Viewing Angles / Maximum Contrast Ratio / Power Consumption
Unlike CRT displays, the manner in which LCD panels create an image can result in one large weakness: the image can lose contrast when viewed off angle. While we do not recommend watching an LCD at anything besides perfectly straight on ,the reality is this cannot always be done.
To help give you a glimpse of what a panel will look like when seen from either above the horizontal or vertical plane we have taken pictures at fairly extreme angles.
Even though the Dell UltraSharp U2412M sports an IPS panel, its viewing angles –particularly in a well-lit room- left much to be desired. The image degrades much quicker on the U2412 then on any other IPS panel we have ever seen before. This may in part be due to the less than stellar panel uniformity or just simply because of the particular e-IPS panel used.
In either case, the viewing angles here are still better than any TN based panel and can easily be consider more than good enough for most consumers.
Maximum Contrast Ratio
While manufactures love to throw around “maximum” contrast ratios in the millions, the fact of the matter is to get these high numbers they have to use "dynamic contrast" which -at best – results in an overly optimistic number. With DC turned off, the number of shades between purest white and blackest black a given monitor can display is usually in the low hundreds rather than thousands.
The higher the contrast ratio, the better the monitor will display shades of dark and light. For IPS monitors, anything below 450 : 1 is unacceptable with 500 : 1 or above being considered optimal. For TN anything above 120 : 1 will be considered more than “good enough” for most consumers.
As is becoming the reoccurring theme of this review, the Dell UltraSharp U2412M’s contrast ratio is indeed lower than any other IPS based model we have reviewed. However, it is still is eons better than any TN panel. This monitor really is shaping up to be a nearly perfect “everyman” monitor; one that may not be the best in any one area, but provide more than good results at a an inexpensive price point.
To obtain the maximum number we set the monitors brightness to 100% and the contrast to 100%. The Calibrated results are taken at 120 cd/m2 with the contrast set at default.
Traditionally IPS based monitors are power hogs, yet with a maximum power consumption of only 33 watts and a calibrated level of barely 18, Dell’s new U2412 is amazingly power efficient. There is absolutely no need worry about power bills even if you don’t want to use the highest brightness levels. The LED back-lighting really does make a difference since these power figures are simply phenomenal.
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