Against most of the competition Dell’s newest monitor, the U3011, looks a suave, sophisticated individual. Where its rivals resemble huge lumpen monoliths on a desk, the Dell’s squared-off edges and two-tone finish make it look worth every penny of its asking price.
Another area where it trounces the opposition is connectivity. The usual two DVI ports are accompanied by twin HDMI sockets, plus DisplayPort, component and composite video inputs. There’s also a four-port USB hub and a card reader.
The onscreen display is equally feature-packed. Two video inputs can be displayed side by side, while a wide range of adjustments are on offer, including factory-calibrated sRGB and Adobe RGB colour modes. The only omission is the ability to calibrate the monitor’s internal look-up tables.
Few will take issue with the Dell’s picture quality. With brightness set to 50% by default, the U3011 achieved a sensible 243cd/m2 brightness out of the box, while a contrast ratio of 810:1 provides good black levels.
Backlighting was even and our images and videos looked great, with lots of detail across the colour spectrum. Only a slight green push gave the faintest cause for complaint.
Going by LaCie’s Blue Eye Pro colorimeter, though, colour reproduction is just a little behind the competition. The green push we noticed manifests itself as a maximum Delta E of 6, and although an average Delta E of 2.1 is still pretty neutral overall, it’s a touch behind its high-end competitors such as the HP ZR30w.
With all those video inputs and excellent image quality, the U3011 is a prime candidate for gamers, so we were pleased to find an average input lag of only 22ms. With peaks of up to 30ms and lows of 10ms, it won’t be the limiting factor in split-second reaction gaming.
The Dell UltraSharp U3011 doesn’t come cheap, but it crams in a huge number of useful features, great image quality and low input lag. Factor in one of the more lenient pixel-fault policies on the market – one bright pixel is all you need for a replacement monitor – and the U3011 is a seriously tempting buy.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk