Dell UltraSharp 27 (U2717D) review: Big and bright but a little frill-free for the money

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The Good The Dell UltraSharp 27 (U2717D) is bright, with good general-purpose resolution and color quality.

The Bad Feels a little flimsily built.

The Bottom Line It's not the most feature-packed monitor you can get for the money, but the Dell UltraSharp 27 (U2717D) is a fine general-purpose display.

7.8 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8

The Dell UltraSharp U2717D is essentially a bigger version of the UltraSharp 24 U2417D, but it offers a higher Quad HD resolution with slightly better pixel density, and I find that both make a noticeable improvement. While the 24-inch model is nice, the 27-inch is a little sharper and gives you a nontrivial increase in display area while maintaining the same level of performance.

Dell sells the U2717D for $570 (£700, AU$850) with the standard arm, but you can find it for closer to $450 (£500, AU$650) which are far more reasonable prices for its features and specs. You can also get it with the arm I liked when I tested the U2417HA for $630 (£710). Dell Australia doesn't seem to sell it with the arm option. Note that the U2717D sounds very similar to the older UltraSharp 27 (UP2716D) but that model is the one with a more color-accurate panel and 100 percent Adobe RGB coverage -- the "P" in that model name stands for "PremierColor" -- along with the higher $900 (£855, AU$1,160) price. Don't buy the wrong one!

Basic specifications

Manufacturer price Starts at $570, £700, AU$850
Size (diagonal) 27
Resolution QHD
Aspect ratio 16:9
Panel type IPS
Backlight type LED
Maximum gamut 99 percent sRGB
Rotates vertically Yes
Bit depth 8
Typical brightness (nits) 350
Selectable color spaces sRGB
MHL (Mobile High-definition Link) support Yes
HDMI 1 x 1.4
USB 3.0 (out) 4 x USB 3.0 (1 x BC 1.2)
USB 3.0 (in) 1
DisplayPort 1 x 1.4 (out), 1 x 1.2 (in)
Release date February 2016

Most of monitor setup is really putting together the base; beyond that, you mount the display on the base and make the relevant connections. The U2727D comes with two cables, a USB 3.0 upstream cable that connects to your computer to enable the display's USB hub and a DisplayPort-to-Mini DisplayPort cable. If you've got a recent laptop you want to connect it to, though, might need to use HDMI, and good luck finding an upstream cable for today's USB-C-centric laptops to the full-size upstream connector -- it's the double-height version, so you need a Type-A connector on your computer. Depending on the version of the operating system you're running, you might need to download a driver to enable the hub as well.

Putting together the stand and mounting the display is easy. You simply drop the vertical mount onto the base and screw it on with the captive thumbscrew. The display's VESA-mount back simply snaps onto the stand. You feed the cables through a hole in the back. It rotates and tilts smoothly, even one-handed, including 90-degree rotation for using it vertically, or for bringing the connectors to the side so you can see them. There's also a fair bit of latitude for height adjustments.

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