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Dell UltraSharp U2412m review:

Dell UltraSharp U2412m

Different still is input lag, which is, put simply, the time it takes from when you input an action through your keyboard, mouse, or gamepad to when you see that action represented onscreen. Every monitor has a degree of input lag, but only a very small percentage of people would even notice it. Given that, it's not something I find valuable enough to test for. PSA, over.

Using the Game preset, Dragon Age II looked excellent on the U2412m with a high vibrancy and dramatic color pop. Same as movies, no obvious color tint problems were present.

To test refresh rate, I used DisplayMate's motion graphics tests and stared at a number of colored blocks as they moved around the screen at various speeds. The U2412m displayed large after-images of the blocks as they shifted across the screen, but I didn't notice this level of ghosting when actually playing games.

Photos: When looking at faces and light-colored hair, in the Standard preset the U2412m's colors sometimes dipped ever so slightly into a greenish hue, but the bright colors of clothing and environments popped with vibrancy.

Recommended settings: Each preset is tailored quite well for its task. For general use, however, I preferred the standard preset, adjusting only green to about 90 percent. This gave the monitor great color balance, perfect for general use.

Viewing angle: The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing colors as the manufacturer intended. Most monitors aren't designed to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at non-optimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when not viewed from optimal angles.

Anti-glare (AG) screen coating plays a part as well. Some viewers prefer the coating not be applied at all, while others favor only a limited amount. Still, others are completely indifferent; however, AG coating doesn't adversely affect quality and its merits, or lack thereof, are strictly a question of preference.

The U2412m uses an E-IPS panel, which provides it a wider-than-TN viewing angle that fails to 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 environment are visible. Luckily, you'll likely have something on screen while you're using it, like, you know, images. So, this likely won't even be an issue. 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, compared with the Dell UltraSharp U2410's 63.69 watts in the same test.

In our Sleep/Standby test, the U2412m costs 0.59 watt and the U2410 pulled a lower 0.47 watt. Based on our formula, the U2412m would incur more than double the cost of the U2410, with a per-year pull of $19.32, compared with the U2410's $8.63 per year.

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Dell Ultrasharp U2412m
Lacie 324i

DisplayMate performance test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Juice box
Dell UltraSharp U2712m Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 27.5
On (max luminance) 35.1
On (min luminance) 14.4
Sleep 0.59
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 25.6
Annual power consumption cost $8.63
Score Fair

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors

Service and support
Dell backs the U2410mwith a solid warranty, including a three-year parts and labor warranty covering the backlight. It also offers support through a 24-7 toll-free number and 24-7 Web chat. Dell also has a fast 24- to 48-hour e-mail turnaround time--a better package than most monitor vendors, which don't offer weekend support.

When it comes to value, there are few monitors that show up like the U2412m does. It includes a great list of ergonomic features, plenty of useful OSD customizations, and good performance at a great price.

HDMI will be missed, and while it won't quite match high-end monitors in viewing angle performance, most users wouldn't even notice the difference. Professionals who rely on pinpoint accuracy, however, will want to spend a bit more money to get something that better aligns to their needs.

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