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The 3007WFP's backlight uniformity was as bad as in this picture
Backlighting issues plagued the initial shipments of 3007WFPs, but not anymore

Dell, being the number one shipper of LCD panels in 2005 worldwide, was not about to be outdone by Apple. Over a year ago, Apple unleashed its flagship 30-inch Cinema Display, the largest LCD panel it had ever launched. Previously standing at 23-inches, the Apple Cinema displays gained exceptional praise from both the press and users alike. The new 30-inch from Apple only increased the excitement over Apple products and the company did not disappoint.

A year later, Dell launched its own 30-inch display, the 3007WFP. With its new display, Dell also introduced a much sleeker and more refined form for its LCD display. While it's debatable and up to the taste of the user about which display looks better, there's no doubt that Dell's 3007WFP is one of its best looking displays. Unfortunately, upon review and inspection, all was not well with the 3007WFP.

Arguably, it's advisable to stay away from first generation hardware as they often come with bugs that need to be worked out, but Dell's 3007WFP priced at $400 cheaper than Apple's display was too hot to pass for many. Besides the pricing advantage, Dell's 3007WFP was technically superior to Apple's 30-inch Cinema Display. Apple has since updated its 30-inch flagship to match Dell's specifications -- presumably using the same panel -- but still falls slightly short in features. Dell's 3007WFP however, was noted to suffer from a bad case of backlight uniformity. Because LCD panels are powered by fluorescent tubes behind the color panel, a diffuser is used to create a unified lighting area so that color and brightness is consistent across the screen. Interestingly, many 3007WFP reviews, indicated that there were severe hot-spots and brightness problems with the 3007WFP.

I purchased Dell's 3007WFP back in February, when Dell launched a 1-day special for Canadians, selling the unit at roughly $1400 USD. When I received the display and put it through some tests, I confirmed that the 3007WFP did indeed have a backlight uniformity problem -- a serious one. It was so serious in fact, that 40% of the right side of the display was significantly brighter than the left side of the screen. The problem actually becomes more noticeable as I turned down the brightness on the display.

I contacted Dell and explained to them the situation and they immediately shipped me a replacement display. I later found out that the new display I received was manufactured a month earlier than the one I currently had. While the Dell technician I spoke to informed me of my replacement's manufactured date, he was unable to tell me exactly how to tell so by serial number even though the revision number of the one I purchased was the same as the replacement Dell sent: A00. Of course, the replacement had the same issues as the one I purchased. Even worst, the controls at the front of the display (brightness up/down, power) were faulty and only worked 65% of the time when pressed.

Two weeks ago, Dell contacted me again -- which actually surprised me since I thought that all hope was lost -- and told me that they would able to ship me a brand new unit that they would confirm to be from an entirely new batch of panels. I was surprised because Dell CustomerCare had informed me that they were instructed to not ship out brand new units of the 3007WFP, and instead ship out refurbished units because "it would frustrate the customer." I instructed to check the panel prior to shipping it out to me because honestly, it's costly to ship these mammoth displays and I didn't want to waste time on another unit that didn't solve the problem. The reason was that replacement units did not fix the backlight problem -- until now.

Dell has a new revision of its 3007WFP, called A01. I now have both a A00 and A01 unit and can confirm that the new A01 unit significantly improves backlight uniformity. The severe hotspots that were noticeable on A00 units are now gone with the A01 unit. Customers who purchased Dell's 3007WFP when it was first introduced at the beginner of this year are slightly out of luck, as Dell will not be able to ship brand new units.
  • 3007WFP A00 - Backlight uniformity problem
  • 3007WFP A01 - Backlight uniformity excellent
Despite all the troubles however, I'm pleased to say that Dell has updated its display and the severe problem that existed before is now gone.

