Getting a Dell 1707FP to look good 

About a month ago, Dell put the display I was looking at on sale. The 1707FP was all-digital, and I have a 1702FP and 1704FPV at work, both of which I like.

Unbeknownst to me (since their web site didn’t mention it), the 1707FP pivots! My MacBook Pro supports this, so I've got a portrait display again!

People had said that the display was bright, but what they didn’t say was that it just didn’t have much contrast. I use the grey lines of iTunes as my standard, and they were real hard to see, even with the brightness turned all the way down, and the monitor calibrated. Worse, it was uneven -- one side was more washed out than the other. And entirely unexpected, based on the other two 17 inch LCDs from Dell.

I was all ready to return the display when I finally decided to look for other settings before going through the hassle of contacting Dell. (I predicted a huge pain, since it was impossible to find a way via their web site to support a peripheral, rather than a computer.) This time I tried using the on-screen menu to adjust Color Settings, and made a User Preset consisting of red, green, and blue turned down to 87%. This actually gave me good results! And I was able to turn the brightness back up from 7% to 87% as well.

It’s not a perfect match for the MacBook’s LCD, but I recalibrated, and it’s a LOT better than the factory settings. I’m now happy keeping the unit. 

Posted: Mon - May 1, 2006 at 09:23 PM