As the follow-up to 2009’s Dell UltraSharp U2410, the U2412m has quite somewhat to surpass. I expected Dell to remain on its high-end and expensive course it had already plotted for the series. And in addition, I’ll admit to being somewhat disappointed when I learned Dell went with a cheaper IPS panel with the 2412m weighed against its previous efforts.

Design and features
“Thin and light” aren’t usually descriptors assigned to 24-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) monitors, however in the curious case of the Dell UltraSharp U2412m, that’s as apt a description of its physical attributes as I possibly could think of.

Unlike the U2410 from 2009, the U2412m houses an LED backlight and uses an E-IPS panel instead of the H-IPS panel that the U2410 utilized. E-IPS panels are cheaper to manufacturer, but performance-wise, usually land between Twisted Nematic (TN) and H-IPS. Browse the performance section to observe how true that is in cases like this.

Without incredibly slim, that is clearly a fairly slim profile for an IPS performance monitor.

The U2412m’s LED backlight affords it a much thinner design than previous entries in the series. Initially, the panel measures 1.1 inches thick. After that it tapers back toward the trunk where another 1.6 inches house the bond options and ventilation system. This brings its collective depth to 2.7 inches; that is clearly a bit more than half an inch thinner compared to the U2410. At 13 pounds, again, we’re seeing something uncharacteristic: a light IPS monitor. Unexpected, given that they can certainly top 20 pounds.

A 45-degree left and right swivel isn’t enough to avoid the downpour.

The left and right side bezel measures 0.7 inch each, and the entire panel width is 21.9 inches. The foot stand sits 11 inches wide and 7.2 inches deep; however, knocking the panel from the sides yields ample wobbling on a set surface. Not really a necessarily earth-shattering discovery, given its light-weight.

The U2412m sports a complete assortment of ergonomic options, including a 90-degree pivot, 45-degree left and right swivel, and 20-degree back tilt. Also, there’s 4.8 inches of screen height adjustment, with panel-to-desktop space measuring 1.3 inches in the bottom and 6.1 inches at the very top.

Video connections options contain DisplayPort, DVI, and VGA. Having less HDMI is disappointing, but maybe even more disappointing may be the keeping the connections that are included. Connections on monitors should face out, not down, basically. Many smaller monitors accomplish that, as do virtually all TVs. It’s time we started seeing them on performance monitors. Having said that, the pivot feature makes slightly less blood drip from my nose when connecting the monitor.

DisplayPort, DVI, VGA, USB upstream, and USB downstream x2. Sadly, no HDMI. No composite or component, either, but who cares about those? Seriously, though, having less HDMI speaks to a more substantial trend I’ve noticed with recent monitors. Could DisplayPort finally maintain a position to dominate as the principal computer video input?

The OSD array is aligned vertically along the lower-right bezel and involves four small but well-spaced buttons. Navigating the OSD is easy and clean. Dell still makes the best-designed OSDs in the market with a contextual navigation system that never enables you to your investment function each button has at any moment.

Customizations are robust and vast, providing usage of brightness, contrast, and sharpness. Its seven different presets contain Standard, Multimedia, Movie, Game, Text, Color Temperature, and RGB. The colour temperature preset permits altering temperature values from 5,000 Kelvin up to 10,000K. The RGB preset lets you access red, green, and blue values individually. One minor disappointment, however, is that you can’t alter color temperature or RGB values when in a different preset. You can augment both hue and saturation, though.

For the energy conscious among you (all you both), in the top-right corner of the OSD sits a power use meter that gauges just how much power the monitor is using. Also, there’s a power Smart mode that lowers the brightness predicated on the quantity of ambient light in the area.

Perhaps as a byproduct to be unaccustomed to such light IPS displays, it had been difficult to get accustomed to something (a well-performing IPS monitor) that felt so light and airy. In my own mind, IPS monitors ought to be these weighty behemoths; exceptional opposite was somewhat off-putting. Admittedly, that is a crazy personal thing and doesn’t really affect the monitor’s quality.

I tested the Dell UltraSharp U2712m through its DVI input, linked to a Windows Vista PC, using the included DVI cable. The display posted a composite score of 97 on CNET Labs’ DisplayMate-based performance tests.

