backlight defect in this monitor. Since I purchased with a computer it only has a 1 year warranty. This started happening 1 year, 1 month.

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