Dell UltraSharp U2711 review

11 Nov 2010

Great performance and tons of features, but it's up against some tough competition

Dell UltraSharp U2711 monitor
Price when reviewed: 
948(£948 inc VAT)
5

The Dell UltraSharp U2711 is one of the new breed of high-resolution 16:9 ratio displays to hit the market. With a high-quality IPS panel, a huge 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, and an equally hefty price tag, the U2711 is a high-end monitor to aspire to.

It cuts an impressive dash on any desk. The squared-off figure and brooding dark grey and black exterior look great, and are matched with a sturdy-feeling stand that can tilt, swivel and raise up and down by 90mm.

Meanwhile, the sheer pixel density makes for some of the crispest visuals we’ve ever encountered on a monitor. But, since those 3.6 million pixels are crammed into a relatively small space, each individual pixel is impossibly tiny. So tiny, in fact, you’ll soon find yourself upping Windows 7’s DPI control to make text more legible.

We had few qualms about the quality of the U2711’s IPS panel, though. Contrast exceeded Dell’s claims with a measured 1,061:1, and default brightness came out at a sensible 258cd/m2. We cranked up the brightness to maximum and measured a seriously bright 365cd/m2.

Everything you put through the U2711 looks great, with smooth transitions of greys to pure whites and deep, deep black. There was no banding evident in our test colour ramps, and the vibrant hues of Avatar leapt from the screen with stunning intensity.

Technically, though, the colour accuracy doesn’t quite match some of the best high-end displays on the market. At its default settings, we recorded an average Delta E of 2.4, which is still very good, albeit with those Delta E figures rising to 5.2 in the blues.

Dell UltraSharp U2711 monitor

That’s more than accurate enough for most uses, and photographers will also appreciate the presence of factory-calibrated sRGB and Adobe RGB colour presets.

In fact, there’s only one major issue with the U2711’s image quality. The matte anti-glare coating adds a grainy quality to images which we found difficult to ignore, and for photographers working in Photoshop, that may be a deal-breaker.

Still, there’s certainly no shortage of features. Twin DVI inputs are accompanied by VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort and component video inputs, and a 3-in-1 card reader and four port USB hub are crammed in for good measure. The on-screen display, which is sublimely easy to navigate, boasts a comprehensive range of options too.

For all its fine qualities, though, the U2711 has some serious competition. If, for example, you can live without an on-screen display and spare an even larger space on your desk, HP’s superb ZR30W doesn’t cost a great deal more. But, make no mistake, if you’re in the market for a high-quality display with loads of video inputs, a flexible stand and a genuinely useful array of features, the U2711 has plenty to offer.

Details

Price ex VAT £807
Price inc VAT £948
Overall rating 5
Image quality 5
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 4

Main specifications

Screen size 27.0in
Aspect ratio 16:9
Resolution 2560 x 1440
Screen brightness 350cd/m2
Pixel response time 6ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Pixel pitch 0.233mm
Horizontal viewing angle 178 degrees
Vertical viewing angle 178 degrees
Speaker type none
Speaker power ouput N/A
TV tuner no
TV tuner type N/A

Connections

DVI inputs 2
VGA inputs 1
HDMI inputs 1
DisplayPort inputs 1
Scart inputs 0
HDCP support yes
Upstream USB ports 1
USB ports (downstream) 4
3.5mm audio input jacks 1
Headphone output yes
Other audio connectors N/A

Accessories supplied

Other cables supplied DisplayPort, DVI, VGA, USB
Internal power supply yes

Power consumption

Peak power consumption 94W
Idle power consumption 2W

Image adjustments

Brightness control? yes
Contrast control? yes
Colour temperature settings Standard, Multimedia, Game, Warm, cool, Adobe RGB, sRGB, Custom Color
Extra adjustments Input colour format (RGB, YpbPr), Gamma (PC/Mac), Preset modes (Standard, Multimedia, Game, Warm, Cool, Adobe RGB, sRGB, Custom Color), aspect mode (fill, aspect, 1:1), sharpness, reset display settings, picture by picture, OSD language, OSD transparency

Ergonomics

Forward tilt angle -5 degrees
Backward tilt angle 20 degrees
Swivel angle 90 degrees
Height adjustment 90mm
Pivot (portrait) mode? no
Bezel width 27mm

Dimensions

Dimensions 650 x 200 x 430mm (WDH)
Weight 7.700kg