DisplayMate: The U2412m displayed light gray up to level 254; 255 is known as white and every level in-between it and 1 is a variation of gray, so 254 is approximately as high as you can aquire. The U2412m’s performance here indicates that the display would retain its contrast ratio and likely not be susceptible to washing out light colors. For dark gray, the U2412m just barely displayed right down to level 2 while still maintaining an extremely deep black, pointing to the display being with the capacity of retaining dark detail during dark scenes in movies.

The U2412m excelled in every of our color tests, showing a propensity for displaying color accurately and smoothly without unexpected jumps in color scale progression.

Inside our Dark Screen test, we did see some light clouding in every four corners of the screen. And by “light” After all “very little.”

Text: Black text on white looked clear, without the clear color tint problems. Also, fonts were evidently noticeable right down to a 6.8-point size.

Movies: I tested the Dell UltraSharp U2412m using the Blu-ray version of “Avatar.” The movie preset provided an excellent movie-watching experience, displaying a higher contrast and vibrant look with rich colors with appropriately deep blacks. No oversaturation or green tint problems were noticeable.

Games: When evaluating the appearance of games on a monitor, both most significant features to consider are vibrancy and color. If the monitor can display games with a bright and vibrant cleanness, this goes quite a distance toward benefiting its looks. If colors may also pop with fullness and depth, games can usually look great. Streaking is a different concern that honestly isn’t very pervasive with modern monitors, but if you are concerned about it, make certain to look at the last paragraph in this section.

Different is still input lag, which is, quite simply, the time it requires from when you input an action through your keyboard, mouse, or gamepad to when you see that action represented onscreen. Every monitor includes a amount of input lag, but only an extremely small percentage of folks would even see it. Given that, it isn’t something I find valuable enough to check for. PSA, over.

Using the overall game preset, Dragon Age II looked excellent on the U2412m with a higher vibrancy and dramatic color pop. Identical to movies, no evident color tint problems were present.

To check refresh rate, I used DisplayMate’s motion graphics tests and stared at several colored blocks because they moved around the screen at various speeds. The U2412m displayed large after-images of the blocks because they shifted over the screen, but I didn’t notice this degree of ghosting when actually doing offers.

Photos: When looking at faces and light-colored hair, in the typical preset the U2412m’s colors sometimes dipped extremely slightly right into a greenish hue, however the bright colors of clothing and environments popped with vibrancy.

Recommended settings: Each preset is tailored quite nicely because of its task. For general use, however, I desired the typical preset, adjusting only green to about 90 percent. This gave the monitor great color balance, exquisite for general use.

Viewing angle: The perfect viewing angle for a monitor is often directly in front, in regards to a quarter of the screen’s distance down from the very best. As of this angle, you’re viewing colors as the maker intended. Most monitors aren’t made to be looked at at any other angle. Based on its panel type, display quality at non-optimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in elements of the screen you should definitely viewed from optimal angles.

Anti-glare (AG) screen coating plays a component aswell. Some viewers choose the coating not be employed at all, while some favor only a restricted amount. Still, others are completely indifferent; however, AG coating doesn’t adversely affect quality and its own merits, or lack thereof, are strictly a question of preference.

The U2412m uses an E-IPS panel, which gives it a wider-than-TN viewing angle that does not match viewing angles seen on higher-end IPS panels.

The AG coating works fairly well here, keeping out most reflections; however, on a black screen viewed from an off angle, some blurry impressions of the surroundings are visible. Luckily, you will likely have something on screen as long as you’re using it, like, you understand, images. So, this likely won’t even be a concern. Actually, forget I said anything.

Power consumption: Armed with an LED backlight, the Dell UltraSharp U2412m achieved fair power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 27.5 watts, weighed against the Dell UltraSharp U2410’s 63.69 watts in the same test.

Inside our Sleep/Standby test, the U2412m costs 0.59 watt and the U2410 pulled less 0.47 watt. Predicated on our formula, the U2412m would incur a lot more than double the price tag on the U2410, with a per-year pull of $19.32, weighed against the U2410’s $8.63 each year.

Service and support
Dell backs the U2410mwith a good warranty, including a three-year parts and labor warrantee covering the backlight. In addition, it offers support through a 24-7 toll-free number and 24-7 Web chat. Dell also offers an easy 24- to 48-hour e-mail turnaround time–a better package than most monitor vendors, which don’t offer weekend support.

With regards to value, there are few monitors that arrive just like the U2412m does. It offers a great set of ergonomic features, a good amount of useful OSD customizations, and good performance at an excellent price.