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LCD shipper?
By keunee on 5/8/2006 12:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
"Dell, being the number one shipper of LCD panels in 2005 worldwide.." To be technically correct, Dell is not a shipper of LCD panels. LCD panel shipments are usually done by LCD manufacturers. The #1 LCD manufacturer in 2005 would be either Samsung or LG.Philips LCD. Just in case somebody was wondering if Dell got into the business of making LCDs, they didn't.

RE: LCD shipper?
By AzureKevin on 5/8/06, Rating: 0
RE: LCD shipper?
By lethalchronic on 5/8/2006 2:17:21 PM , Rating: 2
the new xps inspiron is pretty sweet though, but i agree with you on desktops, and no amd, the bas.tards. you wonder why amd
can't get the mainstream marketshare, because of bitchz like dell.

RE: LCD shipper?
By brownba on 5/8/2006 2:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
this is a bit off-topic,
but I disagree with your comment about n00bs buying pre-made dell computers.

the days when it was substantially cheaper to build your own computer are over.
it's very hard to match the prices dell gives,
especially when they throw in free 19" or 20" lcd's,
free shipping, and offer decent warranties.
I've built a few computers, but when I replace my current computer, I'm going to seriously consider a dell.

RE: LCD shipper?
By electriple9 on 5/8/2006 3:58:44 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with you. I used to build my systems. But if I really need a budget system, or something that works right out of the box, I will consider a Dell, Hp or any other brandname systems.

RE: LCD shipper?
By xdrol on 5/8/2006 5:07:31 PM , Rating: 2
Budget Dell system. Huhh? Can't fit :) I can build a computer out of part half the price Dell gives them away.. Well, could be that I am living in middle of Europe..

RE: LCD shipper?
By meson2000 on 5/8/2006 4:51:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but I can't agree with you. It isn't just about trying to save $$$. The $$$ issue actually takes a back see to customizability that building your own rig allows. By buying a computer from HP or Dell, you are getting a crippled BIOS with very little tweaking options. You are getting stuck with components from manufacturers that might not be ideal from a overclockability or performance aspect. By building my own systems, I get to choose the manufacturers that I trust more. I am not talking AMD vs Intel, but Seagate vs. Western Digital, EVGA vs. XFX., Asus vs. MSI, the list goes on and on. You don't get that kind of choice when buying an off the shelf system. That is what I care about the most.....

RE: LCD shipper?
By Oscarine on 5/8/2006 5:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
...and of course your welcome to that opinion. However there are plenty of technically proficient people that just want a box that will be stable and works. Minus the bloatware which is remiadible with a fresh install (yes you can still get the OS discs and drivers, no you don't actually have to pay for them if you ask), Dell systems will generally fit the bill for a good price.

RE: LCD shipper?
By vanka on 5/8/2006 6:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree with you that building your own PC gives you more options, there are still times when even I would consider a Dell or HP. A friend of mine recently asked me to build him a computer and we did some price comparisons, and we found that if you want a cheap PC to surf the net and use word processing, you should just get a Dell. I mean, $400 for a computer with a 17" CRT is a pretty good deal. You really can't build your own computer that cheap, taking into account that a 17" CRT is $100 as is Windows XP Home leaving you $200 for the case, motherboard, cpu, memory, and drives.

Once you start moving up to higher end system though, it begins to make more sense to build your own; but again not always. I helped my brother-in-law search for a new computer and we ended up buying and HP Athlon X2 4400, 1GB ram, 250 GB hard drive, tv tuner, and the prerequisite dvd writer was $1100 at Costco. Add in a GeForce 7800GT and you have a decent gaming rig for only $1400; plus you get Costco’s 6 month return policy.

So the moral is: shop around. You never know when a good deal will hit you. Yes, you give up a lot of tweaking options with a pre-built computer, but I know plenty of guys who built their own systems and had absolutely no need for the advanced options they had.

RE: LCD shipper?
By bob661 on 5/9/2006 6:51:11 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry but if you don't build your own, you're not a geek. Building your own is THE major part of being a computer enthusiast. Any wanker can walk into best buy and buy a computer. A true geek to builds it himself. Just not the same thing.

