There's been some online grumbling about the 2707WFP's low resolution (1,920x1,200 pixels) for its size. We have to admit, there's some truth to the resolution issue. The way the numbers work out, the 2707WFP has a resolution density of about 83 pixels per inch (ppi), which is effectively the same as working on a 15-inch monitor at 1,024x768-pixel resolution. Remember those days? At their native resolution, most current LCD monitors operate at a minimum of 96ppi, and laptop displays are even denser. As a result, text and graphics on the 2707WFP look comparatively coarse, and extended viewing may leave you feeling somewhat woozy, as it did us.
Of course, the wooziness factor may also be affected by the amount of heat generated by the display, which radiates both from the back and the front of the screen. We definitely felt the difference over the course of a working day, with the display about 30cm away. Of course the large screen does facilitate sitting further from the screen, which we'd recommend after our testing.
Although the 2707WFP may never be the sharpest knife in the drawer, it's probably the brightest, which goes a long way to compensating for its resolution issues. It boasts an incredibly high contrast ratio of 1,000:1 -- although we measured it closer to 1,200:1 -- and a brightness output of 438cd/m2. To put that in perspective, the larger Apple Cinema Displays have only 700:1 with a 400cd/m2 brightness. Very impressive.
All of these overactive whites and deep blacks serve to make saturated colours in movies, photos and graphics practically leap off the screen. Likewise, extremely light colours remain visible and defined. The 2707WFP has no gamut-mapping problems at these extremes. At various levels of saturation between the two extremes, however -- the middle 55 per cent or so -- there are pockets of colours that the display can't reproduce properly. This display also has poor brightness uniformity: on a black screen, you can clearly see light emanating from three of the four corners. There's also various red and green colour contamination visible in greyscale midtones and lighter blues look positively purple.
All these factors explain some of our observations during testing, including soft, grainy, noisy video on the one hand but sharp, detailed games with highly saturated colours on the other. Note that the noise we observed wasn't something introduced by the 2707WFP -- it's just that the by-product of having such a bright screen is that it exposes all the faults of the source material. The bottom line is that your holiday snapshots will look great, but you don't want to do any colour-critical work on this monster. It's a common fallacy among marketers that 'vivid colours' is synonymous with 'great for digital imaging' and 'accurate colours'. And videos look great at actual resolution but considerably worse when filling the screen TV-style. However, that's only to be expected when watching a DVD from only 30cm away.
The real sticking point on the UltraSharp 2707WFP is the price, especially since it's about twice as expensive as its 24-inch sibling, the UltraSharp 2407WFP. Although the 2407WFP can't match the 2707WFP's pixel response rate or contrast ratio, we think the 27-inch model's performance doesn't justify its price premium; the 2407WFP is better value.
Of course, the 2707WFP's extremely bright and vivid picture looks great for some tasks, and plenty of non-critical viewers will love the picture. In all, despite some faults, the 2707WFP's large size, slick design, extra features and relatively good performance for casual uses add up to an impressive package -- we just think it should cost considerably less.
Edited by Charles McLellan
Additional editing by Nick Hide