Dell serves up oodles of features and strong image quality for sensible money
Dell’s UltraSharp monitors have long represented good value and respectable peformance and at first glance the latest 24in model, the UltraSharp U2414H, looks like a strong contender for the budget-monitor top spot. It offers a stylish design, a colour-calibrated sRGB mode and an array of features for only $409.
The U2414H looks different to Dell’s previous monitors, thanks to a pleasingly curved rear. It hasn’t lost anything in the way of utility, however: the solid-feeling silver stand rotates the display into portrait mode, provides 130mm of height adjustment and keeps the monitor firmly planted on the desk.
By far the most striking change concerns the bezel. Dell has banished the thick picture-frame surround of previous models, and the U2414H’s matte, anti-glare finish now stretches almost all the way to the monitor’s edges. This isn’t just for show – it’s perfect for multimonitor setups, which call for the smallest possible gap between displays. We hope this takes off and thin vertical bezels become commonplace for larger screens. If Dell chooses to, it will be the go-to brand for gamers and professionals running double or triple screens with just this seemingly minor feature. Since the U2414H’s bezel measures 6mm thick along both its vertical and top horizontal edges, you can tile screens in either portrait or landscape orientation without issues.
The only retrograde step is taken by the panel resolution. Compared to its predecessor, the UltraSharp U2412M, the U2414H’s Full HD, 1920 x 1080 display has disappointingly lost 120 pixels of vertical resolution.
Image quality remains competitive. Connected to our test PC via DisplayPort, the U2414H put in a solid performance. At default factory settings, the U2414H is set to 75% brightness, which we measured at 256cd/m2; crank it to maximum and the W-LED backlight reaches a bright 323cd/m2. The contrast ratio of 853:1 is excellent, and colour fidelity is good, with average and maximum Delta E scores of 2.7 and 6.4 respectively.
Select the U2414H’s factory-calibrated sRGB profile and colour accuracy gets even better. The contrast ratio dips to 660:1, but the average Delta E improves to 2.1, and the maximum deviation drops to 4.3. The IPS panel is evenly lit, too: we measured no more than a 10% variation in brightness across the whole display. The Dell’s only weakness is a tendency to crush the darkest greys into black.
At the rear, Dell has packed in a DisplayPort input, a mini-DisplayPort input, a full-sized DisplayPort throughput (which requires a DisplayPort 1.2-capable graphics card) and twin HDMI inputs, both of which support MHL connections. There’s also a four-port USB 3 hub, with one port located at the centre of the back panel for easier access.
The Dell UltraSharp U2414H balances fine image quality with a great selection of features. Ultimately, we prefer the larger resolution of its predecessor, the UltraSharp U2412M – which is still on sale – but it’s a close-run thing. If the Full HD resolution of the UltraSharp U2414H suits your needs – and for most media enjoyment as well as gaming, it should – then it’s a steal at this price.