capsule review

Dell W3207C

At a Glance
  • Dell W3207C

    TechHive Rating

    Good performance, stylish design, and features such as side speakers and swiveling stand make for an attractive package.

The Dell W3207C is a well-rounded 32-inch LCD TV. This $1200 model earned solid scores on every viewing test, and it has an attractive design, too.

The W3207C, which includes both ATSC and NTSC tuners for, respectively, digital and analog signals, consistently pleased our judges in both standard- and high-definition video tests. Greens and reds were correctly saturated in high-def clips. The unit did very well when subjected to bright fluorescent lighting: Despite such intrusive ambient lighting, we could still see vivid colors and good contrast.

The unit's black-and-silver cabinet sits on a round black-and-silver base, which is in turn balanced on a narrow stand. This straightforward design is one of my favorites, and the stand swivels. Dell doesn't skimp on connectors, although they are a little difficult to access on the back of the TV. (I found myself doing contortions to view the labels on the connectors even when using the swiveling stand.) The W3207C has one HDMI, two component, and two composite inputs; however, it lacks the digital audio/optical input that other models offer. Though color-coded, the connector labels lack text descriptions and require some amount of guesswork.

The matching black-and-silver remote control appears iPod-like with its circular navigational control, but it has four directional buttons rather than a touch-sensitive wheel. This remote works only with the TV and not with any other components, but it has cleanly organized buttons. I found the W3207C's on-screen menus easy to use. The main menu appears at the bottom, while the submenus float in the middle of the screen. A row of Tic Tac-sized controls sit on the right side of the TV panel. The white-on-silver labels are a bit hard to read and I found myself squinting to discern letters, but the controls were easy enough to activate. Dell offers a trilingual manual dedicated to this model.

Our listeners found the audio--which comes from built-in speakers mounted on the sides of the cabinet--flat. The SRS TruSurround XT feature did help audio quality. Even so, this somewhat disappointing result surprised us, since Dell says that these speakers are the same as those on the previously reviewed Dell W3201C, except that now they are not detachable. In the W3201C review, we found speaker audio powerful and clear. This time around, however, the same reviewer found the speakers to have less clarity and frequency response (for outputting both bass and treble frequencies). Also, because the speakers are no longer detachable, you can't increase their separation to enhance stereo audio.

All in all, however, the Dell W3207C LCD TV offers a great combination of sleek industrial design, enticing picture quality, and a reasonable price.

This story, "Dell W3207C" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    Good performance, stylish design, and features such as side speakers and swiveling stand make for an attractive package.

    Pros

    • Stylish design
    • Lots of inputs

    Cons

    • Inputs inconveniently positioned
    • Speaker sound only average
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