Dell Dell U2311H and Dell U2211H are Dell’s two new low priced IPS monitors. We have received U2311 with a 23-inch IPS panel and a 1920x1080 resolution, as well as Dell’s well-known matte black design and great ergonomic features.
But is the more price friendly U2311H a real alternative to the Dell U2410H and a worthy successor to the Dell 2209WA? FlatpanelsHD will find out in this review of the U2311H that also includes a U2410 comparison section.
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8 ms (g2g)
16.7 million colors
72 % of NTSC
8 bit for each color
Viewing angles (H/V):
178°/178° (contrast 10:1)
35.6cm x 54.9cm x 18.4cm (with stand)
4-port USB hub
Price and retailer:
Our first impressions
Dell U2311H looks similar to most Dell professional monitors. It has a matte black plastic finish and a Dell logo in the center.
The stand is rectangular but a lot smaller than on for example the Dell U2410. It allows users to adjust tilt, swivel, and height. It also has a pivot feature.
All inputs are connected on the back. You can connect U2311H with DisplayPort, DVI, and D-SUB (VGA) but not with HDMI which is a bit odd.
On the side of the monitor there’s two USB inputs and two additional inputs on the back.
The menu is similar to other Dell monitors and has these picture setting options: Brightness, contrast, sharpness, color temperature and RGB (red, green, blue). U2311H also has these picture modes: Standard, Multimedia, Gam, Warm, Cool and Custom (RGB).
Measurements on Dell U2311H below.
Energy consumption after calibration was measured to 25.2 W. This is a lot lower (almost 50 %) than U2410 that consumed 46.8 W after calibration and also a lot lower than the Dell 2209WA that the two new models from Dell seem to replace.
This is also pretty low for an IPS panel.
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 on Dell U2311H
Out-of-box picture quality on U2311H in the default mode (Standard) 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 color on the panel and the actual color that is our target.
A delta value lower that 2 results in a visible deviation from the actual color.
A delta value over 4 or 5 results in wrong colors.
A delta value between 1 and 2 results in precise but not perfect colors.
A delta value lower than one results in almost perfect colors. The target is 0.
Everything between 0 and 1 is barely visible to the human eye.
The default mode is very impressive and the best so far from Dell. This is quite extraordinary from a “cheap” monitor. Gamma is very close to our target of 2.2 and only varies from 2.19 to 2.27. This means that most colors are accurate and also that picture is neither too dark nor too bright.
The color temperature is a bit too low but nothing critical. Our target is 6500 Kelvin. Brightness is too high at 171 cd/m2 but not extreme. I suggest that you lower the brightness setting, though.
Color deviations are not huge except for the blue color. Most other colors are within the 3-4 delta-interval which is quite good for a default color mode and very impressive for a monitor in this price range.
Dell U2311H has no sRGB mode but the Standard mode is pretty much satisfying as a sRGB mode. I tried to switch to the Warm mode to see how U2311H performed in this mode. Below you can see my result.
The Warm mode has a too warm picture with a color temperature of 5355 Kelvin and I do not suggest this for photo editing.
I now performed a calibration and below you can see my result.
The calibrated result is very impressive. Gamma is very accurate and only varies by 0.3 across the grey scale compared to our 2.2 reference. The gamut (seen in the left side of the graph) is also within the sRGB triangle.
Here are my calibrated settings:
Input Color Format:
During my calibration I lowered brightness to decrease light output from the panel. At brightness 30 in the menu you get 120 cd/m2 peak white brightness which is good for all-round viewing.
I also changed the RGB (red, green, blue) values.
Picture quality on Dell U2311H is very good and in this price segment you often get TN based monitors. U2311H is a lot better than all of them and both color accuracy and color gradation is visibly superior to the TN panels.
Below I have included a comparison to Dell U2410 that I have standing next to U2311H as a reference. Obviously the U2311H has a smaller resolution with the 1920x1080 as compared to 1920x1200 on U2311H. This means that you get fewer pixels in height but also means that the aspect ratio is different.
Dell U2311H is a 23-inches screen and U2410 a 24-inches screen but the difference in practice is larger than you might expect. U2311H seems smaller because of the different aspect ratio. See the picture below. In our Dell U2711H we also saw how the U2711H wasn’t actually much bigger than the U2410 (but had a higher resolution).
Below you can see a picture of the two monitors in the default color modes.
The result is not 100 % similar and Dell U2410 has a warmer picture due to the too low color temperature that is a characteristic of the default picture mode on U2410 monitors.
And below in Dell U2410’s sRGB mode and U2311H’s Standard mode:
I also examined color reproduction on the two monitors. Color gradation and accuracy is very close. I saw some minor bands on the U2311H in the black to green gradient that was not visible on U2410 but U2311H has better color reproduction on the very dark color shades. I don’t see significant differences between the two monitors, though.
