You sure it's not a 17" screen? I could see 15"-16" a bit hard to read depending on your eyes. Currently I have a 16:10 24" monitor with a resolution of 1920x1200, and for that resolution I wouldn't want it to be any smaller, 23" might still okay but any smaller would be a nightmare in my opinion. I guess it depends on how close you like to sit as well.
P.S. If this monitor was 16:9 with a resolution of 1920x1080 it probably be 23-23.5". If you ever used a netbook with a 7" screen at a resolution like 1024x600, it should roughly have a similar pixels per inch as the dell screen.
I had a 1920x1200 WUXGA 15.4" screen on my previous laptop. It was amazing for my photo editing but it was pretty annoying for spreadsheets, documents, web browsing.. pretty much anything other than photo editing. Even though you can use text zoom functions in Word and Firefox, websites sometimes didn't look right (on Firefox) and it was kind of frustrating to have to keep adjusting zoom levels in Excel, Word, etc.
On my new laptop, I chose to get 1440x900 WXGA+ on a 14.1" screen and I am perfectly happy.
I thought 1280x800 WXGA on a 15.4" made everything look way too huge and the 1920x1200 WUXGA on a 15.4" made everything way too small, but I didn't have any way of telling how WXGA or WXGA+ would look on a 14.1" that didn't require me going to a store to check different screens out. Then I came across this: Notebook LCD Display Comparison
The table lists different pixel densities of different screen/resolution combos. This really helped me choose what resolution was best for me without physically seeing all the screens in front of me.
I knew that WUXGA on a 15.4" was too high of a resolution for me (147 ppi)
I knew that WXGA on a 15.4" was too low for me (98 ppi)
I was trying to decide what 14.1" screen to get: WXGA (107.1 ppi) or WXGA+ (120.4 ppi)
The WXGA on the 14.1" was only ~10 ppi greater than on the 15.4", but the WXGA+ on the 14.1" was almost exactly in between the WXGA and the WUXGA on the 15.4" screens, so I figured the WXGA+ on the 14.1" would be perfect. I was right!
I have plenty of experience working with the above mentioned RGB LED screen for the Dell Studio XPS 16, and I can never stop staring at it. The colors are RIDICULOUS, even neons are faithfully reproduced. Brightness and color fidelity are unmatched, even by the highly touted panels used on the current Macbook Pros, while viewing angles extend fully horizontally, and nearly fully vertically.
Do NOT let the so called problem of too small text bother you. Resolutions can always be easily changed to your liking, so you can determine which setting best suits you for legibility.
If you'd like to look up how much these RGBLED panels typically cost in say desktop monitors, feel free to google "RGB LED" or "HP Dreamcolor."
I've got a Studio XPS 16 with the RGBLED screen and I can confirm it is just gorgeous! I would recommend taking a bit of time to get to grips with the wide colour gamut though...not all applications play nicely. Oh, and it's amazing how quickly you get used to the smaller text.