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Dell UltraSharp U2312HM

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #8 in LCD Monitors

Posted

Pros: No ghosting, no input lag, no dead or stuck pixels, no backlight bleeding, anti-glare coating works, great colors

Cons: Anti-glare coating can make the screen look somewhat grainy with white backgrounds

I've had this monitor for over five months now, and noticed that no one had written a review for it yet, so I've decided to write one. First and foremost, I've been extremely happy with it. I ordered directly from dell, and had no issues with the shipping and delivery process. After a quick and easy assembly, which merely entails snapping the stand into the back of the panel, I was delighted to discover once I first powered up the monitor that it had no dead or stuck pixels and no backlight bleeding. This remains the case after five months of use.

At first I had been hesitant to buy an IPS monitor for gaming because of all the input lag and ghosting issues I've read some IPS panels have, but because of the popularity of the U2311H here on OCN and some reviews I read stating that this monitor had exceptionally low input lag for an IPS panel, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I have played many of the recent big title games (BF3, Skyrim, Mass Effect 3...), and have noticed neither ghosting nor input lag of any kind. I even tried hooking up my PS3 and playing a lot of GT5 to see if I could noticed any ghosting while the scenery in game was flying by my car, but again I did not notice any.

The colors on this monitor look great. Maybe not as good as a more expensive IPS panel, but definitely a significant upgrade over the previous TN panel monitor I owned. This is a matte display, so the colors won't seem as bright as a glossy one, but they are plenty bright enough for my personal taste. Additionally, the anti-glare coating definitely does it's job. When the sun is shining down on my monitor during the early afternoon I can still easily see everything on my screen. The one gripe I had with the anti-glare coating when I first got the monitor was that it made the screen look noticeably grainy when I was viewing webpages that had a white background, but I soon stopped noticing it unless I was looking for it. This graininess is never noticeable to me while gaming or watching a movie, and again, I now only see it if I consciously focus my eyes on the coating as opposed to the image while having something with a white background open, such as a word document.

In terms of functionality the monitor is both height and tilt adjustable, which comes in handy. It can also be rotated a full 90 degrees, which is great for multi-monitor setups as well as viewing images that are portrait as opposed to landscape. The monitor also has extremely good viewing angles, so watching a video or tv show with multiple people is no problem.

In conclusion, this is a great monitor and I am extremely happy with my purchase. Personally, 23 inches is the perfect size monitor for my setup, but if you desire something bigger I would suggest looking into the larger versions in the Dell Ultrasharp IPS line, although these seem to have more noticeable input lag. In my opinion, the only reasons not to buy this monitor would be if you prefer glossy to matte displays or if you hate anti-glare coating. I prefer not having to close my blinds during the afternoon to use my monitor and not seeing my reflection while watching a dark scene in a movie, and while the anti-glare coating bothered me at first while viewing white backgrounds, I don't notice it anymore. However, everyone has their preferences.

Posted
U2312HM
Table of contents:
  • Introduction
  • Unboxing and pics
  • First impressions
  • Drivers
  • OSD
  • Tests
  • Conclusion

Introduction
Since around 2008, screen manufacturers have not pushed resolution up in 20"-30" panels. This was mainly due to Windows being bitmap based, so as Windows was designed around 100ppi monitors, you cannot use more than about ~10%+/- else most of everything would look either tiny or too big. And as Windows was not either open source or made by the same comany that produced products based on that OS, screen manufactures had to look to other stuff to distinguish their monitors. First, there was super fast response times, that were meant to help gamers see the update before their opponents (not really, any response time under 16ms [a frame at 60fps] was fine, if I remember correctly). Then there was 120Hz monitors, which let you see more than 60fps without tearing or anything. Some people believe in them, I don't see the reason (but I'm too young to play most FPSs and that's where all the difference is meant to happen wink.gif ). Then they started bringing professional technologies into the consumer market. In fact, this IS a professional monitor using IPS. VA is more commonly used in cheaper panels, but IPS is still used. As it stands, this monitor is a professional monitor which is in the consumer market. There are, of course, others that were NOT meant to be professional monitors, but they are in the consumer market as some features of IPS are highly desirable; e.g. the massive viewing angles. There is also the ultra thin monitors (they are always TN; IPS needs a bit more space) I just don't get it. No one stares at their monitors from the side. You simply will not notice. And the argument "it's lighter" is absolutely useless unless you think normal monitor nowadays are CRTs. But anyway, this leads us to the U2312HM. Perfect size. Not too big, not too small, and is just the right size so it'll fit in a normal desk and 3 display Eyefinity/Surround. It has got IPS, and a matte coating. Matte coatings are like Marmite; you either love them or hate them. They are supposedly taking out much of the colour, but they also block reflections on your own monitor. I prefer matte coatings but each to their own. Now to get on with the review!