Below I have measured black level and contrast ratio on Dell U2311H.
Contrast ratio +/- 50
After calibration I measured black to 0.16 cd/m2 with a peak brightness level (on white) of 122 cd/m2. This is better than on the U2410 and 2209WA, and U2311H also this is also visible in practice. The U2311H has a tad better black depth.
I did some testing on maximum and minimum values. If you lower brightness in the menu all the way to 0 % U2311H has a brightness level of 79 cd/m2 and a black reproduction of 0.09 cd/m2. If you increase brightness in the U2311H menu all the way to 100 the monitor has a brightness level of 256 cd/m2 and a black level depth of 0.31 cd/m2.
However, U2311H does not have as low black levels as the 27-inch Dell U2711 and still not as deep as S-PVA monitors such as the Eizo EV2333. This is still one of the drawbacks of the IPS panel technology.
I also examined shadow detailing on U2311H. Shadow detailing is good on U2311H. I compared to the U2410 and it’s clear that U2311H has less shadow detail crushing than the U2410. I can distinguish almost every shade of dark grey and this is very positive.
Below you can see a comparison between U2410 and U2311H. Notice that the U2311H is slightly darker.
Finally I've taken a picture of U2311H in a completely dark room to examine clouding / backlight bleeding issues.
U2311H has some bleeding in the upper right corner. It’s visible with backlight above 50 % but below 50 % is not critical and barely visible.
There’s also some minor tinting in the lower right corner on U2311H. See the viewing angles section for more on this subject.
Response and games
U2311H utilizes a IPS panel that is not the fastest LCD panel but in the recent years manufacturers has been able to narrow the gap to the TN panels that are still considered the fastest LCD panels out there.
Response time on U2311H is fast but it’s not competing with the best gaming monitors today. I experienced some minor traditional trailing but also some Overdrive trailing (white halos) in fast motion.
The Overdrive trailing is more noticeable than the traditional trailing but not visible in all color shifts. I primarily saw some Overdrive trailing on black to white transitions and on green to black transitions but not on for example red and blue transitions.
U2311H is fast, however. It’s well suited for movie watching and for most gaming. I won’t call it a FPS gaming monitor and for very fast games you should stick with the 120 Hz monitors such as the Samsung 2233rz.
Another positive thing is that U2311H has virtually no input lag. I compared to some 120 Hz monitors and CRT monitors and only very rarely U2311H introduced a few milliseconds lag but U2311H is indeed very fast and performs very similar to the popular 2209WA monitor.
Color shifting from angles is very minimal. Most colors keep intensity even from large angles and this is also one of the IPS technology strengths. See a picture of the horizontal and vertical viewing angles below:
Change in contrast is another story, however. From even small angles U2311H begin to loose contrast and this is very visible on dark colors and black. Below you can see a picture U2311H with a black background from an angle. Notice that the color is changing and becoming brighter and tinted.
This phenomenon is not unusual with IPS panels and some IPS panels have purple tinting instead but on U2410 that I have standing next to U2311H there’s no such serious contrast issues.
U2311H has a fair black level – from the front – but if you move to the sides it is – as shown above - reduced. If you sit close to the U2311H you can also see that the corners of the panel start to get tinted because of the contrast reduction from viewing angles.
This is a problem in my eyes and even though this issue is only visible in the evening time and not really annoying during daytime I feel that both the Dell U2410 and Dell 2209WA was better in this regard.
Dell U2311H is a cheap alternative to the TN panels that are (unfortunately) dominating the monitor market today. And with the IPS panel in U2311H you get much better picture quality than any TN panel provides.
The attractive ergonomic functions with height, tilt, swivel and pivot adjustment are great. The picture setting menus also has sufficient setting options but U2311H is not competing with the dedicated graphic monitors in this regard. I miss a HDMI input on U2311H, too.
Dell U2311H has very accurate colors and quite good color gradation. Black levels are fair and shadow detailing is convincing. The response time is also low but I did see some Overdrive trailing that was not present on the U2410 that I had standing next to U2311H. U2311H is a pretty good choice for most gaming and multimedia, though, and input lag is very, very low.
Dell U2311H has one issue, however, and that’s the fall in contrast from angles. It makes the U2311H seem washed out in darker colors and even though this is primarily visible in dark rooms in the evening and not really problematic during daytime, you might consider the Dell U2410 as a better choice. 2209WA had no such problems either.
But if you can ignore this U2311H is indeed a nice monitor, and superior in regards of picture quality to all TN panels that are in most monitors today. So if you want an inexpensive IPS monitor Dell U2311H is definitely interesting.