Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24” IPS Monitor Review

Author: AkG
Date: October 19, 2011
Product Name: UltraSharp U2412
Part Number: U2412
Warranty: 3 Years + 3 Year Pixel Guarantee
Purchase at NCIX: UK
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Colour Saturation Levels

While there are numerous colors the human eye can’t “see”, the human color space confined to three primary colors and combinations thereof. To make things easier for manufactures (and not waste resources displaying colors we can’t see) a color space was mathematically described and while various models do exist, the CIE RGB color space is the de facto standard.

In the below image, the dark triangle which isn’t highlighted is the sRGB color space while the overall CIE color space is displayed as the background colors. Meanwhile, the white triangle with highlighted color represents the results of what a given monitor can display. No monitor can display the entire CIE color spectrum but a good monitor should be able to display the sRGB spectrum of possible colors as this is usually used as the standard for image encoding.

A monitor which uses the “wide color gamut” moniker can display more than the sRGB spectrum and is considered primarily for professional use. If a monitor cannot cover off the entire sRGB triangle, the resulting image will appear “off” to an observer. The end result is a picture displayed on the panel which won’t be as rich, vibrant or as correct as it should be.

Since the U2412’s specifications state that it offers only 82% coverage, these results are in line with expectations but we were still disappointed considering its IPS panel. Of the three corners of the full “normal” color spectrum the Dell UltraSharp U2412M is only able to hit the blue on its nose which isn’t surprising considering the LED backlighting. However this shift towards blue results in the whole monitor exhibiting overly cool colours regardless of how much calibration is done. It also causes a large deviation in both the red and green ends of the spectrum. Needless to say this is nowhere close to being what the U2410 could achieve.

Default RGB Levels

An LCD or LCD LED backlit panel relies on accurately blending Red, Green and Blue pixel clusters to create an overall image so closer to each of these colours is to a “perfect” 100 output, the better and more accurate the default colors will be.

In this case, we have a low tolerance for anything less than perfection since any color shift can be noticeable even to untrained eyes and will require a color correction be applied at the software level to overcome a monitor’s stock output. We do however consider a minor variation of only a few points per color to be acceptable.

Measuring the R/G/B levels using our SpyderPro and HC-FR program, we found the colors to be nowhere close to perfection. In a perfect world, all three of the RGB values would have 100 ratings. Neither the Red, Green nor even Blue were close enough to be considered “good enough”. Luckily the Dell UltraSharp U2412M requires only a minor amount of tweaking via it excellent menu to become flawless.

Overall, this is not a monitor meant for true connoisseurs, be they gamers or photographers. Rather, this is a “jack of all trades” product that seems to have made some sacrifices in fidelity to hit a certain price point. It can perform adequately in numerous environments but will be outclassed by other, more expensive options. There is a lot to be said for this design philosophy as few people have requirements high enough to justify the somewhat extreme MSRP of the U2410.

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