The Dell UltraSharp 1707FP raises the bar on what you can expect to get from a $299 LCD. It combines great image quality with a wonderfully utilitarian design, and it offers all the adjustability we could wish for, including a pivoting screen. Also onboard are sensible extras such as four USB ports and an audio input. Other 17-inch monitors, such as the Sony SDM-HS75P/S and the SDM-S75AB, perform slightly better but cost more and lack the adjustability and the overall appeal of the 1707FP.
The Dell UltraSharp 1707FP's thin bezel is attractive, and its two-tone black-and-silver color scheme and slightly space-age design will blend in with any home or office environment. Most impressive is the 1707FP's adjustability: the panel tilts 5 degrees forward and 20 degrees backward, swivels smoothly 45 degrees left and right, and pivots easily between portrait and landscape mode. The 1707FP also offers 5 inches of height adjustment--as much as we've seen on any LCD. The monitor is slightly top-heavy, and the panel wobbles with even slight adjustments, though it won't tip over.
In back, the 1707FP has connection ports for audio, DVI-D, VGA, and one upstream and two downstream USB 2.0 ports; two more downstream USB ports are stealthily tucked into the left-hand side of the cabinet. We rarely see such an impressive assortment of connections in 17-inch LCDs. A quick-release button lets you easily remove the panel for mounting on a wall or an arm mount. Despite the audio input, there are neither built-in speakers nor a headphone jack, but Dell sells a sound bar attachment for $29.