The stand is a stunning black and chrome concoction: pleasingly thin yet surprisingly sturdy. It tilts and swivels on its base, and can be adjusted vertically by 100mm to suit all desk levels – if it could pivot 90 degrees it would be close to perfection.
On the rear, you’ll find Dell’s other main improvement: ports, and lots of them. This LCD can connect via every imaginable interface: there are two dual-link DVI ports with HDCP, a VGA port for older sources, plus HDMI, component, composite and S-Video.
It’s also the first monitor we’ve seen to include the new DisplayPort interface, although as you’ll see from the lack of matching ports in most of today’s graphics cards it’s there more for the future than the present. On the left side, you’ll find a 9-in-2 card reader and two USB ports, with two more on the rear.
The unobtrusive OSD is a joy to use. We had to switch from the default Desktop colour mode as it gave everything a nasty reddish hue, but the menus made this very straightforward. In testing, greyscale ramps were flawless and colours natural. It also has one of the deepest black levels we’ve seen. We did have some issues, however. The whole screen has a slightly grainy appearance which may be off-putting. Plus, while it was only noticeable on a totally white screen, the backlight in our test sample was uneven, with a particularly dark patch in the top-right corner. But this is hopefully limited to one unit: a second test unit had no such problem. Also, while the 8ms response time suggests good motion-handling, we did notice slight blurring as we played Crysis and watched HD video.
The 3008WFP is one of the most comprehensively featured monitors we’ve seen, and the design is a joy to behold. Movie lovers and gamers with fat wallets will love its sheer size. Some issues may put off some imaging professionals and designers, but most people will love it.
A stunning and feature-rich LCD, but there are a few issues with the panel itself
• Dell: www.dell.com.au
• Price: $2299 • Viewable screen size: 30in • Native resolution: 2560 x 1600 • Refresh Rate/Response Time: 8ms • DVI: 2 DVI-D • VGA: 1 • HDMI: 1 • Other connection type: S-Video, DisplayPort, component, composite, S-Video, • USB: 4 • Contrast ratio: 3000:1 • Warranty: 3yr NBD