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

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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.

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7.8

Dell UltraSharp 27 (U2717D)

Pricing Not Available

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.

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 (2,560x1,440)"
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.

The monitor comes with a factory calibration report to assure you that it's within tolerance to be considered color-accurate, in a standard perceptible-difference unit called "Delta-E." In sRGB, it's very accurate; not so much in the default Standard mode, though. maximum brightness runs about 320 nits, and typical contrast is about 700:1; in other words, it delivers fine general-purpose performance. It's also got an antiglare coating that works pretty well.

My one quibble is with the plasticky-feeling build quality. It feels like one wrong move and the panel is going to pop out of the thin InfinityEdge bezel; I doubt it will, but it feels that way. The buttons are small, but relatively easy to feel, and the onscreen menu offers a small but reasonable set of options. The power connection seems a bit tenuous as well; several times while moving the monitor it loosened enough to power off, even while I was trying to hold it in. That's not a big problem for most people -- just reseat it and everything's fine -- but in my highly atypical case I had to reboot my virtual machine every time the power went off.

The feature set is fairly slim, too; its main perk is the four USB 3.0 Type-A connectors. There's an audio output on the back, but it doesn't support , and the monitor offers the bare minimum of connection options. You can set specific color temperatures, however, which is nice. It's not a great option for fast gaming -- there are better budget gaming monitors -- or for color-sensitive tasks like photo and video editing. But for working, web surfing and streaming HD video, it's a solid choice.

It does have a lot of competitors, though, some of which are cheaper (like the BenQ GW2765HT for about $330) or which offer a lot more for a similar price (like the Freesync-enabled 4K UHD LG 27UD68P for $500, £400, AU$680).

If you can afford it, I do recommend choosing the 27-inch over the 24-inch UltraSharp, especially if it's going to be your only monitor. It's worth it for the space and the slight extra sharpness.

dell-u2717d-9.jpg
7.8

Dell UltraSharp 27 (U2717D)

Pricing Not Available

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Performance 8