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Setup Functionality

Dell’s monitors have a handy design of the case, but the design of their onscreen menu is just the opposite. The menu offers an abundance of setup options but you have to make a lot of button presses to reach some of them.

There is a horizontal strip showing the main menu sections. One problem is that in order to get back to this strip you have to leave the current menu item, browse to the Back item and select it. That’s most inconvenient in a submenu that may contain a dozen options. It would be simpler if the monitor had a dedicated Back button for that purpose.

The first menu screen offers the traditional Brightness and Contrast settings.

The Input Source menu is unlikely to be used often: it is handier to select the input you need by pressing the appropriate button. By the way, when you press it, the monitor doesn’t switch to the next input immediately. Instead, it shows the name of the input for a couple of seconds so that you could quickly browse through to the desired one. This is far handier than when the inputs are switched immediately as in some other monitors, each transition taking a few seconds during which the monitor does not react to the control buttons.

The Preset Modes screen offers a few preset modes. You can choose from gamma (Desktop, Multimedia, Game), color gamut (sRGB) and color temperature modes. Switching them from within the onscreen menu is not handy. Most other monitors have a quick button for that purpose (Samsung’s MagicBright, ASUS’s Splendid, NEC’s DV Mode, etc). The quality of these modes will be discussed in the Tests section.

The selection of the preset modes changes when you use an analog video input. Hue and Saturation settings are available instead of color temperature modes then.

Most of the Display Settings refer to the position of the picture on the screen at analog connection – you don’t need them if you use DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort. I’d like to note the interpolation setting called Wide Mode: this monitor offers a 1:1 mode which is necessary to display 1080p (1920x1080) video properly, i.e. without geometrical distortions.

Here you can also find the dynamic contrast mode (this mode can only be necessary for watching movies, so it is again inconvenient to look for this option deep in the menu) and the zoom setting. The latter can be helpful when you are watching video in 4:3 format – you can zoom into the picture to get rid of the black bands on the sides of the frame.

Interestingly, the Brightness setting is not blocked in the dynamic contrast mode (when the monitor is automatically adjusting the brightness of its backlight depending on the currently displayed image). But its purpose differs: this setting determines the maximum possible brightness then.

The next menu screen refers to the menu itself: orientation, position on the screen, time to display, transparency. The LCD Conditioning option is interesting here. When you select it, the 2408WFP begins to fill the entire screen with solid colors to get rid of any residual images. Such images are not typical of PVA matrixes, so you will hardly need to run this procedure.

The last menu screen contains the parameters of the Picture-in-Picture mode. You can specify the size and position of the secondary window, choose the video source for it, and set up its brightness and color reproduction regardless of the main window settings. These settings are available only if the Picture-in-Picture mode is enabled.

When in this mode, the monitor can show content from one computer and one analog video input but not from two computer or two analog video inputs. You can display the content from the analog input in full screen and the content from the computer input in the secondary window.

Summing it up, the monitor’s menu is rich in setup opportunities but doesn’t have a friendly interface for accessing them. I felt the lack of a Back button when navigating the menu. Then, some modes (the dynamic contrast mode and the image presets for specific applications) are meant for specific situations, for example games or movies, and must be accessed quickly. It is a trouble to turn them on and off from the depths of the menu.

 
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