U2711 is Dell's new 27-inch monitor with IPS panel and an extremely high 2560x1440 pixel resolution. U2711 is the successor to 27-inch model 2709W but now Dell will be utilizing the IPS panel technology instead of the S-PVA, as well as incorporating a resolution close to that of 30-inch panels. U2711 uses the same panel as the new Apple 27-inch iMac.
Dell U2711 is targeting graphic designers, photographers, CAD, or simply discerning consumers that require a high resolution and a lot of desktop freedom. But can U2711 live up to expectations? And what do we get by going up to 27-inches? FlatpanelsHD will find out in this review.
It’s evident that U2711 is the bigger brother to U2410. The frame is almost identical, although a few millimeters wider.
At the bottom of the frame you see the Dell logo and on the right side of the frame touch-sensitive buttons have been integrated in order to operate the OSD (on screen display). The touch-sensitive buttons reacts swiftly but navigation is a bit slower than on U2410.
Dell U2711 also has extensive ergonomic adjustability in order to adapt to different working positions. It is possible to adjust the height of the screen, tilt, and swivel.
When U2711 is lowered as far as possible there’s a distance of 7.3 cm to the bottom of the LCD panel and 4.9 cm to the bottom of the frame. Pivot is not an option on U2711.
All inputs are located on the back and pointing downwards.
On the left there’s a 2-port (2 outputs on the back as well) USB hub and a card reader that takes SD, xD, MS and MMC memory cards. Dell U2711 has almost any input you’d desire. On the back you’ll find 2 DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, D-SUB (VGA), component, composite and s-video. In addition there are also two analog audio outputs and an output for a subwoofer.
The OSD menu has these picture settings: Brightness, contrast, sharpness, colour temperature and RGB (red, green, blue). U2711 also incorporates these picture profiles: Standard, Multimedia, Game, Warm, Cool, Adobe RGB, sRGB and Custom Color.
You can choose to output RGB or YPbPr colours, and adjust gamma for PC or MAC support. You can also select Graphics or Video mode, as well as controlling the wide mode (aspect ratio mode) that you want on the screen with “Fill”, “Aspect” or “1:1”.
Finally, Dell U2711 incorporates a PIP mode that can combine DVI, HDMI, component and composite inputs.
Measurements on Dell U2711 below:
Dell U2711 consumes approximately 60.7 W after calibration. This is higher than most PC monitors today but a result of the large panel. We miss a LED backlight, though, like on the Apple 27-inch iMac. This would certainly lower power consumption.
Also, please note that LCD monitors uses less power after calibration. This is common on flat panel displays because many picture parameters are reduced during calibration.
We use the DVI input for testing. The graphic card is Geforce 7900GTO.
The monitor has been measured and calibrated with a LaCie Blue Eye Pro. We also examine the monitor with the help of our monitorTest. And finally we test the monitor in games, movies etc.
Picture quality at Dell U2711
Please note that the high resolution on U2711 requires a graphic card that supports dual-link DVI.
Out-of-box picture quality on U2711 in the default profile is measured below.
The graph says this:
The number on the left is the delta value. Delta is a difference between two factors; here it’s the difference between the measured colour on the panel and the actual colour that is our target.
A delta value lower that 2 results in a visible deviation from the actual colour.
A delta value over 4 or 5 results in wrong colours.
A delta value between 1 and 2 results in precise but not perfect colours.
A delta value lower than one results in almost perfect colours. The target is 0.
Everything between 0 and 1 is barely visible to the human eye.
Dell U2711 has better “out-of-box” picture quality than 24-inch U2410. Most colours are reproduced fairly accurate and the grey tones appear to be very accurate (which means that shadow detailing is good). Colour reproduction can be improved, though.
Gamma is a bit too low. We are aiming for 2.2 gamma on all grey tones. Dell U2711 has a gamma tracking that varies from 2.12 in the light grey tones to 2.2 in the dark shades. In practice this is a very small deviation and not really noticeable.
Colour temperature is somehow too low compared to our reference at 6500 Kelvin. This means that the picture is a tad to reddish – but again, nothing critical observed.
I moved on to take a new measurement in the sRGB profile on U2711.
The sRGB profile on U2711 improves picture quality but it is not as accurate as on U2410. Most colours are reproduced at a lower delta level (compared to the out-of-box measurement) now meaning that they are more accurate but the sRGB profile has worse grey tone (shadow detail) reproduction.
I took a measurement in the AdobeRGB profile. This one is very interesting because the U2711 is able to reproduce almost every colour in the AdobeRGB gamut.
The accuracy is more or less on a par with the sRGB profile but please note that U2711 increases the gamut considerably (left side on the graph above) to fit the Adobe RGB gamut. The Adobe RGB profile should only be used by graphic designers working in Adobe RGB environments, though.
