Dell UltraSharp U2713HM review: Dell UltraSharp U2713HM

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The Good USB 3.0 ports. Brings in IPS 27-inch at a cheaper price point. Straight-up 8-bit panel makes much more sense for non colour-critical environments. Stand supports vertical rotate. Less aggressive.

The Bad Slight banding in gradients. Faint "criss-cross" pattern visible on light screens will annoy some. No HDMI processing. USB 3.0 ports do take a speed hit compared to direct connection. High power consumption, even in standby.

The Bottom Line Dell's UltraSharp U2713HM does come in cheaper than Samsung's S27A850T, and offers USB 3.0 as well. It is quite power hungry, though, and a faint "criss-cross" pattern on light screens may irritate some. Ultimately, its biggest competitor is the monitor that came before it: the U2711.

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8.0 Overall

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The U2713HM is not the successor to the U2711. Despite the similar name, Dell continues to sell the U2711 alongside the U2713HM, just as it did the U2410 with the U2412M.

You'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise, especially as the price makes things a little confusing — at only AU$100 less, the U2713HM makes enough omissions compared to its predecessor that you'll catch yourself wanting to spend a little more to get the extra features. At the time of writing, the U2711 is actually on sale for AU$120 less than the U2713HM, muddying the waters even further.

Ultimately, it comes down to the feature set that you desire: the older monitor supports a wider colour space, allows CMY adjustments, supports AdobeRGB, has more display inputs and comes with an eight-in-one card reader. The U2713HM uses a straight-up 8-bit panel for those who don't want to think about colour, has a less aggressive anti-glare coating, the stand supports 90° rotation and USB 3.0 is included over the U2711's USB 2.0.

We'd imagine that eventually, the U2713HM will come down in price, hopefully making the choice a little clearer for those on a budget.

Dell UltraSharp U2713HM front

Dell's newer designs are less aggressive and militaristic than its previous UltraSharps.
(Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Specs at a glance

Size 27 inches
Resolution 2560x1440
Aspect ratio 16:9
Pixel pitch 0.2335
Panel technology IPS
Viewing angles
(10:1 contrast)
H: 178°
V: 178°
Response time 8ms GTG
Max vertical refresh 60Hz
Connections DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI, 4xUSB 3.0 downstream, 1xUSB 3.0 upstream, VGA 3.5mm line out
Accessories DVI, VGA, USB 3.0, power cables

Stand and ergonomics

Dell's new-style stand passes on the aggressiveness of previous models and instead opts for simple curves and geometric shapes. It's still as adjustable as it ever was, offering tilt, swivel, height adjustment and even 90° rotation, which is a nice feature for such a big screen. A hole in the back provides for cable management.

Dell UltraSharp U2713HM stand

Just like Samsung, Dell offers 90° rotation on its 27-inch stand, among other ergonomic functions.
(Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)


Dell UltraSharp U2713HM inputs

From the left: Power, Dell audio bar power jack, DisplayPort, VHA, DVI, HDMI, 3.5mm line out, USB 3.0 upstream, 2x USB 3.0 downstream.
(Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Dell UltraSharp U2713HM inputs

Another two USB 3.0 ports are on the side.
(Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

One thing should be said for Dell's USB 3.0 ports: there is a performance hit on speed. A hard drive that tested at 245MBps sequential reads attached directly to our test system dropped to 215MBps through the monitor. It's still significantly faster than any USB 2.0 port will give you, but it's something to be mindful of if you're seeking top speeds.

Buttons and on-screen display (OSD)

Dell UltraSharp U2713HM buttons

They don't light up like the more expensive UltraSharps, but they do the job.
(Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

One of the giveaways that this is aimed for a more affordable market is the design of the buttons on the front. Previous premium models had capacitive buttons that lit up when your hand was near to guide the way; these are simply black push buttons. Hitting any of them will still bring up the menu, and Dell's context-sensitive OSD keeps things nice and simple.

Dell UltraSharp U2713HM OSD

Dell's OSD is well established and refined. Its context-sensitive nature and easy-to-use navigation is still industry leading.
(Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

There's very little to surprise in Dell's menu on the U2713HM — in fact, it never really rises above standard offerings of various colour profiles, RGB customisation, sharpness, brightness and contrast settings. Scaling options are limited, offering 16:9, 4:3 and 5:4, all stretched to full screen. Interestingly, even when feeding it a 16:10 resolution, there's no ability to scale as such.

You can access the Service Menu by turning the monitor off, holding down the top two buttons, turning it back on, releasing both buttons when the power button flashes and then pressing the top button; but there's nothing particularly exotic there to improve your experience.

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