Before getting to far into this conclusion, let’s get one thing out in the open: the U2412M just can’t compete against Dell’s own U2410 or many other 24” IPS-based displays on the market, nor was it ever meant to. We consider it to be bridge between high fidelity, expensive professional grade monitors and the run of the mill panels that use TN technology. In this respect, the U2412M succeeds regardless of its shortcomings.
When people hear the word “IPS” they’re immediately transported to a world of near-perfect colour spaces, and excellent viewing angles but the U2412M didn’t quite deliver in either of these areas. Its colour saturation performance in particular was far from optimal and luckily a well designed swiveling base overcame the off angle viewing issues. One of our main concerns stemmed from the fact that the LEDs used for backlight tended to push every image towards the blue end of the spectrum, even after calibration. Panel uniformity certainly wasn’t the worst we’ve seen but it’s obvious that manufacturers are still having some issues taming LED backlighting. We would also hesitate before recommending the U2412M to professional gamers since it does display some ghosting and skipped frames from time to time.
All of our statements above may make it sound like the U2412M is a sub-par monitor but that couldn’t be further from the truth. After calibration it showed us some flashes of absolute brilliance with very good contrast ratio performance, rich, vibrant images and decent RGB levels. It may take a bit of massaging to get this monitor to play nice but the class leading menu layout allows even first time users quick access to a wide variety of image settings. Also, while the LED backlight may have contributed to a few misses in the image quality department, it allows the U2412M to post efficiency numbers that beggar other IPS-totting monitors.
Before buying the U2412M we recommend you be cognizant of its limitations but also keep in mind the phenomenal value its combination of size, 16:10 format, post calibration image quality and price bring to the table. Yes, sacrifices had to be made in order to slap a sub-$400 sticker price on this monitor. But in our books Dells has made worthwhile tradeoffs in order to bring a monitor to market that can run circles around many TN-based models without costing all that much more.
- High efficiency
- Good contrast performance
- Excellent calibration options lead TN-beating picture quality
- Menu layout is easy for beginners buttons
- Matte screen
- Improved stand
- Slight blue shift even after calibration
- Relatively high real world Gray to Gray latency
- Occasional ghosting in gaming and movies
- Poor Default RGB color settings
- No HDMI input
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