In a market that’s riddled with cheap, low quality, yet budget friendly displays, we had almost given up trying to find a combination of price and performance in the sub-$300 price bracket. The U2312M however has proven to be an eye opener and it shatters the bar set by almost every one of its competitors.
The reason we like this monitor so much can be expressed in a commonsense equation: great performance + low price = great value. Why? Because the U2312M may be affordable but it just doesn’t feel like a frugal solution. It is as if the engineers forgot they had to make a “cheap” display and instead made a reasonably priced high-performance one instead.
Dell accomplished this feat by simply using an IPS panel with slightly smaller dimensions instead of a larger but lower quality TN panel. This means that while the U2312HM may not be all that expensive, it is not a cheap monitor per se. Rather, it’s just a good monitor that doesn’t cost as much as you would think it should. This is not to say that there aren’t better monitors out there—since there are—but ones that are this good, this easy to use, this power efficient, and this reasonably priced are few and far between.
It says a lot that the U2312HM is able to go toe-to-toe with its bigger, more expensive brother the U2412M, with the latter not having a clear edge over the former in anything but overall resolution. When compared against its direct competition, the U2312HM is simply in a different league and many TN-based monitors are now going to have a much harder time justifying their existence.
Unless you absolutely, positively need 24 inches of real estate, a high performance gaming monitor, or 16:10 / 1920x1200 resolution, the U2312HM deserves a long, hard look. Was it flawless? No but the issues didn’t really extend beyond the default color profile.
For its combination of excellent performance, efficiency, and ease of use, as well as a surprisingly anemic asking price, we enthusiastically award the Dell U2312HM our Dam Good Value award. It may not be perfect, but it is as close to perfection as we have seen a budget-priced monitor come in a long while.
- Very reasonable price
- Very power efficient
- Great stand
- Good (if somewhat quirky) OSD
- Easy setup
- Physical buttons
- Decent selection of input options
- Integrated USB ports
- Less-than-optimal default color profile
- Less-than-perfect viewing angles for an IPS monitor
- May be overlooked as it is “only” a 23” 1080P display
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