Dell UltraSharp U2311H review: Dell UltraSharp U2311H

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Typical Price: $349.00
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good IPS, 1080p panel for fantastic price. Excellent stand. Four USB ports.

The Bad No HDMI. Display too sharp. Failed one more inversion test than the average.

The Bottom Line Considering its price, no one has an excuse any more to buy a second-rate TN panel. While it hasn't been given the same attention to detail in colour accuracy as the 2209WA or the U2711, the U2311H makes for a compelling buy if you want affordable 1080p.

8.0 Overall

The Dell U2311H is yet another entry into Dell's UltraSharp range, its trademark look and feel of matte black and silver in place. What it is missing from other models though is the silver trim around the edge — the panel is now completely black.

It's a 23-inch, 1920x1080, matte screen that despite using an IPS panel comes in at the low price of AU$349 — a good AU$50 cheaper than its smaller, lower resolution cousin the 2209WA . It also one ups the 22-inch alternative by including a DisplayPort output.

The aesthetic adheres to what seems to be Dell's universal style now — square and military-like, in black and silver. Thankfully it's something that works, even if it can make the screens hard to tell apart at a glance. Perhaps at Dell it really is size that matters the most.

Dell UltraSharp U2311H

Dell has definitely settled on a design. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Specs at a glance

Size 23 inches
Resolution 1920x1080
Aspect ratio 16:9
Pixel pitch 0.265
Panel technology H-IPS
Viewing angles
(10:1 contrast)
H: 178°
V: 178°
Response time 8ms G2G
Max vertical refresh 60Hz
Connections DVI, DisplayPort, VGA, soundbar power, 4x USB
Accessories DVI, VGA, DisplayPort, USB upstream, power cables

Stand and ergonomics

The U2311H's stand carries on Dell's long tradition of great adjustability. Rack and pinion height adjustment, swivel, tilt and 90° pivot are all featured. Cable management is offered through a hole in the neck, and the panel itself can be detached if need be.

Dell UltraSharp U2311H stand

The Dell stand offers some of the best manoeuvrability in its class.
(Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Connections

Dell UltraSharp U2311H inputs

Power, soundbar power, DisplayPort, DVI, VGA, USB upstream, 2x USB downstream. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Dell UltraSharp U2311H USB ports

Two more USB ports are on the left-hand side of the monitor. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Buttons and on-screen display (OSD)

While the buttons on the U2311H may mimic its bigger cousin the U2711, the buttons are neither touch nor proximity sensitive, the power light glows a permanent blue. There are four unmarked buttons above this — hit any one and a context-sensitive menu appears, allocating functions to each button where appropriate. Dell's button and menu system are still class leading, and can be used equally as easily in light as in dark.

Dell UltraSharp U2311H buttons

The unmarked buttons are context sensitive, and physically actuated. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Dell UltraSharp U2311H OSD

It's been around for a little while now, but Dell's OSD is still one of the best on the market. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

The menu is everything we've come to expect of Dell, although being an entry-level priced monitor, options are limited on the U2311H. The standards are of course here — brightness, contrast, sharpness, RGB/YPbPr colour, a selection between PC or Mac gamma, a mode selection of Graphics or Video and 4:3 or "Fill" image scaling. Just like the 2209WA, you won't find a 1:1 scaling option here, something we're sorely disappointed with.

There is the usual slew of presets too, including "Standard", "Multimedia", "Game", "Warm", "Cool" and "Custom (RGB)" under the Graphics mode, and "Movie", "Game", "Sports" and "Nature" under the Video mode. Video mode also opens up Hue and Saturation settings, but as usual we recommend you leave the presets alone, set it to "Custom (RGB)" and calibrate from there.

Performance

Lagom.nl LCD tests
After calibrating to a target brightness of 140cd/m² with an X-Rite i1Display 2, Eye-One Match 3 and tweaking with HCFR, the U2311H was run through the Lagom.nl LCD tests.

Image tests
Contrast Sharpness Gamma Black level White saturation Gradient
Pass Too sharp. Set at 40 was the best result. Pass Pass Pass Obvious transition from light to dark.

Sharpness was an issue — while in day-to-day use we didn't notice anything, with the available settings the monitor would not pass the Lagom sharpness test. There was also a noticeable jump between the dark and light end of the greyscale gradient tests.

Inversion pixel walk tests
Test 1 Test 2a Test 2b Test 3 Test 4a Test 4b Test 5 Test 6a Test 6b Test 7a Test 7b
Pass Slight flicker Pass Pass Flicker Slight flicker Pass Pass Pass Very slight downward scrolling motion Very slight downward scrolling motion

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