Dell has just released a beautiful new flat-panel LCD monitor at a price that will challenge competitors to begin another round of price cuts.

The new Dell Ultrasharp 2405FPW has a 24 inch diagonal display, in the widescreen format best suited for movies. Dell has set the price at $1,199; the cheapest competitor is several hundred dollars more, and most monitors in this class are over two thousand dollars. Here’s a review that praises the Dell monitor and finds no shortcomings compared to any other monitor in its class.

Many of my clients have heard me complain about the complex world of TV screens. It’s tempting to use a monitor like this for more than just computer applications, perhaps jumping into the world of digital video and high definition television. Don’t plan on making that leap unless you’re prepared to go through the learning curve that will allow you to understand sentences like this from the review:

“The addition of component inputs is welcome and makes the unit suitable as a small HDTV monitor. But the DVI input does not support HDCP content protection, so you can’t use it with HDTV sources that require HDCP. Since this is primarily a desktop PC monitor, it also lacks HDMI connections.”