Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
Good basic, everyday workhorse monitor for the price point
on December 28, 2014
I bought this 20" Dell E2014H to replace an old 17" Dell monitor that stopped working. Initially, I was considering the smaller 19" E1914H until I learned that model is only 1366x768 resolution, which was inadequate for my needs and, on a screen that size, is only 85 pixels per inch (PPI). This means the individual pixels that make up the image are larger, which translates into a coarse, pixelated image, kind of like looking through a screen door (a fact pointed out by several reviewers who bought that model). The 20" E2014H model I bought sports a 1600x900 resolution and 92 PPI, which is much better. However, beware that as you increase the PPI, this also makes on-screen text and icons smaller, which may pose readability issues for some people. I personally consider 90 PPI to be the lowest usable pixel density for a desktop monitor before image quality begins to suffer.
The E2014H is by no means a top-of-the-line monitor but for the price, it offers reasonably good performance for everyday use and was pretty much what I expected of a monitor in this price range. Photo buffs and graphics designers will probably be disappointed to know that the E2014H is not an IPS monitor but rather utilizes the more-common TN panel technology. That said, I found the image quality to be quite good (much better and brighter than my old monitor); photos looked sharp and vivid and, thanks to the better contrast ratio, black text appeared richer and kind of "popped," a quality that made for a better reading experience. However, like most TN monitors, viewing angles are somewhat limited (especially in the vertical direction) and can make for unwanted color shifts when viewing the screen from extreme angles. Fortunately, the E2014H includes an adjustable stand which lets you tilt (but not raise or lower) the screen to an angle that works for you.
Like most all monitors made in the last 5 years or so, the E2014H features LED backlight technology, which is superior to the CCFL backlight technology used in older monitors; LEDs are brighter, last longer, and use less power (14 watts for this 20-incher versus ~35 watts for my old 17" CCFL-backlit monitor). The E2014H sports a dual DVI/VGA input (but no HDMI) which should suit the majority of PC users. I had to use the VGA input, as my PC lacked DVI. As with most modern monitors, the E2014H utilizes a 16:9 widescreen format. Those switching from an older, squarish 4:3 or 5:4 screen may find that the wider 16:9 format takes a little getting used to but I didn't find the switch too difficult and I quickly adjusted to the new screen format.
The E2014H is housed in an all-black plastic case that feels reasonably solid although the stand feels somewhat flimsy and wobbly. A lighted power button is located at the lower-right corner of the monitor. When in low-power mode, the light slowly fades in and out almost like the monitor is "breathing," which is a cool effect. Above the power button you will find four tiny, unmarked control buttons; there are no symbols or icons to indicate their intended function which can make using them confusing.
Setup was fairly straightforward; simply assemble the stand, plug in the cables, and off you go. It took me all of 10 minutes to unbox the monitor and get everything put together. The only snag I ran into was getting my old PC to properly support the 16:9 screen resolution, an issue that was fixed easily enough with a video-driver update. I should also mention that the drivers supplied on the CD-ROM included with the monitor refused to install on my Windows XP SP2 system, although this is a minor issue as the monitor works just fine without the additional drivers. Included in the box you will find the monitor unit, a stand assembly, a 3-prong AC power cord, video cables for both the DVI and VGA inputs, a driver CD, and a basic setup guide.
Overall, the E2014H is a capable monitor and a good value for the money. It would make a good choice for those looking to upgrade or replace an old monitor on a tight budget. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.