We already knew the Dell Crystal Monitor was going to sell only to those more concerned with how their computer looked than how it performed — $1,200 for a 22-inch monitor with a sheet of glass over it is madness, no matter how attractive it might be — but what we didn’t know was how bad it would look turned on. Maximum PC got their greasy hands on the Dell Crystal and found its slab of glass to greatly diminish the picture quality of what is otherwise an okay monitor.
The monitor’s artful exterior looks great on our desktop. If only the picture followed suit. Even after cranking the Crystal’s brightness to the extremes, the 1680×1050-native picture was unable to produce acceptable differences on its dark grayscales during our DisplayMate testing. This translated to a noticeable loss of quality and increased darkness levels in every real-world test we could conjure up: details escaped our pictures and movies; subtle lighting effects smudged together on our games.
This is the fuel behind the Crystal’s fiery glare issue. The display’s tempered glass lends the entire unit a mirror-like quality, more so than any glossy-panel monitor we’ve reviewed. We didn’t notice ourselves when we were working with a brighter scene, but seeing our blatant reflection during darker images, like Sweeney Todd, was more than a mere distraction. It destroyed the picture.
They gave it a five out of ten, which I’m happy to translate into human speech: avoid.
Dell Crystal [MaximumPC.com]
Previously • Dell Crystal LCD Monitor [BBG]