Dell has enjoyed a healthy reputation when it comes to displays in India, and it has been so at least roughly over the past 4 years. There have been several iconic displays offering an abundance of features, along with impressive performance at different price brackets. Good tech support and reliability of their products has only enhanced that image further. Product refreshes happen all the time and their UltraSharp line-up of displays have been updated, yet again. The 24-inch UltraSharp U2412M model is one of the more expensive products out there, but one expects a solid performance, more than just good looks and features.
The Dell UltraSharp U2412M features an E-IPS panel, a variant of the IPS panel. While most displays in the market of late have been built around TN panels that are notorious for their average colour reproduction and poor viewing angles, IPS panels in general offer better colour rendition and also better viewing angles. Response times are considered to be slower with E-IPS panels. Unlike most of the other mainstream panels, the U2412M runs a 16:10 aspect ratio resolution of 1920×1200, like the yesteryear displays. Dell claims a response time of 8ms, which is another sign of an IPS panel. TN panels have tighter response times in comparison. Still, in the real world, the 8ms response is negligible and won’t affect everyday applications, games or movies.
The U2412M – the next update in the UltraSharp lineup
In terms of connectivity, the U2412M has most of the necessary connects covered. HDMI input is missing, but you can connect other sources using the DVI, D-Sub and DisplayPort inputs. An HDMI port would’ve been a good addition to the feature list. There are no headphone out ports or speakers built into the display.
The OSD interface is an important component of any display – it helps you select the inputs and calibrate the display as you need. While many manufacturers are moving towards touch sensitive controls, Dell has stuck to the more traditional physical button controls with the U2412M.
Design and Build Quality
The UltraSharp U2412M from this year, as denoted by its model number has an evolved shape and design. Like a sports car, the sharp edges have mellowed giving form to a more rounded design. This is obvious through the curved corners on the Dell UltraSharp U2412M.
Basic, easy to understand controls for a performance display
The display has a thin bezel, which enhances the look of the display. The buttons on the display, though small are easy to press and operate the user interface, which is self-explanatory and is infact, one of the easier ones in the whole lot of menus. Very rarely are you required to browse through various levels of the interface to access the settings you want.
The features and design of a display are important factors to consider while making the purchase decision, however, the most important factor, other than the price, is of course the display's performance. And, here, too the Dell UltraSharp U2412M doesn’t disappoint. We started off the performance tests after first calibrating it using a Datacolour Spyder colorimeter. The device is handy for calibrating displays and it can also be used as a tool for testing monitors. We, for example, used it also for measuring the deviations in the brightness levels across different areas of the display. The test involves measuring the brightness levels of the screen at different points. On an average, the biggest deviation noticed was 10 percent, which isn’t too bad, as compared to some of the monitors we’ve been testing lately.
Stand that allows rotation and swivel as well
We switched on DisplayMate to test the display’s ability to render colours and detail on the screen and we found viewing angles to be great. Normally, some displays show slight green or reddish tints in place of grey blocks, but we found no such issue with the UltraSharp U2412M. The black intensity test, which renders blocks at increasing intensities of grey worked well. We were able to identify all the blocks very clearly in this. In the dark screen test, we found the backlighting to be even across the display, except for a small patch on the left top and one on the right bottom. The right edge of the display also shows a bright area. This is only visible when you turn off all the lights in the room.
Colour scales were almost perfect and all the shades were perfect, on both the bright and dark ends of the spectrum. Viewing angles aren’t an issue. It’s only that the display, even with its matte finish has a slight reflection, which shows clearly.
A slightly updated design with curved edges and corners
720p videos as well as 1080p videos with 60 fps appear smooth and the colours appeared natural, despite the slight saturation issues we noticed in Displaymate. Detail was constant all through the test scenes. For example, dark scenes didn’t appear washed out, but the darker areas were detailed and didn’t black out like some of the displays that we’ve seen in the past. Skin tone of the actors and actresses also appeared natural without any kind of oversaturation.
The Dell UltraSharp U2412M, as it turns out is a brilliant monitor. Priced at Rs. 23,000 in India, the U2412M is a tad pricier than some IPS panels out there. There are a few things, however that make this display stand out – excellent performance in both detail and colours – play a major part. But we wish the minor backlighting wasn’t present.
The display to get if you' don't mind a little compromise in performance
The design is attractive and the build quality is sturdy enough to last quite some time. The 1920×1200 pixel resolution also means that you get additional workspace and the flexible stand offers a variety of possibilities as far as display orientations are concerned. If you’re looking for the best you can get for roughly the Rs. 20,000 price bracket, then this UltraSharp U2412M is it.
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