Dell UltraSharp U2412M Review

First Impressions The Dell UltraSharp does indeed live up to its name. The sharpness of the display along with its clarity are easily one of its most sought after aspects. Indeed, the key element that makes the Dell U2412M so attractive is the fact that it has a high quality IPS panel rather than the more conventional TN panel. The difference between the two? A significant improvement in visual quality at the expense of negligible response time and refresh rates. Often, you'll hear ...
8.6 Total Score
Dell UltraSharp U2412M

The Dell U2412M monitor has some of the nicest colors and clarity for a 24" 1080p monitor. As an IPS monitor though, its response time suffers a little, but only lagging behind the fastest monitors like the VG248QE.

Display Quality (Color & Clarity)
9
Responsiveness (Refresh Rates & Response Time)
7.5
Amazon Rating
9.2
Editor's Rating
9
Value For Money
8.5

dell ultrasharp u2412m frontFirst Impressions

The Dell UltraSharp does indeed live up to its name. The sharpness of the display along with its clarity are easily one of its most sought after aspects. Indeed, the key element that makes the Dell U2412M so attractive is the fact that it has a high quality IPS panel rather than the more conventional TN panel.

The difference between the two? A significant improvement in visual quality at the expense of negligible response time and refresh rates.

Often, you’ll hear gamers claiming that the latest monitors with the highest refresh rates and the fastest response time have given them an edge to win over their opponents.

Perhaps it would make a slight difference if you’re a professional gamer and you’re competing in an FPS match like CounterStrike or Call of Duty but these only apply in such limited circumstances.

If you’re an average gamer like myself, you’d be able to enjoy a much more pleasant and enjoyable experience from the enhanced visuals that an IPS panel would provide you with.

Visual Quality

dell viewing angles

What exactly are these advantages in terms of the Dell U2412M’s visual quality? First of all, it has great viewing angles. This means that there is little to no deviation in color contrast when the display is viewed from the sides or the top of the screen. This is important so that regardless of how you’re positioned in front of the monitor, the color and clarity of the display will always be consistent.

For monitors with TN panels, on the other hand, the colors at the bottom or top of the screen will always have a different or inconsistent shade the further you deviate from the middle of the screen. Assuming you are seated  in such a way that your eyes are staring right smack in the middle of the display, the color inconsistencies along the edges of the screen will still be fairly noticeable.

Plus, the improvement in clarity and color accuracy that an IPS panel provides over and above that of a TN panel is tremendous. I’ve just changed from a Samsung 2233SW monitor which has a TN panel to this particular U2412M display and I’m absolutely impressed by the sharpness and color vibrancy that I had been missing out on.

Dell U2412M backIf you plan on purchasing the Dell U2412M however, its factory settings right out of the box are kind of screwed up so you’ll have to recalibrate them yourself.

Fret not though. This is really easy to do and can be done within 10 minutes even if you’re a complete newbie at this. I’d highly recommend that you head on over to TFT Central for their calibration settings of the U2412M which have been hailed by many to be the absolute best. They also do provide step-by-step instructions with screenshots for you to follow.

Its default resolution is 1920 x 1200 in case you’re wondering. Most 24″ monitors will have this particular resolution option too. Its maximum brightness is 300 cd/m2 which is certainly more than sufficient for any gamers or graphics designer at all. Indeed, with my current calibration settings, the brightness I use is only at 35%.

Connectivity

In terms of this aspect, the monitor comes with 4 USB ports, 1 DVI, 1 VGA and 1 DisplayPort. 2 of the USB ports are conveniently located at the left side of the monitor for easy accessibility while the other ports are placed at the back of the monitor. As for its display menu, it can be accessed via 4 buttons at the bottom right area of its bezel facing forwards.

Adjustability

It has all 3 height, tilt and pivot adjustability options which means that you no longer have to stack it on top of books like some of the older monitor displays and you could also use it in the portrait mode if you wish.

Negative Aspects

Dell Ultrasharp U2412M side viewThe one major drawback that this Dell monitor has is its borderline response time of 6.5ms. Anything above that figure and you’re likely to notice some ghosting issues in fast-paced gameplay.

Some people have complained of such issues during their gaming sessions but I personally have not. Then again, this varies from person to person.

Also, this monitor lacks a HDMI port which means that you’ll have to purchase a separate HDMI converter cable if you wish to use this monitor for your other gaming consoles like the PS3.

Verdict

All in all, this monitor is a powerhouse and will be excellent for both gaming and general purposes. Indeed, I was torn between the choice of the Dell UltraSharp U2412M and the Asus VG248QE as both of these are claimed by many to be the top 24″ gaming monitors currently available. The Asus does provide a faster response time of 1.6 ms (as opposed to Dell’s 6.5 ms) and a higher refresh rate of 144Hz (as opposed to Dell’s 60Hz) so if you’re looking to compete in hardcore FPS matches and you need to squeeze out every little edge out of your gaming hardware, the Asus might be preferable. Nevertheless, if you’re an average gamer like me who favors a more enjoyable overall experience due to the significant visual enhancements that the Dell has over the Asus, you should certainly opt for the former.

If you’re still not convinced, you might want to take note of the fact that the Dell UltraSharp U2412M has an astounding 4.6/5 rating in Amazon out of a total of 550 reviews. At its price of $290, you’ll be hard pressed to find any other 24″ monitor that has an IPS panel of this quality.

Check the price & reviews of the Dell U2412M monitor at Amazon.com

If you want to opt for response time and refresh rate superiority:

Check the price & reviews of the ASUS VG248QE monitor at Amazon.com