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 2560 x 1440 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 1061:1, 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.
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 is excellent, though three times the U2711's cost at $2400.
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.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk