Dell W1900 LCD TV

Dell's LCD TV does what most of Dell's other consumer offerings do -- challenge the existing players on a price front, although as an LCD TV it's not the shiniest and best model we've ever seen.


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Design
Dell's managed to pull off a rare feat with the W1900 LCD TV -- it's a TV that's a perfect design match for its existing range of desktop PCs and notebooks. This is a TV that looks like a Dell -- and we're not just talking about the little Dell logo badge that sits plumb in the bottom middle of the main screen. Dell's pitch for the W1900 is that it's a perfect screen for TV or computer usage, and based on the design, in silver and black, we're inclined to agree with them. Like the rest of Dell's range, it's a design you'll either warm to or loathe, but if you've got existing Dell equipment, perhaps in a home office that you want to give more of an entertainment flair to, the W1900 would be a solid buy.

Out of the box you get the main 19" LCD screen panel, which incoporates all of the unit's electronics and connections, along with a stand that clips simply onto the back of the screen to provide its own stand; it's also conceivable that you could wall-mount the W1900, although given where some of the connectors reside, you'd want to get your cabling right the first time if you went down that road. In a nice touch, the polystyrene packaging also includes a full compliment of cables, so you could easily connect up multiple video sources without needing to hunt around for just the right cable.

Features
The LCD panel on the W1900 features a total resolution of 1280x768 in a 16:9 widescreen configuration, which is fine for both DVD watching and PC output, presuming the video output of your PC is up to it.
Dell claims a contrast ratio of 600:1 and a brightness of 450 nits, which in real terms means that the W1900 displays a pretty clear and bright screen in most lighting conditions.

Where the W1900 really shines is in connectivity; essentially put if you've got a video setup that can't be connected, one way or the other, to the W1900, we'd be very surprised indeed -- it can handle composite, S-Video, component, coaxial, DVI and VGA inputs, and thanks to its picture in picture capabilities, you can display multiple input sources side by side -- although there is a slight catch to that, as we discovered in our testing -- but more on that later.

The W1900's remote continues the unmistakable Dell styling -- it lights up blue when buttons are pressed, and otherwise does everything you'd expect of a conventional TV remote, with particular attention paid to the unit's multiple inputs and picture-in-picture capabilities.

Performance
As a regular 19" TV, the W1900 performs well, and certainly if you were just looking at it as a simple TV for a smaller room in the house it'd be a solid buy. We suspect, however, that a reasonable number of these units will make their way into small home offices and private studies, simply to act as better than normal multimedia monitors, thanks to the picture-in-picture capabilities. It'd certainly make an interesting bedfellow with any Media Center PC.

In our testing we did discover one notable flaw with picture-in-picture, and that's that you're limited in which inputs can go into the secondary picture field. If you're using any of the connectors that run down the left hand side of the screen -- basically the composite and S-video connectors -- then you'll quickly discover that you can't run signals from both at once. You can, if using the other (DVI, VGA and component) have either component or S-Video as the secondary source -- but not both together. Depending on your video setup and needs, that may be a dealbreaker, or it might be a non-issue. Something else that was less of a non-issue cropped up intermittently when we had composite video set as the default -- sometimes when powering on, we'd be met only with a screen of green interference. This was solved by cycling the power, but that's far from ideal.

The speakers that are built into the W1900 deliver a pleasant enough sound, although naturally if you are looking at the W1900 as a primary home entertainment hub we'd suggest sending audio output to a dedicated speaker setup regardless. We did find the W1900's remote to be a touch fiddly -- in some areas, most notably volume, it tended to shoot up and down way too quickly, while in others, especially menu functions, it was notably laggy. In real usage terms very few people constantly hammer at their remotes, but it's still something that irked us.



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DARIO201
8
Rating
 

DARIO201 posted a review   

NOT BAD AT ALL I GUESS I GOT A GOOD ONE. NO PROBLEMS AND IT'S BEEN WORKING FOR 2 YEARS

goonboy2
7
Rating
 

goonboy2 posted a review   

The Good:Beautiful, High connectivity, great computer monitor

The Bad:TV picture quality from analog cable is not great, quirky volume control on remote

I purchased this monitor/TV for use in my home office. Mostly I use the PIP feature for viewing cable TV while working on the computer. This setup works pretty well. However, as mentioned in previous posts the PIP audio activation is particularly cumbersome and quite annoying. Additionally, the audio level control on the remote is extremely touchy making it almost impossible to raise or lower the volume without over-shooting the desired level. Probably the biggest disappointment is with the full screen TV picture utilizing analog cable input. Don't get me wrong, it's not horrid but it is fuzzier than my 21" analog Toshiba TV. On the positive side color and contrast are excellent and TV sound is surprisingly good. In spite of the fact that it is drop dead gorgeous, I am only giving this monitor a "7" because of the disappointing TV quality. Speaking of quality - quality control on this monitor is a little suspect. The menu on my first 1900 locked up (on the TV) making it impossible to change channels. Tech support was unable to help me unlock the control so a replacement monitor was quickly sent. The second unit worked perfectly but, alas, the TV picture quality was not as good as on the first unit. Oh, well.

 

"Not a good choice for working Monitor/TV"

SteveM posted a comment   

I just purchased a Dell W1900 LCD monitor/TV for uses as both a TV and a computer monitor.

There is a major flaw in the way this thing works with Picture/In/Picture mode for watching TV while working on your computer.

Every time you press the PIP button to pop up a TV window, you have to go through about 10 remote button presses to get the audio to work. This monitor does not retain the audio source changes you make.

Another problem is the way the PIP feature works.
It's not an ON/OFF button but rather you:
Press it once; you get a very small window(1/8 window).
Press it again, it gets a little bigger.
Press it again, it gets even bigger (1/4 screen)
Press it again and it shuts off the PIP mode, losing your audio settings.

This is quite annoying, to the point where you just can't use it as a dual-purpose unit.

All of this is very well documented on Dell's website in the forums area.
I only wish I have did my research better before wasting my time on this unit.

Anonymous
1
Rating
 

"Great Value"

Anonymous posted a review   

M8
1
Rating
 

"Good TV....bad remote"

M8 posted a review   

Good picture, great sound from small speakers. Very good connectivity as monitor. Remote is gorgeous but strangely fidgety volume control's and 1 sec channel swap time.

 

"Problem with ABC channel in Australia"

Anonymous posted a comment   

Bought this as a TV/monitor so would expect it to have full TV functionality, it doesn't. There is a problem with the audio on the ABC channel in (some) parts of Australia. The audio drops in and out at about a 2 sec cycle, basically the ABC is not watchable with this TV. It's a pity because the W1900 is a nice unit. I bought it for its versatility and connectivity options. But it doesn't work properly as a TV so I will be returning it. DELL know about this probelm, it has been reported by quite a few users now, seems be a problem only in some parts of Australia.

Also the brightness control does not work. This has been reported by quite a few users too.

Anonymous
1
Rating
 

"price right"

Anonymous posted a review   

 

"im not surprised..."

anon posted a comment   

typical dell again..

 

"DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT"

Anonymous posted a comment   

it's just not a TV. The 16:9 mode displays too wide faces, and the 4:3 too small.
Zap-time is 1+ second, which is way too slow compared to normal TV's.
And the biggest problem is Dell's support: once you get it delivered it cannot be returned!!

Anonymous
1
Rating
 

"Good as monitor, not so good as TV"

Anonymous posted a review   

Bought with discount at AUD1000. Good value 19" widescreen monitor and LCD TV. Although PQ as TV is not as good as it seems. Input from S-video and composite has a strange bright and dim problem when scene change. Recommend playing your DVD and digital TV through PC. Use it as monitor rather than TV and PQ is pretty impressive. Brightness and colour is quite even across screen. Speaker sounds great when sit upclose. Styling is perfect. Viewing angle is not as good as spec though. All that makes it more suitable to use as a monitor (sit upclose with one person in front) rather than a LCD TV.


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User Reviews / Comments  Dell W1900 LCD TV

  • DARIO201

    DARIO201

    Rating8

    "NOT BAD AT ALL I GUESS I GOT A GOOD ONE. NO PROBLEMS AND IT'S BEEN WORKING FOR 2 YEARS "

  • goonboy2

    goonboy2

    Rating7

    "I purchased this monitor/TV for use in my home office. Mostly I use the PIP feature for viewing cable TV while working on the computer. This setup works pretty well. However, as mentioned in previo..."

  • SteveM

    SteveM

    "I just purchased a Dell W1900 LCD monitor/TV for uses as both a TV and a computer monitor.

    There is a major flaw in the way this thing works with Picture/In/Picture mode for watching..."

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