Dell UltraSharp U2713HM review: Dell UltraSharp U2713HM

Review Sections

Performance

Text is sharp on the U2713HM, and the white takes on that usual Dell level of retina-searing brightness. Those who don't like Dell's "sparkling" anti-glare coating will likely also not like the U2713HM. The effect is more subtle than it has ever been, but is still there.

Perhaps it's a side effect of working on the MacBook Pro with Retina display all week, but we noticed a crisscrossing, faint diagonal lattice across the screen, which is either part of the anti-glare mechanism or potentially the framework for the pixels itself. It's one of those things that once you know it's there, it's hard to ignore.

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 U2713HM was run through the Lagom.nl LCD tests.

Image tests
Contrast Sharpness Gamma Black level White saturation Gradient
Pass Not enough control Pass Pass Pass Slight banding, green and purple discolouration

There just wasn't enough granularity in the sharpness settings to get the performance right on the Lagom.nl tests; either the display was too sharp, or not sharp enough. Greyscale gradients tended to band evenly, and fringing of purple and green crept in.

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 Pass Very slight flicker Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass

Most monitors fail up to four of the pixel walk tests; the U2713HM only shows a weakness on one, happily passing even the harsh 4a and 4b tests.

Input lag
Measured against a Samsung SyncMaster 975p CRT, and using a Canon 40D set to a shutter speed of 1/320, an average of over 60 photographs were taken using StoppUhr. With a lag time of around 18ms, the Dell is faster than Samsung's 27-inch competitor, serving up images just over one frame behind the CRT. In practice, we didn't pick up any issues.

HDMI performance
While a monitor might have an HDMI port, there's no guarantee that it'll display images as expected. We hooked up a PlayStation 3, and checked for 24p capability and judder, as well as running the HQV Blu-ray test to see how well it coped with an interlaced source and noise.

24p capable Understands YUV Mission Impossible III
scene 11 judder test
Mission Impossible III
scene 14 judder test
Yes Yes Judder Judder
HQV noise
reduction
score
HQV video
resolution loss
score
HQV jaggies
score
HQV film
resolution loss
score
HQV film
resolution loss —
stadium score
Total score
out of 100
0 0 0 0 0 0

Just like Samsung's 27-inch screen, there's nothing here in the way of noise reduction or interlaced performance, and panning in our Mission Impossible: III tests shows visible judder. Just like the Samsung, the U2713HM is better suited to gaming via console, as opposed to movie watching via a dedicated device.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles were taken with a Canon 40D in spot-metering mode, with only shutter time adjusted to obtain a good exposure.

Dell UltraSharp U2713HM viewing angles

IPS once again delivers on the viewing angles.
(Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Light bleed
Uncommon for IPS screens, our review sample suffered from light bleed coming from the left and bottom left of the screen. As is usually the case with such things, it only became apparent during dark scenes. This will change from model to model, and other reviews we've seen of the unit didn't exhibit the same issue. IPS glow, of course, is in full effect.

Power consumption
We measured power consumption using a Jaycar mains digital power meter. It's important to note here that due to limitations of the meter, measurements are limited to values of 1W and greater, and are reported in 1W increments.

All measurements, screen brightness and contrast were set to 100 per cent, and a test image was displayed.

Juice Box
Maximum power draw 51W
Power-saving mode 12W
Off 12W

Unlike Samsung's 27-inch screen, the Dell pulls a lot of power, even in standby and off modes. We're not sure why it needs to pull 12W with no power on, especially since the USB hub disconnects once the power button is hit. The truly power frugal will need to turn off the U2713HM at the wall.

Warranty

Dell covers the U2713HM with a three-year warranty, and provides a pick-up and return service. It has a zero dead-pixel guarantee.

Conclusion

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 will be the better-featured, more strictly controlled U2711, which at the time of writing is on sale for AU$120 less.

Best Monitors for 2020

All best monitors

More Best Products

All best products