Dell UltraSharp U2414H review
Dell’s UltraSharp monitors have spent many a month on the PC Pro A-List, and at first glance the latest 24in model, the UltraSharp U2414H, looks like a strong contender for the budget monitor top spot. It offers a smart physical design, a colour-calibrated sRGB mode and a whole host of features for only £200.
The U2414H looks different to Dell’s previous monitors, thanks to a pleasingly dainty, curved profile. It hasn’t lost anything in the way of utility, however: the solid-feeling silver stand – which latches securely to the quick-release mount at the rear – rotates the display into portrait mode, provides 130mm of height adjustment and does a fine job of keeping the monitor firmly planted to the desk.
By far the most striking change concerns the bezel. Dell has banished the thick picture-frame surround of previous models, and the U2414’s matte, anti-glare finish now stretches almost all the way to the monitor’s edges. This isn’t just for show – it’s perfect for multimonitor setups, where the smallest possible gap between displays is called for. The U2414H’s bezel measures 6mm thick along its vertical edges, 6mm on its top horizontal edge and 16mm on its bottom edge.
The only retrograde step is taken by the panel resolution. Compared to its predecessor, the excellent UltraSharp U2412M, the U2414H’s Full HD, 1,920 x 1,080 panel has lost 120 pixels of vertical resolution. This is disappointing, as we much prefer the spacious feel of a 1,920 x 1,200 monitor to that of standard Full HD model; the extra pixels extend the height of your workspace by around an inch, which makes a far greater impact in daily use than you might expect.
Image quality remains competitive. When connected to our test PC via DisplayPort, the U2414H put in a solid performance. At factory default settings, the U2414H is set to 75% brightness, which we measured at a bright 256cd/m2; crank it to maximum and the W-LED backlight reaches 323cd/m2. The contrast ratio of 853:1 is excellent, and colour fidelity is good, with average and maximum Delta E scores of 2.7 and 6.4 respectively.
Select the U2414H’s factory-calibrated sRGB profile and colour accuracy gets even better. The contrast ratio dips to 660:1, but the average Delta E improves to 2.1, and the maximum deviation drops to 4.3. The IPS panel is evenly lit, too: we measured no more than a 10% variation in brightness across the whole panel. The Dell’s only weakness is a tendency to crush the darkest greys into black, but this could be a peculiarity of our test sample – no two panels are 100% identical, and some will fare better in the factory calibration process than others.
At the back, Dell has packed in plenty of connectivity. In addition to the DisplayPort input, there’s mini-DisplayPort, a full-sized DisplayPort throughput (which requires a DisplayPort 1.2-capable graphics card) and twin HDMI inputs, both of which support MHL connections. There’s also a four-port USB 3 hub, with one port located at the centre of the monitor’s back panel for easier access. Dell provides a plastic cover to hide the cables, and the hole at the base of the stand makes for easy cable routing.
The on-screen display is far better than most. The four touch-sensitive buttons on the front work reliably, and although they aren’t labelled, context-sensitive icons pop up on screen to show which button you need to press. The menus provide easy access to all the features, and it’s easy to tweak the brightness, contrast and picture presets and toggle settings on and off.
The Dell UltraSharp U2414H is a great monitor for sensible money. Ultimately, we prefer the larger resolution of its predecessor, the UltraSharp U2412M, which is still on sale, but it’s a close-run thing. If Full HD resolution suits your needs, the UltraSharp U2414H’s generous feature set, great build and fine image quality are a steal at this price.
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Upstream USB ports||1|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||1|
|Pivot (portrait) mode?||yes|
|Dimensions||539 x 486 x 185mm (WDH)|