RE: LCD shipper?
By Jedi2155 on 5/11/2006 5:14:04 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree with that. A true geek knows how to build and optimize the computer but also knows the best deals when they see it. They should be able to make due with any system and still make it kickass in one form or another. Thats just my opinion tho.

Also, some people might have multiple systems with their main machine being self-built but secondary's being the cheap dells or HP's that come along.

RE: LCD shipper?
By mxzrider2 on 5/8/2006 9:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
the systems are only really cheeper than a homebrew if you get base models, midrange is about the same prices and homebrew machines are quite a bit cheeper at the high and extremely high end.

RE: LCD shipper?
By creathir on 5/8/06, Rating: 0
RE: LCD shipper?
By Brovane on 5/9/2006 3:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
One of the other areas that I love about Dell is buying the complete care with the warranty. Both my Inspiron laptop and XPS system have complete care on them. That way there is no arguments about who did what if a unit gets damaged. Especially important if you are like me and have a 1 & 2 year old at home that are into everything.


Ummm, not sure about this
By caboosemoose on 5/8/2006 11:51:20 AM , Rating: 3
Two points to note:

1. I know people who have received an A01 unit that had the same uniformity problem aas the A00 units. The A01 units have been around a while and having spoken to a few people, I'm pretty sure that the revision does not address this issue.

2. The uneven lighting problem tends to improve with use. I have an A00 unit that was terrible at first, but after a month's solid use the backlight evenness is much, much improved. Not quite perfect, but no longer apparent unless you carefully examine the panel.

RE: Ummm, not sure about this
By faiakes on 5/8/2006 12:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
What about all those who have bought the first model?
Will they be compensated?

RE: Ummm, not sure about this
By bbtom on 5/8/2006 6:57:29 PM , Rating: 3
cabooseman's comments accurately reflect my experience with the 3007. My first 3007 had a uniform backlight, but it had several stuck pixels so i did an exchange. My second 3007 had the backlight problem described here and in the extremetech review but no stuck pixels.

It was really noticable at first especially if the screen gamma was set to the Macintosh default. I reset the gamma to a PC gamma level and it looked a bit better but still the right side was brighter than the left. no question about it.

Over one month of use and it is no longer a problem. It did even out over time, i'm not just imagining it because it was really easy to see the diffrence one month ago, now the right side is just slightly brighter than the left side. It is most noticable when the monitor is cold, but after 15 minutes you can't see adifference at all.

RE: Ummm, not sure about this
By binki on 5/10/2006 12:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
I have also had 3 revisions A01 (new) with dead and stuck pixels until they sent me a new replacement Rev. A00 with no dead pixel and perfect uniformity. Rev. A00 is new, at first I thought they sent me a referb. but manufacturing date was later on this one then on A01. At first I had conserns about earlier revision but after comparing them I decided to keep Rev. A00. Came in early May. Strange.

RE: Ummm, not sure about this
By binki on 5/10/2006 12:36:07 AM , Rating: 2
This made me check manufacturing dates of my 2 monitors.
Rev. A01 Early February
Rev. A00 Middle of April

It seems that these are only different manufacturers marked by revision number.

RE: Ummm, not sure about this
By caboosemoose on 5/10/2006 7:12:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that makes perfect sense to me - my brand new A00 arrived about a month after a few friends received their A01s. To be honest, I think this article is based on no facts at all. I don't think there's any evidence that the A01 revision has been produced to address the backlight issue.

By Ryan Norton on 5/8/2006 12:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
You guys planning to review the defective 2007WFPs? Banding issues galore! Huge thread in the AT Video forums about it, but the issue hasnt' gotten much publicity aside from an Engadget post.

RE: 2007WFP
By mpc7488 on 5/8/2006 1:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
I second Ryan's statement, I have one as well and the banding issue is not receiving much media attention as of yet.