Finally I did a full calibration on U2711:
After calibration Dell U2711 is a killer. I have nothing to complain about. Colour reproduction is close to perfection, colour temperature is spot-on, and gamma is 2.2.
Here are my calibrated settings that you can try on your U2711 as well. Keep in mind that we also used an ICC profile and a hardware calibrator. The sRGB is a good starting point, though.
I have reduced brightness on U2711 and adjusted RGB (red, green, blue).
Picture quality in practice is very nice on U2711. U2711 has similar picture characteristics as the U2410 and 2209WA due to IPS panel used.
Colours are reproduced very beautifully. Before calibration U2711 has slightly oversaturated colours but PQ is still quite good. U2711 is also convincing in our gradient tests from our testing software MonitorTest. Colour gradients are smooth and nice.
Dell U2711 has plenty of setting options and this makes the monitor able to adapt to different graphical environments. Although setting options on Dell U2711 are not as comprehensive as on the Eizo monitors, U2711 comes close after calibration.
The high resolution of 2560x1440 pixels offers great opportunities with a lot of desktop space. The workspace is extended significantly in comparison with 24-28-inch monitors with 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 resolutions. If you have played with the Apple 27-inch iMac in one of the Apple Stores you know what I mean.
Throughout my U2711 review I had U2410 standing next to it for reference. U2711 is larger, but mostly wider due to the different aspect ratio. The most striking difference between the two monitors is certainly the resolution. U2711 has far more desktop space than U2410 making it a better monitor for CAD and such.
U2410 has slightly better colour fidelity in the sRGB profile but the two monitors are very similar indeed. I have taken a picture of the two screens below in the sRGB profiles with backlight on 20.
Compared to Dell’s old 27-inch 2709W the new U2711 is a different screen. The old one utilized a PVA panel with some other strengths and weaknesses. U2711 is an improvement on some areas and especially the high resolution is a major pro.
Below I have measured black level and contrast ratio:
Contrast ratio +/- 50
Black depth is surprisingly good on U2711. It is not on par with the best Eizo monitors based on S-PVA panels but U2711 certainly beats its smaller brother U2410. After calibration I measured black at 0.12 cd/m2 on U2711, which is impressive when you take in mind that this is an IPS panel. For comparison the U2410 gave me 0.18 cd/m2 after calibration.
This is an observable difference in practice, and U2711 appear to have somehow more intense dark shades.
I also examined shadow detail which is very good. The sRGB profile reduces shadow detailing a bit, though.
Finally I've taken a picture of U2711 in a completely dark room to examine clouding / backlight bleeding issues.
Dell U2711 has no clouding issues. This is good.
Response and games
Dell U2711 is based on an IPS panel. IPS panels are not the fastest in the game and U2711 is definitely not a gaming monitor. It has similar performance as U2410 and users will experience some trailing in rapid games, such as racing games or FPS.
U2711 has a slightly less traditional trailing but slightly more Overdrive trailing (halos) compared to Dell U2410. Overdrive trailing is easier to spot in practical use than traditional trailing. See the difference between traditional and Overdrive trailing on the picture below.
Dell U2711 is a fair choice for movie watching and sporadic gaming, and as fast as most LCD-TVs today but the most demanding gamers should go with gaming monitors such as Samsung 2233rz.
Viewing angles on Dell U2711 are good. The IPS tech is generally regarded as the panel type that has the widest viewing angles of any LCD panel technology. Black is reduced somehow from large angles but colour intensity is not reduced that much.
Dell U2711 is a fantastic screen. It transfers the positive picture elements from U2410 into 27 inches and adds an extremely high resolution of 2560x1440 pixels. The resolution makes U2711 ideal for CAD or other desktop space consuming tasks.
Dell U2711 has better “out-of-box” picture quality compared to the smaller 24-inch Dell U2410 but the sRGB profile is not as accurate. Nevertheless U2711 does impress us with beautiful colours, wide viewing angles, relatively deep blacks and fair shadow detailing (although not perfect in sRGB mode).
The response time lacks some speed and Dell U2711 does not compete with gaming monitors such as Samsung 2233rz but U2711 is a fair choice for movie watching and sporadic gaming. U2711 has slightly more Overdrive trailing than U2410 .
The functionality on U2711 is rather unique. You’ll find great ergonomic adjustability (no pivot though) and almost every input you can think of with HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, component, D-SUB etc. The menus features comprehensive setting options and the sRGB and Adobe RGB profiles are fair – although not perfect.
Dell U2711 is targeted at discerning users, graphic designers, photographers, and CAD. The only things that really pulls U2711 down is the somehow too premium price and heavy power consumption. A LED backlight would have helped, but besides that U2711 is an amazing and very versatile PC monitor that I really enjoyed testing.