Unboxing and pics
The monitor came in a MASSIVE box. Shots of all the sides:
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The whole package came well packaged in sculpted foam. There was very little room for anything to move inside.
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In the whole package there was the monitor, the stand, a VGA cable (jesus christ how horrifying), a UK kettle lead, a driver CD, an instruction manual, a warranty guide, a USB A to B cable, and a single link DVI cable. Personally I'm a tiny bit disappointed that they didn't give you a mDP to DP cable, mainly because it's much less of a hassle to plug it rather than screw in DVI. Else, the bundle was absolutely fantastic.
The stand is very good, it lets you use the display vertically like so:
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It also has about 20 degrees tilt backwards, about 5 degrees tilt forwards, and about 75 degrees tilt to the side. The stand also goes up to 170mm off the table (maximum) and 43.5mm (minimum).

First impressions
When I finished plugging the DVI, USB, and kettle lead, and I turned on my monitor, and my board finished POSTing, I had my first glimpse at IPS and its colours. WOW. I mean, it's not like purple in my old TN monitor was actually meant to be red, but it made the red... sharper. Sharp has to be the word to describe it. The colours looked more like the sort of thing you'd expect if you put it next to the ROG cardboard box. But then, when it booted, and it got into the logon screen... wow. WOW. The logon screen is where you realize how good IPS actually is.
The USB ports on the sides are useless in my opinion, as they only practically add another USB port at a marginally better position. The USB ports at the back are not at any better position.

Drivers
To be entirely honest with you I was not expecting to find drivers for a monitor. Let's see what they're all about. In the CD there's a color profile which did not change much, it did change things a bit though. Useful nonetheless. It contains some monitor drivers that during the use of this monitor have not affected anything, not one thing. Then it also contains this PowerNap program. All it does is change what the monitor does when Windows goes into long idle mode; you can either set it to go into power save mode or into sleep mode. It did not actually work. It also 8MB doing that, and that's when I manually cleaned it for stuff that wasn't important. So I would not install PowerNap. But the other drivers are fine and they are non-intrusive.

OSD
The OSD is simple to use, and gives you all the settings you'd ever need. It is easy to navigate and if you have the display in vertical mode it does have a vertical OSD, which shows that they've put care into this. Some pics of the screens (excuse the blurry pictures, my hand was very shaky):
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Tests

I was not able to do many tests. Viewing angles: all angles look the same. I have not taken it to extreme angles, here are some pics though:
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Backlight bleeding is quite bad. However unless it's about 10x worse than this you will not notice it in everyday use simply due to the fact most programs don't use flat colours. It is not really noticed in everyday use.
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For ghosting I used the PRAD.de test coupled with a camera at 1/20th shutter. It did show a tiny amount of ghosting, but nowhere near the amount on Google Images (first result). I have artificially zoomed it in, so it is seen better. The original is provided too. I made sure not to have a shaky hand here wink.gif
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Conclusion
This is a great monitor. Plain and simple. How great it is is up to YOU. If you're a hardcore gamer you would've given this a one. It has a small ghosting problem, which would be noticed by you, it isn't 120Hz, and I'm guessing the input lag isn't the best either. If you were an image editor this would've scored a five, because it has great colours and viewing angles, the two things you need the most. This is up to the person though so if this was on a review site I'd set up, it would not have a score, because your score may vary depending on who you are. However, as it stands, this scores a 4.5/5 for me, due to it being absolutely perfect except for the display bleeding (not very good in dark games) and the PowerNap software. Else, this is an almost flawless monitor.





Dell UltraSharp U2312HM
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Description:

See vivid imagery from almost any angle. The 23” Dell UltraSharp U2312HM monitor with LED offers a brilliant view, rich colors and adjustable height options. Lose yourself in the details: : Enjoy 1920x1080 (max) HD resolution, a vivid 2,000,000:1 (typical) dynamic contrast ratio and IPS technology for outstanding color consistency across a wide viewing range. Stay comfortable and connected: Select your best view with a range of tilt, swivel, pivot and height options. Link to a range of devices with 4 USB ports, a DisplayPort, plus DVI and VGA connections. Be environmentally-conscious: Beyond offering efficiency and vivid detail, this monitor also meets EPEAT® Gold standards and is ENERGY STAR® qualified.

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