TV takes space age stand

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1 April 2005 | 0

Dell’s W1700 17in widescreen flat panel TV monitor is a gorgeous looking piece of kit that will look equally well in your office or as part of your entertainment set-up at home.

The W1700 is no more complicated to set up than a standard PC monitor. The colour-coded easy set up guide had the screen out of the box and up and running in less than ten minutes. The automatic channel identification function will find and save available TV stations for you in no time at all. The screen mounts on a space age-looking stand with tilt, swivel and height adjustments.

The embossed chrome buttons of the control panel at the front of the screen are aesthetically pleasing, but a little difficult to use. They are too small and I found that my finger often slipped off them. Luckily, the remote control can be used to access all of the set’s functions.  

Its 16:9 aspect ratio makes it perfect for watching DVDs through your computer. However, it’s relatively small size means it’s never likely to replace the larger set in your living room. The most natural environment for the W1700 will probably be your desktop. Its stand has a small footprint and its speakers are more than good enough to replace your current PC satellite speakers – eliminating some of that desktop clutter.

It displays crisp sharp images with fantastic colours and excellent contrast. I used the display with my PC and with my PS2 to play games and view movies. I found the picture quality to be consistently excellent whether I was surfing the web, blasting baddies or watching a Hollywood blockbuster!

The stereo speakers provide surprisingly good sound, delivering 5 watts per channel. The audio is slightly lacking in Bass, but overall is quite good, creating a convincing illusion of surround sound at a reasonable volume. There are audio presets for music, theatre and personal settings. I found the sound to be a little bit lacking while listening to music, but found it delivered excellently during movie watching.

This is a great all-round display. Its picture quality cannot be faulted, it looks good and it sounds good. The only problem is the price. Flat panel monitors don’t come cheap and this set is no exception. At EUR767, not everybody is going to rush out to buy one of these. If you are in the market for a new monitor and you aren’t on a tight budget, you certainly couldn’t go far wrong with the Dell W1700.

3/5 stars

Verdict:
A great looking set that delivers the goods all round. Unfortunately, it’s small size isn’t represented by its price.

 

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Spec:
– Dual-function widescreen television and PC monitor with picture-in-picture capabilities.
– Full connectivity including S-Video, High-Definition TV, Component (RCA) and Composite Video inputs.
– Viewing angle of up to 176 degrees for a great view from any position in the room.
– Integrated speakers deliver up to 10 watts (total) output.
– Height-adjustable stand with 45-degree swivel.

08/03/04

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