RE: 2007WFP
By KristopherKubicki on 5/9/2006 3:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
We have a few articles and independant confirmation coming up.

RE: 2007WFP
By bilbo3660 on 5/9/2006 8:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
Take a look at the 25 page thread on the Dell 2007WFP in the Dell Forum. Today, Dell (Moderator) admits to a problem and tells folks to hold of on asking for replacements because the replacement inventory has the same problem.

Not able to?
By Olaf van der Spek on 5/8/2006 2:02:13 PM , Rating: 2
Customers who purchased Dell's 3007WFP when it was first introduced at the beginner of this year are slightly out of luck, as Dell will not be able to ship brand new units.

Eh, why exactly are they 'not able' to ship brand new units?

RE: Not able to?
By StyleMechanics on 5/8/2006 5:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
I found this out the hard way regarding, "not being able" to ship new units.

When replacing defective LCD's it is not their policy to replace them with NEW units. They will only ship a refurbished unit to replace the defective unit. When i questioned my CSR regarding that, he stuck to that point in the warranty.

In my case I was replacing a defective 2005fpw. I requested a new 2007wfp but no matter how much i argued, they wouldnt give it to me. Instead I was shipped a refurbished 2001fpw (they said they upgraded me to the next best thing) since the 2005fpw is discontinued.

RE: Not able to?
By ronniearnold on 5/8/2006 6:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry but this article is written like the person writing one has ever seen a product go through ANY revision change(s). Look at ANY manufacturer parts (plastics, components, whatever) and they all have revisions on them. This doesn't mean that 'Dell was silently fixing a problem.'

RE: Not able to?
By ZeeStorm on 5/10/2006 3:21:27 PM , Rating: 1
It is considered silently fixing the problem. Publicly stating would be a recall on the LCD's to send out NEW non-refurbished ones. So in this case, you are wrong.

Manufacture Date
By dellguy on 5/11/2006 10:47:59 AM , Rating: 2
If anyone wants to know their date of manufacture for the 3007WFP or the technique to determine it, blast me an e-mail containing your serial number and i'll give you the date with an example of how to determine it as well. -Anonymous dell guy ;)

RE: Manufacture Date
By dellguy on 5/11/2006 10:49:45 AM , Rating: 2
E: s e x i s f r e e @ g m a i l . c o m

plz do not spam, this e-mail was created for this specific purpose to maintain anonymity, as i'm breaking my NDA with dell in relaying this information.

RE: Manufacture Date
By JASANITY on 5/13/2006 7:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
Just point people to buying an Apple LCD. No uniformity problems there. =P

this sentence
By gcolive on 5/9/2006 1:03:22 AM , Rating: 2
"Arguably, it's advisable to stay away from first generation hardware, as evident by something like Apple's MacBook Pro, Dell's 3007WFP priced at $400 cheaper than Apple's display was too hot to pass for many."

This sentence is really borked. You need at least one "but" in there somewhere-- before "Dell's 30007WFP..." I guess. Also, don't see any justification for the passing sideswipe at the MacBook Pro; it's both distracting and detracting. You've made your point already.

RE: this sentence
By Tuan Nguyen on 5/9/2006 2:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry. I edited it for clarity. Thanks for the head's up though!


3007WFP backlight issue
By cyaknight on 5/8/2006 8:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
I received my 3007wfp a few weeks back.i got an A01 model seems to be quite uniform at all brightness levels.And damn is it swwweeeeeeettttttt during HL2,quake4,currently replaying older titles...unreal2...etc. no complaints

One more thing...
By keunee on 5/8/06, Rating: -1
RE: One more thing...
By lethalchronic on 5/8/06, Rating: -1
By mickeymouse on 5/8/06, Rating: -1
RE: this rocks!
By creathir on 5/8/06, Rating: -1
By pornpassplanet on 5/10/06, Rating: -1
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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